Navigation Bar Blue

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sexuality Issues at the Office and How I'm Fitting In

Commitment at the new office has taken over much of my time that I don't seem to have very long moments to myself these days. I find it hard to even sit down for a couple of hours and properly put my feelings onto paper. But whenever I do manage to write, I am always profoundly rewarded by the liberating state of mind that comes with catharsis.

Anyway, ever since I started working again, I've been feeling very insecure about my colleagues possibly finding out that I like men. Despite being in a field where I believe many successful gay guys can be commonly foundI have no idea why such an irrelevant subject like my sexuality should matter, or even bother me in the office that I'm working. 

I guess at the back of my head, I do still worry about how I'm going to be judged or talked about. Or how this innate circumstance of mine will go against my favour in a society where my sexuality is still a highly sensitive subject.

When I accepted this position with the intention of wanting to try things out, I anticipated to a great extend too that this could be the avenue from which I would have the opportunity to meet other successful gay guys within the industry. Not that that takes priority over the career aim I want to pursue, but I did think humourously to myself: "What's the point of being in this field if it can't grant me the bonus access of putting me in touch with other successful gay associates?"

So imagine my slight disappointment when I found out that all the men in the branch of this company are strong devotees of the Abrahamic religions. The impression that I got from everyone at the office including the females themselves, was that they've never actually seen the world from a soulful aspect beyond work or perhaps gone through a certain self-enlightening process that comes with the development of broadening one's mind.

One day at lunch, my colleagues started asking me if I'm attached or if I have a girlfriend. I said confidently that I was single and I just left it at that. Now I am aware that it's a harmless question where people usually ask out of wanting to get to know you, but I can't help but feel precariously insecure with questions like these, and take on the enormous pressure that comes with the insecurity of not being like everybody else. 

Then came two occasions where I felt kind of awkward and suffocated. One was when a female colleague was telling everybody in the office of how her ex-boyfriend turned gay after they broke up, effectively making him the eighth consecutive member to join her league of Ex-Boyfriends-Who-Turned-Gay club. The entire lunch hour was a shallow discussion between them all of 'who knows who is gay' and 'what does what is gay' according to their straight perspective.

The second was when a male colleague of mine was doing something I can't remember which was deemed "too gay" by the people in the office. They placed him on the hot seat for a few minutes but he cleverly used his I-Have-A-Girlfriend-And-She's-From-Church card to put a cap on it.

For some reason, they spontaneously put me as a target and made some teasing comments. I acted as if I didn't hear it because I just can't be bothered, but deep down inside, a very irritated voice was screaming at the top of his lungs: "What the fuck is wrong with you narrow-minded people? If being gay was as simple as 'doing this' or 'doing that', then the world wouldn't be so problematic would it? Real gay guys like me wouldn't need to 'fuck men' to be gay am I right? Jeez!"

The Inner Voice:
"Calm the fuck down."

I excused myself from the crowd to go off because I wanted to buy something from the book store. It might have been too obvious, it might have not, but I knew that I needed to get some air alone. As I wandered around the neighbourhood shops on my own, my mind was just flooded with thoughts and emotions. 

"After everything that you've put yourself through for the past two years, to come out and to accept yourself, you're letting some people at work make you feel inferior or insecure? I thought we weren't going to let it be a problem? I thought we were going to 'release the shame' and live our life truthfully. What's happening?"

I pondered deeply to myself if there was a bigger reason behind why I'm still affected by it. Could this be the universe's way of trying to help me make peace with it once and for all? Is this scenario going to keep happening until I finally make a decision not to let it bother me no more about what other people think?

"You know M, if people are ever truly going to genuinely not make an issue out of who you are, shouldn't they be more 'mature' or normal about it when it comes to sexuality? I mean you don't see your friends from abroad engaging in the same childish reaction do they?"

The Inner Voice:
"So are you saying that we should just get it over with and be transparent? Let them know something so personal?!"

"No! Of course not! That's just not fair. I don't want to be transparent! It's none of their business if I'm gay or if I like men. And I definitely don't need to pander to people by sharing that kind of information. It's irrelevant to their lives or in the office!"

"Never forget that people need to earn the right to know your story. And in our case, it has taken us so long to even tell the people we hold dearest to our hearts. We learnt that the long and winding way. So stand tall and fight it out. Just take things as it comes and move on as necessary."

No comments:

Post a Comment