Thursday, July 27, 2017

Telling...

"I suspect this is the week I will simply come clean with "W". Is he as a gay man obligated to be my sounding board for sharing the secret? No, not at all."

No sense in dragging things out. "W" came to my office around mid-morning wanting to discuss a few projects we were working so we chatted for 10 or 15 minutes. During our discussion, I felt several times like I was losing focus - each time realizing that until I had just spilled the beans, I would not be able to think clearly. As he finished taking his notes on a short list of tasks, I asked him if he would reach over and shut the door to the office.

I am one of those people who beats around the bush, often looking for the right words to very delicately state something. More than once, I have started the conversation only to back off by simply diverting the topic somewhere else. I had a white board marker in my hand and scooted my chair toward the board as if preparing to write out, "Guess what? I'm gay", but the idea fizzled. I began by saying, "This s totally non-work related so if you don't want to talk about it, just say the word." The immediate look on his face was one of, "This guy is about to ask me if I'm gay".

As I stumbled and stammered trying to find the right words, I said, "You know how people talk and things are said in the work place..." The look on his face stayed the same. I don't even know what I was saying because I began to get that extremely nervous feeling almost to the point of shaking, but I talked about gossip and such. Finally, he just blurted out, "Yes, I'm the gay one." He seemed ready to give me some canned speech that openly gay people have had to give straight co-workers and employers to justify their existence over the years. I simply blurted out, "You're not the only one."

I held up my ring finger and said, yes, I'm happily married but I'm Bi. My wife knows. We just deal with it. That led to some interesting discussions about how people in say their 50's and 60's just suppressed it, stayed closeted and lived married lives while the younger generation gay folks are so open and expressive about being gay. He said he is stuck in the middle (he is roughly 13 years younger than I am) where people in his age group are sort of caught in between starting in the closet, finally coming out and in his case, after some point in time, just living and not making an issue of it.

The sense of relief was immediate. Of course, there was no dick sucking or anything like that, but then again, I didn't expect that, at least right away...

1 comment:

bdenied said...

I do not want to be the alarmist and I am not preaching. Any time one talks sexual issues at work one runs the risk of inducing an HR complaint.....this covers both hetro and homosexual discussions and behavior. Please be careful and in this case glad it worked out.....but again talk is one thing and actions can lead to misunderstanding and outright gamesmanship when it comes to the work place. As the chef once said..."Never shit in the kitchen or cook in the shitter!