Thoughts On Being Gay In The Workforce
There are many times when I wonder how being gay will have an impact on other aspects of my life, like future careers. Honestly, I don’t know why the topic would ever come up in a therapy session, as disclosing personal information isn’t done very rarely. Usually, the only times it would even happen is to help a client see that we understand or if I worked in an environment that specialized in LGBT issues (which I would LOVE to do someday). But what about other careers, like a lawyer, a doctor, or an actor? How does that affect what they’re doing as a profession?
For perspective, here’s Ben Baur, an up and coming actor who is gay as he weighs what being out will mean for his acting career. First, Baur weighed even coming out of the closet:
And therein lay my dilemma. Should I be who I am, Ben Baur, the out-and-proud gay man, or Ben Baur the actor who skirts around the issue of sexuality and plays the pronoun game?
On the one hand, my sexuality is private and really isn’t anyone else’s business. I want to go to work and do a job that I am passionate about and have that be enough. However, with any measure of attention in this day and age, it’s foolish to think that who an actor is dating is never going to come up.
On the other hand, however, I am completely free to be who I am, but there’s the fear that my career would suffer because of it. Recent tweets/interviews from the likes of Bret Easton Ellis and Rupert Everett have contributed to the message that being an openly gay actor will definitely hurt your career and you will definitely be pigeonholed and typecast.
I can identify with a few of the things he’s talking about. Especially the pronoun game. I was a MASTER at it actually. Hmm…. I’ll write about it so look for that one in a couple of days (probably tomorrow). Anyway, in the end, Baur decided it was more important to live an authentic life and be out. Others like Matt Bomer have done the same.
But what about other careers, fellow readers? I’d love to hear other perspectives on this subject. Sure, it may not be as difficult being out now. There’s even websites dedicated to jobs specifically for LGBT. Some may feel that it’s unnecessary to have such sites, but until LGBT have federal sanctions such as ENDA (Employee Non-Discrimination Act), that would protect LGBT from being fired because of their sexuality, it’s a benefit, not a detriment.
So, please share your experiences in the comments!