My least favorite thing about a new job

So, I’m at the point where I’m needing to do my least favorite thing in a new job. I kind of hate how straight people never pick up on how I’m gay, even if I always use the word “spouse” and other things. I really hate always having everyone assume I’m straight. And is there really a good way to be like “hey, btw I’m married to a woman”? I really don’t like having to constantly come out. I don’t want it to be a weird thing, and don’t like having serious talks. 

Does anyone else have this issue about straight coworkers assuming heterosexuality?


About DeCaf

Just a code monkey.
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15 Responses to My least favorite thing about a new job

  1. butchjax says:

    Easy. Stop saying spouse and say wife.

    • DeCaf says:

      Very true. I just don’t like “wife” very much. It makes me think of husband and wife and all that crap. I prefer partner or spouse as it seems more egalitarian.

      • Yep, “wife” solves a world of problems. I don’t find it un-egalitarian, either — you’re a wife and you have a wife. Doesn’t get much more equal than that.

        I find the coming out to my students is also awkward and feels like I am imposing, since I’m in a position of authority. I try to drop wife and lesbian into the conversation early on, but somebody always misses it.

        • DeCaf says:

          I grew up in a very conservative Catholic family. I have a lot of baggage about the word wife. I suppose it’s even weirder when you’re a teacher.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Yep. It’s tough for me at my new job because I’m not out yet and don’t have a girlfriend/woman partner to talk about. So outing myself I guess will come up if people ever ask if I’m married. No one has yet, but they do know about Evie! I have a post in the works about that topic.

    Good luck with coming out. Trying using your wife’s first name in conversation (if it’s obviously female).

  3. Lemon Drop says:

    Yup, most of the people I’ve worked with have assumed I was straight until I dropped the term “wife” or my wife’s name into the conversation. I actually don’t mind it because I feel like it’s a nice subtle way to challenge people’s assumptions about what “queer” looks like. Of course, it also helps that I live and work in a very queer-friendly place so I don’t have the pressure of being a token gay.

    • DeCaf says:

      That’s part of my problem is I end up in straight-dominated workplaces and have to play that role of the token queer. I’ve started just using her name, it seems to work well.

  4. Yes. I am having to constantly out myself now that I’m pregnant b/c I don’t want anyone to ask about my husband. And my spouse is a spouse not a wife gender-wise, so having a gender neutral label makes it all the more ambiguous. I don’t really work in an office space where I socialize with most of my co-workers, and the ones I do talk to already know, so it’s like whenever I randomly pass others in the hall on the way to the bathroom I’ll have to correct them… that’s even more awkward.

    • DeCaf says:

      I’ve started just dropping my wife’s name. I don’t mind calling her my wife in queer settings, but in a straight dominated arena I feel weird calling her my wife, since it’s different than how my workers are towards their wives, if that makes any sense. Most of my coworkers are the breadwinning husbands.

  5. No one ever assumes I’m gay. I just tend to bring up my wife as soon as possible and call her “my wife”. There’s no question once I say that.

  6. I prefer to just drop in a “wife” or a “she” whenever it comes up. My personal opinion is that it is my job to make people feel like it shouldn’t be a big deal by not ever treating it as one. If I expect them to be uncomfortable, it gives them permission to be uncomfortable. If I am just matter of fact and never do the “coming out” thing, it gives that person the impression that they aren’t expected to be weird about it. Works for me! Good luck!

    • DeCaf says:

      Haha, fair enough, I have a review coming up in mid-May that’ll determine if I stay on or not, that may be why I feel hesitant to rock the boat. The first job I came out at my coworkers were crazy conservative fundies and it was just a bad experience.

  7. AndiePants says:

    Put a picture up in your office/cube? I don’t have to worry about this much because, although I get read as straight sometimes, my work resume is littered with “gay for pay” gigs, so people pretty well assume. I also work in the non profit world which is definitely culturally different than a corporate setting. I also don’t use wife (kinda hate the word for myself, honestly) but I do use lots of female pronouns and use L’s (pretty clearly female) name.

    • DeCaf says:

      I did that in my last job, it worked well, but Latte’s taken the picture set and hung it in the kitchen and that would look odd if I removed it now.

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