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Category Archives: A Little Help From My Friends

At The Rubicon – How I Came Out At Work

team stockI never go out with work colleagues. Yes, it’s because of privacy issues related to gayness. I especially avoided it when in African cities. I realised quickly that the religious and conservative environment meant that often people could be singled out by their supervisors for things they did on the work night out or just in public and were seen. One of my colleagues ended up losing his job for something that was not even related to the company, something in his personal life that leaked.

However in the UK, it’s far easier. There is a certain feeling that everyone has been there and done that and people don’t really care who you shag or if you shag at all. And there’s a certain camaraderie that’s built up by those after work drinks.

I work in a female-dominated environment and they have all been very nice and easy to work with. We’ve had a few big nights. One of them in particular was so bad I had to be helped home. I had thoroughly underestimated their bar prowess and paid dearly for it the next day.

So on another night out, I was chatting with one of my colleagues when she started to get a bit flirty. At that point, I took a few minutes to gather up courage and then told her “Listen yeah, I’m gay.” She laughed and said “we all know!” I was stunned. I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked how she knew and she responded: do you not remember??

On the big night that I’d gotten so drunk, I’d told many of the coworkers that I was gay. I don’t even remember any of it. And so it had been passed on as part of the usual office gossip and was old news. I was the only one who didn’t know I’d been out at work for weeks. A few things suddenly began to make sense.  I’d detected a softening towards me from many formerly frosty members of staff that hadn’t been there before and now I knew why. For some reason I felt weird at work. It wasn’t that I was upset that I was careless with my private life – it’s legal to be gay in the UK and I knew my job wasn’t in jeopardy – this was all uncharted territory for me and I had never even considered telling work colleagues. All my energy so far had been expended in figuring out how to tell family with the plan that I’d work on work folk later should it be deemed necessary yet the reverse had happened.  Eventually I decided to let things flow and not overthink it. So far things have been good, no one has made anti-gay statements, made me feel uncomfortable or tried to set me up yet (thankfully!).

And the love and respect I have for my coworkers continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

 

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“We Could Have Been Famous Friends”

While having a much-needed tea break in a nearby café just before closing, I ran into a friend and colleague I hadn’t seen in a few months. We’d become friendly after we collaborated on project but when the it ended and we went back to our departments, we never seemed to find the time to meet up. It was unfortunate as I enjoyed her company and she was one of the only gay people at work I was friends with. However I wasn’t out to her. She once described me as “the straightest” straight man she knew. While I was amused, I wasn’t sure I liked that description especially the frisson of pleasure I felt when she said it. Did that mean I was completely boring with no redeeming qualities? Was the fact that I felt some pleasure inside mean I was still clinging to the hetero-normative ideas of manhood and had a problem with feminine qualities I or other men possessed? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Familiarity: The Gateway Drug to Empathy”

I must confess, though I find some TEDx programs and talks enlightening, a lot of them I don’t identify with. I do have the app and will occasionally check it out to see what’s new. This video I got to see via a friend’s recommendation and is one of the more interesting ones. It involves actor/writer/photographer iO Tillett Wright who is on a mission to photograph 10,000 faces across different cities in the US in her project entitled Self-Evident Truths as a way to bring people to see the modern day face of “gay” and challenge them to deny the LGBTQ family rights that are common to all human beings. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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One Lovely Blog Award Nomination

The datingbitch whose blog I’m a huge, huge fan of nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. I’m very thrilled and honoured since I didn’t actually think many people would be interested in what I had to say when I started posting.

This one comes with some interesting rules for acceptance notably the seven unknown things which is probably why it’s taken me so long to put up this post – I mean, what seven things about me do I consider interesting? Do I really want people to know those things about me?? Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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The Journey of A Thousand Miles..

Well I finally came out to someone.
It wasn’t a member of my family or my “inner circle” of friends. It was a relatively new friend I had made a couple of years ago. We met met (funny enough) through church – the minister had tried to hook us up. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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After He Was Outed…

After He Was Outed…

Recently a friend of mine got ‘outed’ by another friend to a group of his close friends (me included). It wasn’t just the “do you know he’s gay?” line. It was sordid Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Twenty-Four Words That Changed My Life

Twenty-Four Words That Changed My Life

“I am totally okay with being gay; my only issue is that I cannot live and express myself the way I would want to.”

Often times when I meet new people, particularly other Africans, we discuss all sorts of issues relating to our common characteristic – being gay. Since it is mostly forbidden and outlawed, we share similar experiences with regards to our gay lives but it is the differences that I’m most interested in. One of the questions that invariably yields the same answer is: given the choice of being gay or not, would you choose to be gay?

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in A Little Help From My Friends

 

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