Friday, March 4, 2011

A Small Step

I work for a Fortune 50 company.  The recently rolled out a social collaboration platform to the entire company.  It is accessible to all employees across the country.  It's kind of like Facebook at work.  I people are able to to create communities on most any topic they wish.  As of this afternoon there were just over 1600 communities and 3 of the were about gays.  The system will let you view a community without joining.  Joining is only required to comment.

Once of them was kind of sleazy sounding.  Better to not get involved in there.

Another was called "Gays and Lesbians Unite"  This was a better one.  It was created by folks at our field locations.  There was one discussion topic by someone who felt she was not treated fairly because she if gay.  Other employees comments that they felt welcome and accepted, even indicating that co-workers knew their partners.    It was nice that others were supporting fellow employees.

There was a third group that was created by someone at the headquarters office where I work.  It said it was for "Gays, lesbians and their allies."   I thought that sounded nice.  There were about 50 members, but there was no activity.  

I joined that community.  At big step for me that will eventually lead to me being out at work.

But that was not the end.  I went further and posted something.  A link to an article in a Human Resources magazine about building a positive LGBT environment in the workplace.

So not only have a joined a gay online community at work, but I am one of the first to post something.  Will people think I am gay or maybe just wonder?  Either way is OK with me.


Buddy Bear said...

Congratulations on your courage! Well done! I think people might possibly wonder if you're gay, when they see the group and the link.

MiddleMan said...

Hi Jim. That is a big step. We have a similar setup with employee profiles and communities at the company where I work, which I will say is gay friendly. I've checked out those communities, but have not joined or commented as it would not be fair to my wife. She should know before people at work. Good luck on coming out at work, even though you won't need it.

For me, it is much easier to come out at work than at home.

I cannot wait to read more about your journey.

adarknessinthelight said...

That's a great step forward. I think you're attitude to the gay/straight question is the most positive thing. It does not matter whether people think you're gay or straight. As long as you're happy with who you are and the life you lead that's all that matters. When I came out (some years ago now) I literally introduced myself as 'hi I'm Simon and I'm gay'. Now, I'm a bit more laid back about it, yes I think it's important to be out, especially to the people that are close to me, but the co-worker who sits 10 desks away? None of their business what I do or who I love. Don't get me wrong, I make no attempt to hide it, just that I think it's none of their business, just as it's none of my business that they may go to swingers parties or enjoy the heavy S&M scene. Best Wishes as you continue your journey of self discovery 8-)