Hi there. I will graduate from nursing school soon (2-yr., ADN) and will begin looking for employment in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area. While I was in school, I didn't volunteer personal information about myself and remained relatively invisible and closeted. It's been difficult for me to gauge an overwhelmingly gay-tolerant or decisively homophobic vibe in this part of the country because everything here seems segregated. So I have a request for all of you RNs/BSNs/NPs who are already working in hospitals in Albuquerque (Presbyterian, UNM, Lovelace, etc.) and/or Santa Fe (St. V's): would you say your place of employment is tolerant or accepting of GAY MEN -- not
lesbians because, for some reason, gay women are less threatening to the American patriarchal, heterosexual power structure/hierarchy and I've worked at facilities where lesbian employees were openly accepted but male homosexuals were outlawed -- or would you say your facility is homophobic? Or are certain "floors" of your facility homophobic while others are tolerant?
You're welcomed to be as frank and honest with me as you wish. I don't take offense easily. I guess I'm trying to gauge more of the attitude
of the environments I'm inquiring about, not whether or not they have domestic partnership benefits or anti-harrassment laws. Do co-workers talk sh** about other co-workers who are gay, make gay jokes? Are there openly homophobic members of the administration? If you know any gay male coworkers, do they enjoy working at your place of employment? Would you recommend your place of employment to gay male relatives, friends, or associates? What's the emergency room/trauma center culture like?
Here's the problem: It's 2010 and we're in the United States. Jobs are scarce right now. I could go to San Francisco and tough it out for a while (i.e., starve, live under the Golden Gate Bridge) until I land something in a gay-friendly environment or I could take the first job that presents itself in New Mexico or elsewhere and lie (about my orientation and relationships) and stay closeted JUST to survive, which I have done before; if anyone has ever had to resort to this game of smoke and mirrors, it's not a good way to live your life. I'd prefer to be open and honest with my co-workers since I'm going to spend 40+ hours of my life per week with them.
Some gay men are very, very resilient and can function in extremely hostile environments due to thick skin, upbringing, or guilessness -- I usually think the latter. But I am not one of them. So I'd appreciate some frank honesty from those of you familiar with hospitals in the Albuqueruqe-Santa Fe areas and what I can expect from them. ** Thank you **