Lesbians (LGB) in OB Nursing
- 0Jan 5 by PunkRockRNLAI 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.
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- 6Jan 5 by Esme12 Senior ModeratorI 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.
- 4Jan 5 by kloneTotally 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.
- 1Jan 6 by smartnurse1982I 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.
- 2Jan 7 by bebbercornMy 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!
- 4Jan 7 by fetchQuote from smartnurse1982It 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.)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.
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.
- 3Jan 7 by Ruby VeeQuote from Esme12I think the OP is talking about her co-workers, not her patients.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.
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.
- 1Jan 9 by RunBabyRNI 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.