Gay Nurses... help! - page 13

Hi - Wondering if any gay nurses have an insight into some concerns i've been having... How much do you self-disclose about yourself? What do you say when patients assume you are straight,... Read More

  1. by   carpediem_1271
    Quote from ZanatuBelmont
    I've always wondered why people consider admitting one is gay as an announcement of one's sex life. When someone asks if you are married, and the answer is "yes, my wife and I for 10 years," people don't automatically think they are disclosing their sex life. Just a simple fact - they are married and share a life together. Why do people take on the complete opposite attitude when a homosexual "admits" their relationship?
    So are you saying that being gay is not about sexual orientation? I suppose it's a matter of semantics really, but if it's not a matter of one's sexual orientation, then what does it mean to be gay? I've been married to the same woman for 12 years and I love her very much. I have a handful of very close male friends who I would not hesitate to say that I love very much. I've even lived with a couple of them. I've never considered myself gay. What would make someone consider otherwise?

    I'm not stirring the pot here, you just bring up an interesting point and, as unlikely as you might think it is, I believe we both probably share a lot of common ground on this.
  2. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from carpediem_1271
    So are you saying that being gay is not about sexual orientation? I suppose it's a matter of semantics really, but if it's not a matter of one's sexual orientation, then what does it mean to be gay? I've been married to the same woman for 12 years and I love her very much. I have a handful of very close male friends who I would not hesitate to say that I love very much. I've even lived with a couple of them. I've never considered myself gay. What would make someone consider otherwise?

    I'm not stirring the pot here, you just bring up an interesting point and, as unlikely as you might think it is, I believe we both probably share a lot of common ground on this.
    My question was aimed at the attitude some people take when they hear a gay person "flaunt" their relationship. Many people would be quick to say the gay person is shoving their sexuality in their face, but is that what's really happening? Is the gay person really rubbing their "bedroom" in other people's face? Or is the gay person simply acknowledging the fact that they have a partner, a house, two kids and a dog?

    I live in the south, not sure where you're from, but in general, when someone "admits" to having a same-sex partner, they are quickly accused of shoving what they do in their private bed in people's faces. But when a straight, married couple says the same line, "My wife and I are companions with a child, large house and dog," nobody reacts quite the same way - nobody really thinks about the man going down on his wife. The people just accept it as a relationship, not a sexual relationship, even though that's what it is to some degree.

    Anyway, this post is off topic - I'll read your reply, but if you want to continue the discussion, we can PM. I don't want to get blocked from this site. :-)
  3. by   carpediem_1271
    Quote from ZanatuBelmont
    My question was aimed at the attitude some people take when they hear a gay person "flaunt" their relationship. Many people would be quick to say the gay person is shoving their sexuality in their face, but is that what's really happening? Is the gay person really rubbing their "bedroom" in other people's face? Or is the gay person simply acknowledging the fact that they have a partner, a house, two kids and a dog?

    I live in the south, not sure where you're from, but in general, when someone "admits" to having a same-sex partner, they are quickly accused of shoving what they do in their private bed in people's faces. But when a straight, married couple says the same line, "My wife and I are companions with a child, large house and dog," nobody reacts quite the same way - nobody really thinks about the man going down on his wife. The people just accept it as a relationship, not a sexual relationship, even though that's what it is to some degree.

    Anyway, this post is off topic - I'll read your reply, but if you want to continue the discussion, we can PM. I don't want to get blocked from this site. :-)
    You're ignoring the fundamental reason for traditional judeo Christian "marriage" in the first place. Sex is the consummation of the marriage contract. It does indeed infer a sexual relationship. Traditionally, partners are to abstain from sex until they are married. I'm not saying this is the way it should be or shouldn't be but traditionally marriage is a religious institution, not a government institution. I would argue that government does not belong in marriage and it has stuck it's weenie in the soup for all the wrong reasons once again...

    I'm a supporter of the concept of civil unions only because I believe the concept of actual "marriage" is so religious in nature and I don't think a group of people should be able to redefine someone else's religious beliefs if they're not inherently harmful to anyone. If it's government protection under the law that is important, then push for legislation that supports civil unions. Personally I think calling the union marriage is forcing people to accept a change in their religious doctrine which they will simply refuse to do. Make it purely legal and call it a civil union and they won't get their knickers in such a knot (aren't their knickers in a knot most of the time anyway?)

    I agree that we have pushed this off topic a little bit but I think justifiably so. I apologize to the topic starter... My PM box is open of course. THANK YOU for the sharing of ideas...
  4. by   beejaycee
    Quote from carpediem_1271
    So are you saying that being gay is not about sexual orientation? I suppose it's a matter of semantics really, but if it's not a matter of one's sexual orientation, then what does it mean to be gay? I've been married to the same woman for 12 years and I love her very much. I have a handful of very close male friends who I would not hesitate to say that I love very much. I've even lived with a couple of them. I've never considered myself gay. What would make someone consider otherwise?
    So if someone is gay but abstains from sex, then that person is no longer gay? You've obviously thought about this and I respectfully don't want to seem dismissive but I find your perception of what it is to be gay as narrow as you find the average person's understanding of what it means to be an alcoholic. I personally can't define either to my own satisfaction but I think you've made some leaps in your reasoning.
  5. by   carpediem_1271
    Quote from beejaycee
    So if someone is gay but abstains from sex, then that person is no longer gay? You've obviously thought about this and I respectfully don't want to seem dismissive but I find your perception of what it is to be gay as narrow as you find the average person's understanding of what it means to be an alcoholic. I personally can't define either to my own satisfaction but I think you've made some leaps in your reasoning.
    You're arguing semantics...

    If you want to say that being gay is a completely relevant concept then fine, I'm down with that. It is what it is to who it is I suppose. You pitch your own tent and danged if I care what you want to call it. Personally, I think civil unions should apply to everyone and the government should just get out of the "marriage" business altogether but the folks who are the first to argue for the separation of church and state are the folks that argue that marriage (strictly a religious concept) is a civil right...
  6. by   beejaycee
    Quote from carpediem_1271
    You're arguing semantics...

    If you want to say that being gay is a completely relevant concept then fine, I'm down with that. It is what it is to who it is I suppose. You pitch your own tent and danged if I care what you want to call it. Personally, I think civil unions should apply to everyone and the government should just get out of the "marriage" business altogether but the folks who are the first to argue for the separation of church and state are the folks that argue that marriage (strictly a religious concept) is a civil right...
    I don't think that it is merely a matter of labels. It is a complex issue (as are most, when you get right down to it) and it is my opinion that it is more than a matter of who is sleeping with whom and who is putting what where. Too many people seek to reduce the matter of the emotional, spiritual, and financial commitments of a relationship to simple "semantics".

    If I understand you correctly, you are positing that marriage is strictly a religious concept. So are you saying that being married by a priest or minister carries NO state sanctioned legal rights, responsibilities, or obligations? It is hard to accept the argument of separation of church and state or marriage being solely a religious concept when it is entrenched in the legal code of all 50 states. Personally, I like the way it is done in some countries where if you want to get married in a religious institution, great, but you still need to have it sanctioned by the state in a separate process to have it carry any legal weight. But I'm an 'equality for everyone' kind of guy.

    As with everything I write, this is just my opinion, and I take full responsibility for it (and the typos). Boy, if this thread was off track before, I'm sure I have now completely run it into the ditch! (Oh, and I think you and I agree on much more than we disagree.)
  7. by   carpediem_1271
    Quote from beejaycee
    If I understand you correctly, you are positing that marriage is strictly a religious concept. So are you saying that being married by a priest or minister carries NO state sanctioned legal rights, responsibilities, or obligations? It is hard to accept the argument of separation of church and state or marriage being solely a religious concept when it is entrenched in the legal code of all 50 states. Personally, I like the way it is done in some countries where if you want to get married in a religious institution, great, but you still need to have it sanctioned by the state in a separate process to have it carry any legal weight. But I'm an 'equality for everyone' kind of guy.

    Marriage was originally strictly a religious concept. You really can't argue otherwise. I'm saying that government doesn't belong in that concept. I'm also saying that we should have a uniform legal construct that allows for civil unions between anyone that wants a civil union and let religion have marriage back. I also think that government's role in those civil unions should be very limited but then again I'm a 'liberty for everyone' kind of guy

    You're right, I think we do mostly agree...
  8. by   beejaycee
    Weeeeeellllllll, I really CAN argue otherwise. It's my contrary nature! Of course I am mostly referring to the European roots of the institution of marriage as those roots are most familiar but it was a method of transferring title, authority, and property as much as anything else. Yes, it was sanctioned by the church (a church?) but women were considered little more than property throughout most of our history. Look at how many cultures (and religions) at one time considered women to be less than their husbands (and many still do). Many cultures also granted husbands the right to marry multiple women. How many cultures allowed women to do the same? Marriage has definitely evolved (monogamy? divorce? property rights?) and continues to do so. To paint it with broad strokes as the sole property of any religion or culture is not being fair or honest to its many roots.

    It was fun beating this horse with you! :deadhorse
  9. by   Piggvomit
  10. by   feralnostalgia
    *gives horse one more good kick*

    Quote from carpediem_1271
    Marriage was originally strictly a religious concept. You really can't argue otherwise.
    if your kin keep raiding my livestock I'm going to kill one of them, you'll be honor-bound to avenge him, and this annoying conflict will never end. this war has gone on long enough. I'll give you 3 goats if you'll engage your infant daughter to my 5 year old son. good? good. we're family, family doesn't steal from each other. the end.

    marriage was a business transaction and a political stratagem millenia before the church got a hold of it. (and rather ambiguously at that: "It is better to marry than to burn." is not exactly a glowing recommendation.) the vast majority of people never actually married at all, ceremonies and the use of a place of worship were too expensive. they just shacked up and commitment was implied.
  11. by   timeclocklpn
    As a long term/hospice nurse for eight years the best advice I can give concerning your sexuality is to evaluate eac.h situation , employer, patient , family member, co-worker ect as each presents itself. patients/residents familly members and employers are most concerned with the qualiity of care that you are giving to the resident/patient I only tell any of the above that I am gay if they ask personal information honesty is always the best route to travel and have found that the majority of my residents and their families have been very pleased with my performance(my major concern) I cant remember any instance of any negativity towards me for being gay in fact. As far as employers/co-workers go be the chamelion.Some(rare) look down on you until you prove to those your worth.Others are nothing but plain and simple curious,will ask a myriad of questions regarding dating,sex ect. I only answer what I am comfortable answering (with each individual) as I said earlier the patient/resident needs are first.And last but not least it seems that almost everyone has a gay friend,relative or someone who they want you to meet.I have met a couple men this way ( but do not make it a priority nor do I let it take from my work) I find my own dates usually. Always refer to your priority (your patients ) Be honest when asked ( if asked at all ) and do not make sexuality your first and only concern at work. We are fortunate to live in an era where most people accept us and are less judgemental than in years past. Good Luck
  12. by   Intern67
    Quote from quakerkid

    EDIT: Thanks for the first several responses - I wanted to update my question a little. I guess I am asking specifically about the situation when patients ask about your personal life (which, during nursing school, we were taught not to disclose, since the focus should be on the pt. not on the nurse.) But at the same time, we have to build a healty, healing relationship... answers?
    I find that many patients and coworkers assume I am gay. I am 43, single, male, no kids, never married - and straight. I answer personal questions honestly and appropriately while keeping the focus on a therapeutic relationship and am able to provide good care.

    Every so often, someone I have known or worked with for a while will say, "I thought you were gay!" I am pretty sure an elderly patient I was recently assigned to asked to not have me work with him because he made the same mistake. This is based on some pointed questions he asked during a recent visit. Oh well.

    If asked directly I just say, "Thanks, but no I am not."

    My point is you just do the best you can to maintain the focus of the relationship. Sometimes what people think of you and their associated prejudices is out of your control.
  13. by   on eagles wings
    Quote from EmergencyDpt
    Yoginurse2b,
    Thank you for your post. As athiests we are doubly damned (pun intended) by a society that would rather look back toward the hunter/gatherer, every man for himself, magical thinking mindset. I'm always dissapointed that nurses who use technology in every aspect of their lives aren't more agnostic (at least).

    It's a simple experiment to take heart attack victims and pray over one and give the other integrillin and see what happens. No sane nurse or medical professional would question that prayer is not a viable treatment for disease. Yet if you ask them whether it's ok for gays to marry, they drag out a tome that is THOUSANDS of years old to look up the answer! That the ancient King James is the last person to have it rewritten, when my nursing textbooks weren't good from one term to the next due to rewrites is proof that the information is outdated and useless.

    I didn't mean for this to be an attack on religion but it has already been brought to the fore by other posters. Religion is the primary mover against equal rights for gays, and women as well.

    If that's what it takes to get you to bed at night, go ahead and get down on your knees. However to make rules for modern times based on heiroglyphics scratched in the dirt is a recipie for disaster. I repeat, keep your religious gloves off my rights.
    I understand your post but I think it is very wrong for you to think that all people which claim to be a part of a religion will suppress others rights. Most religious people do that out of their own guilt for being religious hypocrites themselves. Since they cannot live up to the high standards of Jesus, they have to pick on others to make themselves feel better. I know because I was like that and knew hundreds which were the same. I knew many religious people that I think were still in the closet. Most live double lives.

    And the funny thing is, the Bible doesn't teach you have to shove beliefs down people's throats or vote no against civil rights. The Bible doesn't teach women are property. The idea that America is a Christian nation is a myth. It never was and never will be. It can't be. You can't force anyone to believe anything. Telling gays they are going to hell and God doesn't love them doesn't convince anyone, the same way Jihadist propaganda won't convince me that Allah loves me.

    And BTW I am a very strict Christian and I follow the Bible to the T. I wear the same style of plain and modest clothing everyday, keep my hair in a bun, no make up and read the Bible several times a day and pray almost constantly. I don't watch TV or movies or listen to popular music. Does that make me a suppressed woman? I do not share my beliefs unless I am asked. I don't vote so you don't have to worry about me voting against your rights. Because after all, THEY ARE YOUR RIGHTS.

    YOUR sex life is NOT my problem
    -- so I have no right to vote against you. It's despicable and down right wrong. People do whatever they want in their homes. They are attracted to what they want. I'll have my opinions but its absurd it go around hating on people. I am human and you are too. Am I God that I can judge over you? Do I have the right to decide how you want to spend your life? As long as athiests don't vote against my going to church, or dressing modestly, or homeschooling my children, I think we can understand eachother, lol.

    What I am trying to say is, at least for REAL Christianity(because I do believe Islam suppresses the rights of women and everyone else except straight brute men), the Bible doesn't promote a lot of the things people claim it does. Just because some raging, foaming-at-the-mouth televangelist starts pointing fingers, this is not the truth. So called christians(I like to call them popchristians) suppressed blacks and made them into nothing more than property and play things. Doesn't sound very Christian now, does it?

    Yes, I do pray for my sister in the church with end-stage renal failure to get better, but guess what? I also pray she gets the best doctors, nurses, and patient care she can get to get her back to living a normal life again and to get the best experience she can get from this. And I can say that she does have the best doctors, nurses, and she even found a house right next to the dialysis clinic. HALLELUJAH!

    No, we don't anoint people with oil. No, we don't cover people with prayer shawls and pray in tongues, aka gibberish. No we don't live in the back of the woods. It just makes me sad that athiests think all Christians are like this. Yes, I have my strict beliefs about marriage and sex, and the roles of man and woman--but I repeat again, my sex life is my own responsibility.

    I mean, it would be a little surprising to me to see two gay men holding hands, but at the same time, not really. I live in Miami, FL. It is super cool to be gay here, ya know!!!!!! But you know, people freak out when I walk into Walmart because I look like a nun with my long gray dress and bun. :-) I am just happy to live in a country that I can be ME and YOU can be YOU. 90 miles from here(Cuba) and you and I would be in jail because of our lifestyles.


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