Friday at work I was working away like usual and Kim (not their real names) tells Sarah that “Tom said that my stuffed Halloween spider is so gay!”. Sarah replies with “Yea, well Tom is gay!” – followed by chuckles and laughter by all parties overhearing the conversation (except for me). These are co-workers with the ages of: 20, 23, 43, and overhearing it – 50. So we are not talking about teenagers here.
I was suddenly filled with feelings of disrespect, unwanted, unsafe, and anger. I am not completely out at work but I think everyone “knows” but just chooses to “over look it.” Now I don’t know what to do or say. I remembered seeing some videos on this exact topic and I can’t remember what they said in response. So I become 10 years old and pretend I didn’t hear it and say nothing… letting the homophobic remarks appear acceptable.
Here are the 30 second TV Ads:
Here is the Ad campaign web site: ThinkB4YouSpeak. Here is the New York Times article A Push to Curb the Casual Use of Ugly Phrases. Finally, here is theÂ GLSEN and Ad Council Launch First Campaign to Address Anti-Gay Language Among Teens.
So, my Friday ended early with me taking a half day of vacation so I could escape what I had experienced at work because I couldn’t come up with the words to address the situation properly. Hopefully next time (sad to say there will be a next time), I will handle the problem better.
I took a long nap with Jaki when I got home and she put me in my happy place but not quite. I’m non-confrontational by nature so I hope I will be able to stand up for myself (and others in the department – I’m not the only Gay in the village at work) when this all rolls around again.