Being Gay and a Male Nursing Student

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  • Specializes in Cardiac-Thoracic, Med/Surg.

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442 Posts

Specializes in ICU.
RShieldsSN14 said:
I'm aware that the words 'Gay' and 'Nursing' may somehow go hand-and-hand for some, and others may find it comical, but I've found it quite uncomfortable being gay and a male, nursing student simply because people tend to treat you differently-whether that is not being taken seriously or socially treated like one of the women nurses and/or techs.

Although I keep my personal and work life separate and I have a passion for nursing, but many people still seem to pick up that "vibe" then judge me accordingly. Sometimes I feel like I have to work harder than the other students simply because many people tend to associate gay men with a long list of stereotypical humor and cruelty.

If there are any other gay, male nursing students OR Nurses out there, share your coping mechanisms while in class and/or on the job.

I think the best advice I can give you is that if you don't make a big deal out of it, nobody else will either. I've worked around a couple of gay male nurses didn't see anybody treat them differently simply because of their sexual orientation. If somebody treats you poorly because of who you are then take a mental note of the type of person they are and do your best to stay away from them, other then that don't put much thought into it.

nurse2033, MSN, RN

3 Articles; 2,133 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU.

Just be yourself and act professionally. If you set off gaydar because you're gay, well there you go. I don't see a problem here. If your coworkers are unloading on you a little too much that is a question of the boundaries you set, not your orientation.

Specializes in Oncology.

Sometimes women can be catty and mean, so I find males in general a breath of fresh air! There can often be WAY too much estrogen on a typical nursing unit. Some of my favorite coworkers from my last unit were guys, and a couple were gay. It didn't matter to me, or to other nurses that I could tell. I agree with the other posters about keeping private things private, because that goes for everyone, but other than that, be yourself. I'm sorry if people are judging you. I promise you that somewhere--and you will have to find that unit/place--it will be better.


25 Posts

For what it's worth, I just finished my CNA curriculum at our local CC where I will hopefully be attending the ADN program soon. There was a guy in our class, who ended up being in my sub-group for clinicals. He and I were the only 2 guys out of ten students in our clinical sub-group.

I never really heard the other students say much about him until we were finished with the classroom portion of the program and into clinicals. I think during 6 weeks of clinicals, I heard 1, maybe 2 comments from the other students supposing that he was gay. I heard FAR more commenting going on about his failure to show up to class on time and the probablility that he would not make it through CNA clinicals due to his punctuality problems.

Long story short, none of us cared about his sexual orientation but people DID notice his lack of professionalism as evidenced by his constant inability to show up on time. Gay: Nobody cared. Unprofessional: People cared.

seanynjboy, BSN

225 Posts

Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Supervisory, HEDIS, IT.

Let's start out by saying I am 28, gay and have been in healthcare since I was 16 years old, working for 10 years as a pharmacy technician in both hospital and retail pharmacies, a pharmacy tech instructor at Pima Medical Institute and worked for Odyssey Hospice as a patient care secretary. I am not flamboyant, but I am not a "jock" stereotype either.

I'm sorry people judge you for being gay or treat you differently. That really does suck. I've never really had any run ins with anyone for being gay but only being a guy and being a nurse.

Just yesterday in clinicals one of the patients wanted a female to help her to the commode. So I just politely told her I would find someone for her. There are some people who do not want male doctors or female doctors. It is just their preference. You are still doing what you can to help them by granting their request.

Oddly enough, I didn't have ANY "problems" when I did my OB clinical (other guys in my program did, they aren't gay). I saw a vag and a section when I was on L&D and each patient was like SURE come on in!

I'm sorry I couldn't have been more helpful. I just wanted to tell you about my own experiences.



22 Posts

So far I've had no trouble with being gay and in a nursing program. This is my second one I'm in because I had to transfer schools. In my first one all the girls loved me (hey, I can't help it!) We were best friends and I always had people to study with. They didn't know I was gay, but when they found out, we became even better friends. And my guy roommates didn't care at all when I came out to them. I haven't really had the chance to interact with anyone at my current school, but if they don't like me, screw them! I am who I am, and I can't change it and won't. The world is a much more accepting place that I pictured it to be when I first got to college. It's not a perfect place, but you'll find allies wherever you are. Best of luck!!


35 Posts

Like an above poster said. Please don't set off the gaydar; that's annoying to us guys since 80% of the class are already filled with women and we don't need more added to the percentile

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

7 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

I've had both coworkers and classmates who are gay (male and female) and to be perfectly honest no one else really cared about their sexual orientation because it has nothing to do with the quality of healthcare provider you are. As another user mentioned that if you come off as overly flamboyant then you may draw some negative attention to yourself but as long as you are a professional in school or the workplace then you should be fine. If you are being harassed or bullied in the workplace based on your sexuality (or for any reason) you need to report it to your manager and to Human Resources because everyone has the right to feel safe and free from harassment in their workplace.

!Chris :specs:

seanynjboy, BSN

225 Posts

Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Supervisory, HEDIS, IT.

Ditto ? Yay for the gays in nursing school...we keep the girls from killing each other :p

I find it hard to be myself, and still live down those stereotypical "flamboyant" expectations of the girls/women I find myself in classes with. Nursing school will be difficult, but as I go to a Junior College (population of about 6,000 students) the odds are that I will more than likely have known a few of the enrolled from before this semester. If that is the case, then I hope to become friends with a few and participate in group studies... If my last Nursing School experience is any indication of what I have to look forward to then I will not make many friends or participate in group studies. I will be left to my own devices. That is a sucky realization, but in the end I am doing this for myself and hopefully to make the lives of the children I plan on having (surrogacy or adoption) better. Grunt, Grin, & bare it all.... It will be worth it they say.


55 Posts

I am about to start applying to direct entry programs and have been considering this a lot. Everyone says men have an advantage in these applications because there is a need for male nurses...but not as much for gay male nurses. Has anyone heard this? A lot of my research and experience I have on my resume relates to LGBT issues, but I am thinking of excluding that info to maintain my cover and potentially increase my chances.

Thoughts anyone please? Thanks!


67 Posts

In school I felt very discriminated but more so from my fellow peers. Most my classmates were African and very homophobic. They would give me those looks that could kill but at the end I graduated and the girls seemed to be more open and friendly. As a male you get more favor from the teacher they like to see men in the field from what I was told by a professor.

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