Today someone at work looked at me and said, "Are you a lesbian?" And I was like yeah?  To which she responded, "I couldn't tell."  This made me laugh and I was glad that she just asked me.  I don't have a problem with people asking and I have no problem telling.  I find coming out at work a very frustrating experience and I'll tell you why.  Straight people are annoying.  Just kidding!  A lot of my friends are straight-ish.  Feeling compelled, to announce to the workplace, your sexual orientation is frustrating.  In my mind, it doesn't matter!  But, if I want to share anything personal, I'm going to out myself.  It's hard to know what to do.  I don't want to be a poser and lie. I can't wait, until I can say, "My wife and I or my girlfriend and I did this...." (hopefully not in the same sentence or I would be living a drama filled existence) and it's not followed by, "Oh, are you gay?" 

So here is the way I handle it:  I let people find out.  At first I just learn my job and that's all I'm concerned about.  I believe in keeping a strict separation between my work and private life.  This means no work friends on Facebook, no exceptions.  Now, this isn't to hide my gayness, but because I am very political and I don't need corporate drones, going over my digital life, looking a reason to discriminate.  This is not to say that people at work don't know.  If you become my friend, you will find out, because I will share stories of my life with you.  Eventually, enough people find out and although people have good intentions, others will more than likely find out and that's okay.  I just don't want to feel like I have to say, "Hi. My name is Sarah and I am a lesbian, do you know where the supply closet is?"

Unfortunately there is still quite a bit of discrimination in the workplace.  It is amazing what you hear people say when they don't know your status.  Anytime I start a new job, I like to lay low and get a feel for what people's real politics are, not what they "think" they should say.  I want to know who I'm dealing with.  In this regard, I feel like a fly on the wall or like I am undercover agent.  I've actually had people get mad at me when they find out that I'm gay, because I didn't tell them earlier.  Um sorry, I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable by not sharing an intimate detail of my life with someone I hardly know.

Nothing is perfect and our world is evolving.  Personally, I feel it is important to be out at work, because I feel the more visible we are the more discrimination will lessen.  Just look at other civil rights issues, if they weren't loud about it, no one would really care.  Change, by nature is uncomfortable. There is no right way or wrong way to tell people you are gay, you just have to decide what is right for you and follow your gut. 

It took me along time to come to terms with my own gayness.  I worried so much what other people would think.  I worried that people wouldn't like me or that people would be mad, that I waited so long, that maybe they would think I lied to them.  In the end, I lost very few friends, I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin and my mental health has dramatically improved.  I guess the bottom line is: do what you feel you need to do.  I would never tell someone that you're not a "good gay," if you're not out at work; however on the other hand you aren't part of the solution.  I know that seems harsh, but it's just how I see it. 

When I get frustrated by slow moving legislature or antiquated ideologies,  I have to remind myself that some people still think that blacks and whites shouldn't marry and that Native American's are just "complainers," so I don't expect things to move too fast.  Slow and steady wins the race, just look at Betty White.