Scratch out the default

“So, any boys in your life?”

Two of my coworkers have asked me this question multiple times in the past couple weeks. Last night’s conversation went something like this:

“No…how about for you?”

“What?!” My male coworker looked at me incredulously and jokingly. We laughed for a second.

“Have you dated at all before?”

“Uh, no.”

“Do your parents not let you, or–”

“–No, no, they’re fine.”

“Oh.” Pause. “Well, sometimes being single is more fun.” He said with a grin.

“Haha, yeah.” I tried to focus on the mop I was cleaning, and got out of the room as fast as I could without looking as uncomfortable as I felt.

I don’t know why this kind of conversation always bothers me. Well, I mean, of course I know, but I don’t know why I feel like they shouldn’t be asking these questions. Why do I care? They’re harmless. My coworkers are just trying to know me better. It’s not intended to make me feel different or left out.

But I do understand what I think the problem is. I don’t like that if we are not out, it is assumed that everyone is heterosexual. I don’t like that there’s that default imposed on everyone no matter what. I’m just waiting for the day that everyone has to come out — as LGBT or as straight. I hope that one day we give up the idea that everyone is straight unless otherwise specified. It just creates awkward workplace small talk.

 

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5 thoughts on “Scratch out the default

  1. I really HATE that we have to “come out.” I refuse to tell people at work that I’m gay. I’ll just nonchalantly mention an ex-boyfriend or how I love drake. They look confused, which is hilarious, and I just continue on with my work.

    I’ve noticed if I don’t make a big deal with coming out, they don’t make one either. It really depends on the person I guess.

    • I don’t want it to be a big deal — not every time. I think it inevitably will be for immediate family or close friends, depending, but for everyone else it shouldn’t matter. But for some of my close friends I don’t want it to come off as too casual because I don’t want them to feel like I’m just mentioning it in passing and that I didn’t care to tell them early on or more thoughtfully. I guess it depends a lot about timing and the person.

      • Oh. Well it would be different for close friends and family. Doing it casually like me would not work. Haha. I think once you’re out to them, when you encounter new people, you’ll probably be more comfortable causally mentioning it.

        Does anyone know you’re gay?

      • It is. Everyone’s experience is different. The only thing I can suggest is to do it on your own time. Don’t let other people tell you that you have to come out. I hope your experience is an easy one!

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