I'm a 27-year-old gay male and I have a coworker that's a 47-year-old gay male and he has a 49-year-old boyfriend. Me and my coworker got into an argument a couple of days ago because his boyfriend essentially lives a double life. On one hand he lives the life of an open gay man. He's involved in gay organizations, he worked the gate at SF pride, they go on vacations to gay resorts, and all of their closest friends are gay, but none of them know the boyfriend's real name because he lives his gay life under an assumed name. None of his co-workers, friends from high school, or his family (except his mom) know he's gay. He even has separate Facebook accounts to keep his friends separate.
It's none of my business but I don't think it's right. I feel that if we as a community ever want to be seen as equals, we must first see ourselves as equals and not see our sexuality as something that should be hidden from anyone for any reason. I don't think anyone should have to announce their sexuality upon introductions, but I have a problem that he goes to such great lengths to hide it. The argument I got in with my co-worker began when he told me that he and his boyfriend have a friend that worked at a different branch of the same company as his boyfriend and that they hid from this friend that they worked for the same company so that no one there would find out that the boyfriend is gay. I don't think that kind of hiding is right. I feel bad for guys that can't come to terms with their sexuality and live in the closet entirely, but I have nothing but contempt for guys who live as openly gay men while in the company of other gay men then go to great lengths to hide who they are from the heterosexuals in their life. I have strong convictions and a tendency to be a bit impassioned so I would like to hear what your calmer cooler head has to say on the matter.
And before you say you don't know his circumstances: he doesn't live in Uganda or Iran, he's financially independent, and works for a company in witch other gay employees have been accepted and are successful.
Galvanized Against lYing
My response after the jump...
It's none of your business—just like you acknowledged there, GAL, at the start of the second paragraph of your letter. Well, it's none of your business... save for the ways in which this man is perpetuating your oppression as well as his own. And it's none of my business either.... save for the ways in which this man is perpetuating my oppression as well as his own.
Maybe it might be more accurate to say that this dude's messed up semi-private life is mostly none our business, GAL. But even if it were entirely none of our business, we would still be entitled to our opinions about it. (Lindsey Lohan's drug problem is entirely none of my business but I'm entitled to my opinion about it.) And I happen to agree with your opinions: This dude is being ridiculous (who the hell is he hiding from?), his actions are counterproductive (he's helping to perpetuate the homophobia that he doubtless believes justifies this moronic charade), and his boyfriend is a fool (no self-respecting gay man would put up with this shit).
And just as we have a right to our opinions, GAL, we have a right to express our opinions. And that's exactly what I just did here on Blogtown and it's exactly what you did during the argument you had with your coworker. And now that we've both gotten this off our chests, GAL, now that we've had a chance to express our opinions, I think we should both drop it. Your co-worker knows how you feel—he's aware that you disapprove—but unless he's asking you to assist with the lies, or join him and his boyfriend in their semi-transparent closet, you shouldn't let let your low opinion of your coworker's boyfriend's closet interfere with your work relationship.
Because it's none of your business.