Gay Nurses... help! - page 3

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   Tweety
    opps
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 10, '05
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Tweety
    Gay people have been masters at this for eons. We are masters at hiding our true selves. Sure people wonder about the guy without a wife or kids and his "roommate", and gossip and talk about him behind his back. But don't ask, don't tell, has ruled the lives of gay men for years. It's only been a recent phenomenon that this hasn't been the case, but it still is the case for a lot of homosexuals, thus the delimema of the original poster, because in all parts of the world it still isn't easy. For most people it just no big deal to work in such close environs and make friends and talk about "my wife this and my wife that, my kids this and my kids that".
    True enough - but I meant this in the capacity of previous posters saying that your personal life shouldn't be part of work, anyway. I was just commenting that that is highly unlikely in most contexts.

    And to the extent that gay people are masters at hiding - it's not very healthy. We are creatures designed to be very expressive and withholding that is not only very stressful, it probably does detract from your professional relationships - precisely because of all the innuendo you mention.

    If you don't tell people who you are, people tend to make assumptions. It's human nature.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  3. by   Rep
    I am not gay but one thing I can tell you is that most people do not care if you are gay or not. What they care is that you can get the job done.
  4. by   Tweety
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    True enough - but I meant this in the capacity of previous posters saying that your personal life shouldn't be part of work, anyway. I was just commenting that that is highly unlikely in most contexts.

    And to the extent that gay people are masters at hiding - it's not very healthy. We are creatures designed to be very expressive and withholding that is not only very stressful, it probably does detract from your professional relationships - precisely because of all the innuendo you mention.

    If you don't tell people who you are, people tend to make assumptions. It's human nature.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    I realize I took your post out of context. I agree when people work together there's no point is keeping quiet and just be worker bees. Some people give too much information, but friendly chatting is natural and healthy. People are social animals.

    I agree it's not healthy to repress who you are. This is why the suicide and alocholism/drug addiction rate is high in gay people. Probably why too when people do feel safe they go overboard with the flambouyancy you see in parades and festivals like Southern Decadence in New Orleans or Halloween in Key West. Or the promiscuity that killed tens and thousands of gay men in the 70s/80s.
  5. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Tweety - I was hoping you would come along. Thanks so much for the eloquent words. judi
    I agree with Jess, Fun2care and TraumaRUs.

    Three cheers for TWEETY!

    HIP-HIP- HOORAY!
  6. by   sunny59
    [QUOTE=Someday-C.R.N.A.]ROGER THAT!!

    .There is nothing wrong with homosexual men. (Believe me, you FAT, BALD, DRUNK, SMELLY farm 'boys', "****" have standards too)

    Hellooo

    Talk about stereotyping!!!! As a farm wife of 30 years living in the middle of farm country I really resent that comment. Hubby may have a beer belly and thinning hair, but he is NOT a drunk or smelly, nor are the vast majority of his friends. Nor does he have issues with gays or anyone else for that matter - except those who stereotype anyone. Please, think of whom you may be bashing before making such comments - we are all humans and isn't that all that matters.

    Sunny
  7. by   Thunderwolf
    [quote=sunny59]
    Quote from Someday-C.R.N.A.
    ROGER THAT!!

    .There is nothing wrong with homosexual men. (Believe me, you FAT, BALD, DRUNK, SMELLY farm 'boys', "****" have standards too)

    Hellooo

    Talk about stereotyping!!!! As a farm wife of 30 years living in the middle of farm country I really resent that comment. Hubby may have a beer belly and thinning hair, but he is NOT a drunk or smelly, nor are the vast majority of his friends. Nor does he have issues with gays or anyone else for that matter - except those who stereotype anyone. Please, think of whom you may be bashing before making such comments - we are all humans and isn't that all that matters.

    Sunny
    Sunny, I can understand why you must have felt a little put off by Someday CRNA's statement. But, I really don't think he really meant this in the manner in which you took this. I review a lot of members' posts and get to come to know the tone and mood by which alot of members post. I am not defending necessarily Someday CRNA, but I think I have come to know how he posts and his sense of humor. I do not think he meant this too much than that. But, you are correct in that one stereotype does not remit another one. Maybe when Someday CRNA returns to this thread, he can present himself a little better in what he meant.
  8. by   Chad_KY_SRNA
    For the longest time I was the only gay man working at my long term care facility and I came out to the staff as I felt they needed to know, now there are two other gay guys, who I love dearly as friends. We are pretty much open with all of the staff. We also now have some lesbians as well but they are safely hidden in the closet to all but a few. People assume a lot of things about three gay friends, it was funny :chuckle to a point now its stupid :angryfire . We spend quite a bit of time together hanging out, drinking, shopping, etc. the stories going around say that we have all slept with or dated each other, we got drunk and had a threesome, etc. I just tell them that what happens when I am away from work in my personal life is just that, my personal life and in no way affects resident care. You just have to be ready for about anything as far as responces from coworkers, I generally tell people fairly soon after getting to know them, I may wait a while if I don't think they can handle it and let them get to know me as me and not just have them assume I am the stereotype.
    I will come back later and address this topic further but my back is killing me, my legs are swollen and I am going on no sleep and very little caffeine. I had to work 8 last night after getting out of the EMT-B class I am taking.
  9. by   SharonH, RN
    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'm not gay but.......if a patient asks something that is really not any of their business then shouldn't you have the right to answer honestly? Why should you have to agonize over how to answer? If you are with someone of the same sex, then why shouldn't you just say? And if you are trying to build a healthy, healing relationship, then I would think the truth is even more important. And if they can't handle it, that's their problem. JMNSHO.
  10. by   Chad_KY_SRNA
    Ok I'm back, as far as telling my residents I don't really tell them too much, some of them are aware of my sexual preference because they asked me so I felt they could handle the truth. In general I don't just say Hello, my name is Chad and I will be your nurse aide tonight, I am gay. I try to keep conversations regarding my personal life in non-patient care areas of the facility. If I feel that a resident is going to be homophobic or has the potential to be a homophobe I will change the subject or tell them that I would prefer not to discuss it.
  11. by   Tony35NYC
    To the OP,

    It appears you are very concerned what your coworkers and patients think about you because you obviously are a social and friendly person. However, your private life is really none of their business. Patients, coworkers, and employers do not have a right to ask these types of questions. It really depends on how you feel about this personally, but you should never let them pressure you into disclosing intimate details about your personal life.

    I just don't understand why some people are so fascinated with this stuff...'oh, he's a guy, and he's a nurse, and he's not wearing a ring so he's probably gay.' So what if he is? I no longer wear my wedding band on my finger because I get a rash under it from the frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizers. I used to hear rumors all the time about the "fact" that I am gay and about these doctors and other nurses who are (allegedly) with me or trying to get with me. The only person I've told that I wear my wedding ring on a necklace around my neck is the woman I'm married to, and thats because she's the only person that needs to know. Do these people you're working with really need to know all the details of your private life. No, they do not. People love to gossip, and they are going to talk about you whether you like it or not. If by your attitude you show them that you really don't care they'll eventually get bored and find something or somebody else to talk about.

    On the other hand, if what you're saying is that you're gay and comfortable with it and you want to come out, do it on YOUR own terms and when YOU'RE ready. Even if you tell your co-workers that you're gay you don't have to tell them anymore than that. I wouldn't discuss this aspect of my personal life with any patient if I were you, not because you're ashamed of anything but because you don't know how they might react to the information (even though they solicited it). They really don't need to know about your sexual preferences to receive professional nursing care from you. As someone previously mentioned, a tactful way to deflect them is to state that you're not comfortable discussing details of your private life while on the job.
  12. by   bradJP
    Quote from RNIT
    I had one pt. ask me directly if i "liked girls"... he was psych pt. so i told him i did. With pts you have to play it by ear but you can always fall back on the standard "i would rather not discuss that since it doesn't help me care for you any better or worse" or something to that effect that they teach us in nursing school.
    Thank you.. that is a great response. I am a first year nursing student and in my first clinical experience my pt. asked me if I "was married" and then "had a girlfriend" I answered "no" to both questions. I have a partner of 10 years. But he didn't ask me if I have a partner, and the truth is I don't have a a wife/girlfriend.

    I was with this patient for the entire day. We discussed many things, so it was not a loaded question. I don't believe he suspected anything.

    Do other gay male nurses have responses they use to deflect the conversation?

    Thanks.. BRAD
  13. by   bethin
    I work with a male gay nurse. He's out and no one cares. He comes to work to be a nurse and take care of people. I could care less about his sex life. If people have a problem with it, it's not his, it's their problem.

    I don't care if someone is gay, straight, bisexual or whatever. My philosophy is as long as they're not killing anyone I don't care what they do(and this pertains to everyone).

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