A classmate wants to know if I'm gay. How should I respond? - page 2

:uhoh21: I'm not sure how to handle this. Today a friend of mine told me that a classmate of ours was fishing for information regarding my sexual orientation. This male student was asking... Read More

  1. by   gitterbug
    You already have a code you have adopted. It is sound and seems to work for you. I would keep my personal affairs personal. If more gossip comes your way, you can confront this person in the nonthreatening way the other posters have suggested. Good luck.
  2. by   kharing
    I would ignore the entire issue and wouldn't bother approaching this person. Similar gossip hounds are in my program. They seem to get caught up in everyone else's business. Ironically, these are the same people that struggled to maintain their grades. They most likely will be failing out this semester.
  3. by   Doc to be
    Quote from SethJ
    :uhoh21: I'm not sure how to handle this. Today a friend of mine told me that a classmate of ours was fishing for information regarding my sexual orientation. This male student was asking inappropriate questions. It makes me uncomfortable that he feels the need to bring this up with other classmates of mine. I am gay. This however, is irrelevant and frankly none of his business. It has always been my policy to keep my home life separate from nursing school. We spend so much time together in clinicals and class and I have a feeling the rumor mill will be churning. Should I let it go? Bring it up with him?...
    *sigh* don't make such big deals out of it. I'm not gay, but I have a few gay friends and be get along great. Their being gay is no secret, and nobody cares.
    Why does he ask your classmates instead of you? Well, how do you think an insecure straight guy would react if someone walked up and said "Are you gay?" He would be offended.

    Be straightforward, just tell him "yes I am gay, why do you ask?"

    This however, is irrelevant and frankly none of his business. It has always been my policy to keep my home life separate from nursing school.
    Sexual orientation is a relevant part to someone's personality. If you have friends in school, then home life can never be completely separate from school, not if your friends care about you.

    We spend so much time together in clinicals and class and I have a feeling the rumor mill will be churning. Should I let it go? Bring it up with him?...
    Kill the rumor. Find a way to let people know you are gay without flaunting it. Just be matter-of-fact about it. Wear a gay-pride pin or something.
    Use your friends for support; THEY know that you are gay, don't they? Just explain that yes you are gay, but you aren't in the market right now. If you haven't brought it up wit the other guy yet, let your friends do it.

    "Who, Seth? Yeah, he's gay. *grin* don't worry, he isn't going to hit on you or nuthin, he's pretty cool. HEY, you wanna come chill with us *your friend indicates you and 3-4 of your friends, male and female*, we're going to *insert: bar(a straight bar)/club/show/etc* tomarrow night"
    ^that will especially work if he likes one of your friends (or you), so it works if he is straight or gay.
    Last edit by Doc to be on May 4, '07
  4. by   Alternator81

    Wear a gay-pride pin or something.

    "Who, Seth? Yeah, he's gay. *grin* don't worry, he isn't going to hit on you or nuthin, he's pretty cool. HEY, you wanna come chill with us *your friend indicates you and 3-4 of your friends, male and female*, we're going to *insert: bar(a straight bar)/club/show/etc* tomarrow night"
    I'm sorry, but I think that this is ridicules! Honestly, I do not believe that sexual orientation really has anything to do with someone else. Why would he need to make a big production, and have his friend make up some silly story to make sure the other person is comfortable with his orientation. I have quite a few friends that I study with, and although my sexual orientation is known, it's not really important enough to talk about... especially with another student who I don't really interact with.

    wear a gay-pride pin? Please!
  5. by   Mizz_Nurse
    Tell him that you're taken, and to stop stalking you.
  6. by   firstyearstudent
    Before class I'd stand up and say, "For those of you who have been wondering if I'm gay, YES I AM!"

    Then I'd never say another word about it.
  7. by   donsterRN
    Since heterosexual people don't generally make a statement like that to their classmates, why would you suggest that a gay student do that?

    A person's sexual orientation is nobody's business but his own. How he decides to let others know about it is entirely a personal matter.
  8. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from Don3218
    Since heterosexual people don't generally make a statement like that to their classmates, why would you suggest that a gay student do that?

    A person's sexual orientation is nobody's business but his own. How he decides to let others know about it is entirely a personal matter.
    Because I think that the more homosexual people are unashamed "out" the more it will be accepted by our society.

    Standing up and saying it without provocation would just be a little joke, acknowledging that he's heard people are wondering but no one is brave enough to just come out an ask him.
  9. by   donsterRN
    The OP clearly stated that he felt his being gay was irrelevant to his studies, and was nobody's business. He also said that he prefers to keep his home life separate from nursing school. None of this means that he isn't already "unashamedly out". He's being professional.

    As an "unashamedly out" gay man, I appreciate the fact that some people may want to know details about my life. My friends and family know who I am. I certainly don't shy away from questions about my life. But the bottom line is that my sexual orientation does not define me; it is merely a component of me. And regardless of who I choose to spend the rest of my life with, at the end of the day it is still nobody's business but mine.

    It has nothing to do with shame.
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I know another nurse on this site has said, and I deeply respect him for that, that he has made it a priority to never deny being gay. That isn't to say that it is necessarily advertised, just that direct inquiries are never denied.

    Here's the thing. If you AREN'T gay, and somebody asks if you are gay, normally, what you get is a fast denial: "Who me?! No!" It's just what happens.

    So, if you are gay, you'd better come up with a way to deal with this in a direct manner for your entire nursing career. Either you have to deny it, or you have to embrace it. Because, if you don't deny it immediately, people will (rightly) assume that a non-denial is an admission of fact.

    It is just the type of question where the measure of the response itself answers the question. It may not be fair, but it is the way it is. So, you need to figure out how you are going to answer this question in your new career. I'll tell you for sure: it's not the last time you will be asked, directly or indirectly.

    It's none of your business, or, I'd rather not say ARE affirmative answers to that question. Whether you want them to be, or not.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on May 5, '07
  11. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from Don3218
    The OP clearly stated that he felt his being gay was irrelevant to his studies, and was nobody's business. He also said that he prefers to keep his home life separate from nursing school. None of this means that he isn't already "unashamedly out". He's being professional.

    As an "unashamedly out" gay man, I appreciate the fact that some people may want to know details about my life. My friends and family know who I am. I certainly don't shy away from questions about my life. But the bottom line is that my sexual orientation does not define me; it is merely a component of me. And regardless of who I choose to spend the rest of my life with, at the end of the day it is still nobody's business but mine.

    It has nothing to do with shame.
    I've spent most of my adult life in New York or Los Angeles. It's never been an issue. It hasn't been unprofessional to be openly gay and it's anybody's business. I'm met many people who did make being gay a big part of who they were (especially youngsters defining their identity) and older folks who were like,"yeah, I'm gay, whatever."

    Yeah, I'm like you. I don't like my sexual identity coming into play professionally. I'm a hetero female but I dress super conservative and don't like to discuss my personal life, but that's just a preference. I know plenty of folks who like to talk and be sexual at work and that's fine (as long as it doesn't interfere too much). We've all animals.
  12. by   naskippy
    Quote from SethJ
    :uhoh21: I'm not sure how to handle this. Today a friend of mine told me that a classmate of ours was fishing for information regarding my sexual orientation. This male student was asking inappropriate questions. It makes me uncomfortable that he feels the need to bring this up with other classmates of mine. I am gay. This however, is irrelevant and frankly none of his business. It has always been my policy to keep my home life separate from nursing school. We spend so much time together in clinicals and class and I have a feeling the rumor mill will be churning. Should I let it go? Bring it up with him?...
    Well, this is kind of hard to give advise on I think in not knowing the "players" in the game. You knowing this person should be a better judge of that. Maybe he is gay and like someone said, in a high school type of way is wanting to know because he has a fondness for you. Or, he maybe a homophobe looking to cause trouble. Depending on your trust in this person your answers may differ somewhat. But I agree, keep your personal life personal and your professional life professional. I would reply in some sort of fashion in that way and let the person asking for him know that if he wishes to discuss personal issues you would be glad to do so on a one on one bases outside the professional setting. If you know for a fact they are just wanting to cause trouble I would make it clear the line of questioning is inappropriate an unprofessional and leave it at that.
  13. by   brighella
    I find that to any nosey questions a smile and "why do you ask?" (as though such a question would never occur to you to ask)

    If they actually answer you, respond "oh" as if still mildly confused but fine with it. If they are so rude as to persist (I have not yet had this happen) wonder aloud why it could possibly be so important.

    Its pretty non-threatening, but sends the message that you dont answer anything you dont care to.

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