Lesbians (LGB) in OB Nursing

  1. 0 I know one aspect of this topic has already been covered. I'm asking for input on how lesbians might be received by fellow OB nurses. I live in the south, and most people here are open minded, but often religious, and maybe not exposed to the idea of a homosexual woman working with them. The problem is that we are a small unit, many of us are close friends. We see each other outside of work, and I don't know how to approach the issue if it comes up. I'm afraid of being accused of impropriety. Please help with input, I know I'm not the only new nurse looking for guidance.
  2. Visit  PunkRockRNLA profile page

    About PunkRockRNLA

    Joined Jan '14; Posts: 1.

    17 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    6
    I don't have a problem with it. I never thought my hetero OB/GYN looked at my private parts sexual in nature. As long as you are professional there sholdn't be an issue. Why would you have to announce your sexual orientation to your patients. That is your business.
  4. Visit  cayenne06 profile page
    4
    I am a CNM student with a large practice, and many of the CNMs are lesbians. It's a nonissue.
    loriangel14, RunBabyRN, mamagui, and 1 other like this.
  5. Visit  klone profile page
    4
    Totally not an issue whatsoever. I know several midwives who are lesbian as well.

    I think your issue is less about how a lesbian might be perceived in OB/Gyn, and more about how GLBTs are perceived in small religious communities. THAT I cannot help you with. My husband and I left such a community a few years back because of issues such as that - we didn't want to raise our kids in such an insular, "white bread" community that had no diversity.
    loriangel14, AspiringToRN2, mamagui, and 1 other like this.
  6. Visit  MrChicagoRN profile page
    1
    If this is a new job, don't say anything, just let them get to know you. And if it comes up, you don't have a BF or husband.If you've been there a long time, they may already pretty much know...or kinda suspect.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  7. Visit  smartnurse1982 profile page
    1
    I don't understand why this would come up tbh.I don't let anyone know anything about me,its none of their business.I'm not a lesbian,and I'm not sure anyone would find out. Just because someone doesn't have a boyfreind or inst married does not = gay.I might be a nun,who knows?There are lots of nuns who are nurses in my area.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  8. Visit  bebbercorn profile page
    2
    My Mother was a CNM, my sister an OB nurse. I've met many lesbian and bisexual OB/GYN nurses and NP's, it was never brought up in a negative way, and there seemed to be a good deal of said women invited to outside events... this has been over the last 30 years. So now, in a culture becoming more aware and accepting, it should be even less of an issue!
    loriangel14 and AspiringToRN2 like this.
  9. Visit  fetch profile page
    4
    Quote from smartnurse1982
    I don't understand why this would come up tbh.I don't let anyone know anything about me,its none of their business.I'm not a lesbian,and I'm not sure anyone would find out. Just because someone doesn't have a boyfreind or inst married does not = gay.I might be a nun,who knows?There are lots of nuns who are nurses in my area.
    It can come up when everyone is talking about holiday plans, and you plan to go visit your girlfriend's family but are unsure how to refer to them. Do you lie and say you don't have plans? Do you say you are visiting distant family, your roommate's family, your fiance's family? Fiance is good because when spoken, it sounds the same for either male or female partner, but then you get questions like what does he do for a living? and now you either lie, come out, or play the pronoun game. (This is a [sarcasm] SUPER FUN [end sarcasm] game where you talk about your partner normally but avoid using any specific pronouns.)

    That's just a recent example, but a lot of small talk centers around family and/or home life. And if you're single or dating, it can be easy to hide your orientation. If you've been with a partner for a long time, and all your co-workers are talking about the awesome, or sweet, or ridiculous things their husbands did - it can be hard to not chime in with a story of your own.

    The OP also mentioned her unit is close, and coworkers often meet up after work to hang out and chit-chat. Keeping quiet in that situation can be ostracizing.

    Located in the South presents additional stickiness. People on the whole are generally very accepting, especially if they get to know the person first and then learn about the sexual orientation. But all it takes is one person with a nasty attitude, and a willingness to file multiple complaints or accuse you of impropriety - and then sexual orientation can be cause for dismissal. Does it happen often? No. But it does occasionally still happen. In my state, sexual orientation was REMOVED from the protected list about 5 years ago. Companies may have different policies, and usually are more liberal. But legally, the South can still cause problems.
  10. Visit  Ruby Vee profile page
    3
    Quote from Esme12
    I don't have a problem with it. I never thought my hetero OB/GYN looked at my private parts sexual in nature. As long as you are professional there sholdn't be an issue. Why would you have to announce your sexual orientation to your patients. That is your business.
    I think the OP is talking about her co-workers, not her patients.

    Ideally, it should be a nonissue to your co-workers. Either they already know or suspect or they haven't given it much thought. I personally don't care about the sexual orientation of my colleagues -- I'm happily married and it's none of my business. But I do care that my colleagues are happy at home, and when we're all sitting around complaining about how our husbands forgot Valentine's Day this year and you want to chime in about how your wife or girlfriend forgot your anniversary (or whatever) you should be able to do so. I'm just as happy to hear your cute story about how your girlfriend locked herself out of the house as I am to hear about how Susie's husband lost his car keys (again!).

    Some people may be religious conservatives and/or closed minded -- you're going to find people like that everywhere. I think the majority of your colleagues are willing to get to know you and your partner. Just be yourself. And as for impropriety -- you're not going to share what you do in bed, are you? I think stories about your puppy or whose turn it is to shovel the walk or your mother-in-law from Hades are fine in the work place, and at the bar after work.
  11. Visit  RunBabyRN profile page
    1
    I think it's really an individual issue, meaning the individual nurses with whom you work. You can always test the waters with general questions (something with which I'm sure you're familiar, if you've been out to people for awhile). Ultimately, it's going to come out sooner or later, just be you and let the chips fall where they may.
    Good luck!
    loriangel14 likes this.
  12. Visit  Katie71275 profile page
    1
    Personally, it would not bother me at all! I think that it shouldn't come up. Women are chatty...we all know that..they will ask details about your personal lives(any children, married, etc)..it's just part of getting to know each other. If comfortable and asked, I might would say "I have a s/o and we've been together x amt of years" but if not, just don't say anything. Many people keep work and personal lives separate and I don't see a problem.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  13. Visit  Caribbean Character profile page
    0
    Quote from Ruby Vee

    Some people may be religious conservatives and/or closed minded -- you're going to find people like that everywhere.
    Including on nursing message boards.
  14. Visit  dykely profile page
    6
    I can relate. On all accounts. I grew up in the South (in a very strict Southern Baptist home). One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was coming out to my parents. After that I decided that I was going to live my life true to my heart and wasn't going to "pretend" for anyone. For me it is simple, although I know not everyone is in this place. When my co-workers are talking about holiday or weekend plans, I do too- mine just involve "me and my partner" or "my wife and I". I live in a very different community now than I did then. I now, thankfully, live in a diverse and culturally accepting culture (Eugene, OR) and that makes it a little easier to talk about. I haven't had any negative experiences from my co-workers at all. I will say that I don't typically "come out" to my patients. After all, it's not about me- it's about them and their new baby!

    I have worked on a PP/NB floor for 4 years and just transferred to L&D about 3 months ago. I will say one HILARIOUS encounter that happened on my very first day of orientation. We were leaving and clocking out at the end of the shift and the CN (who is just like a little fireball of energy) comes up to me and all in one breath practically say..."SO, how was your first day? You got a delivery, that doesn't always happen. But did you get a chance to check her ? Could you find her cervix?" I replied "yes, I checked her, but by the time I did she was complete, so no- I didn't find her cervix bc all I could feel was baby's head" TO WHICH SHE REPLIES...."that's ok, your first dozen or so vag exams really you are just getting used to having your hand in a woman's vagina." Me: "ummm, nope....that's NOT a new thing for me. I'm well used to it at this point!!!" She just turned bright red and was like "oh, oh, oh.....well yeah, there's THAT..." It was a funny encounter that I will probably remember for the rest of my life.

    Good luck to you in finding your way with your co-workers. I'd be happy to talk about any experiences you encounter if you find you need a sympathetic ear along your journey :-)

    Holly
    dykely@yahoo.com
    RunBabyRN, loriangel14, ChristineN, and 3 others like this.


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