Straight people: have you "come out" as straight in the workplace?

Anderson Cooper’s recent announcement that he was gay had me thinking about the difference between being in the closet and seeking privacy and how there seems to be a double standard between gay and straight people. A straight person who never overtly references their straightness to people is never accused of being in the closet about their straightness, just desiring of privacy.

So I was wondering, what proportion of straight dopers have never “come out” at their current workplace.

For the purposes of this discussion, I define coming out as having done any of the following:

[li]Made a reference to your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband[/li][li]Talked about exes or previous relationships in a way that the gender is clear[/li][li]Talked about the opposite gender in a desireous way, ie: celebrity crushes, people you find attractive etc.[/li][li]Talked about the attributes you prefer of the opposite gender. eg: whether you’re a legs or breasts man etc.[/li][li]Made an explict comment about how you are not a homosexual.[/li][/ul]

How many people have never done any of these things in their workplace?

If you are married you’d really have to go to extreme lengths to hide it in your workplace, unless you have a really odd arrangement. Emergencies alone will alert the attentive.

I’ve referred to my girlfriend or wife, so people could know I’m not exclusively gay, but I don’t think there’s enough to know for sure whether I’m bi (or poly) or not.

I’m reasonably sure some of my coworkers think I’m a lesbian, actually. My references to “sex+members of the opposite gender” have been things like:

  • no, I am SO not planning on doing my flatmate. He’s my flatmate, not my boyfriend.
  • nope, I don’t find [insert whichever actor my coworker just mentioned] attractive.

That’s because people assume straightness unless otherwise informed. Similarly, people assume I am right-handed and assume I am the biological child of my parents.

Voted “no” but didn’t fully read the OP.

It has come up before in conversation that I’m seeing some girl or whatever, so I’m outed in that sense.
But OTOH if someone seems to be fishing for whether I’m straight / gay / bi, I never set them straight (so to speak). None of their business.

I am “out” at my current job. We have some down time and tend to talk to pass the time. Still none of my coworkers have met my S.O. so maybe they think I am hiding something?

In several previous jobs I was not “out”. I tended to work alone in those jobs and did not hang out with my coworkers outside fo work.

Closeted gay people often drop hints about boy/girlfriends, husbands/wives just to throw people off. Some of them actually maintain these relationships just for show. Some will go as far as engaging in a lifelong marriage and having kids. The more indications of straightness someone shows, the more likely it is that they’re gay.

:confused: Holy shit! 90% of the world is gay!:stuck_out_tongue:

At the same time? :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s actually been true at a couple of jobs, that I surprised folks by letting them know that I’m straight. I’m just not interested, is all.

See red for my answers

Yes. The remainder being the 10% of the world that is straight but acts gay. ‘Coming out’ is definitely the gayest thing you could do, so obviously only straight people pretending to be gay would do such a thing as a cover.

Yes, I suppose, because I have strung together the words “my wife” in various conversations. But few of my co-workers know much about my personal life beyond that, and I don’t really care for them to.

I’m not actually sold on the whole concept of “coming out” as straight, though, because in most settings and situations, straight is still the assumed default setting. So I’m kind of wondering what you’re trying to get at with the question in the first place.

The situations are not at all parallel. Except for certain limited circumstances, heterosexual is the default assumption.

ETA: Having said that … I can recall an incident about fifteen years back when a single one of my co-workers thought I was gay because I didn’t meet her definition of manliness; I wasn’t homophobic and I didn’t like sports. When she asked me about it I refused to answer the question, partly out of principle and partly because I had a policy of irritating this woman as much as possible so she wouldn’t talk to me. But someone else outed me as straight to her.

If I was 20 years younger, this would make me want to hint that I have a huge coming out announcement.

Then make a big fuss about coming out as straight.


Bull! - thats almost as bad as saying that inside every straight person a gay person is waiting to come out. Peoples sexuality is private - why should anyone come out straight or gay?

However thinking about the question - I have gone off on a rant about my ex that much that when I chat to a friend who is gay it is assumed I am because of my ranting about my bitch of an ex-wife.

My current workplace is home (I’m semi-retired), so I said “yes”, since I’ve dropped a few hints to my wife that I might be straight. Back at earlier jobs, many of my workmates had met my wife, so I think they too might have guessed that I’m straight.

But my story is that, back when I got married, I didn’t tell anyone at work before the event, so I surprised a few people when I came back from my two-week vacation wearing a wedding ring. However, I don’t think they were surprised because they thought I was gay before then.

A clear example of Sexual Harassment in the workplace!

I’m questioning the assumption that, for gay people, not coming out means that you’re automatically ashamed or uncomfortable about your sexuality.

So far, it looks 10 - 15% of straight people have never “come out” at work. Presumably, no straight person is ashamed of their sexuality so not coming out has more to do with desiring privacy or feeling that it’s not relevant to the conversation (the reason Anderson Cooper gave).

Thus, in a perfectly just & equal world, you would expect 10 - 15% of gay people to never come out at work either and people shouldn’t automatically infer motives.