Coming out to co-workers

Nurses New Nurse


I'm a grad nurse starting work later this week. I chose to work in the area where I did my final clinical placement, which was 3 months long and preceptored. At this time, I made the decision to not disclose my sexual orientation because 1) I wasn't sure if I would continue to work there after I graduated and 2) my preceptor made a few homophobic comments in the first few weeks that I was there and, as I would be working with her every shift, I did not want to cause any awkwardness between us. However, as I will now be there as a permanent employee I would feel uneasy completely hiding my personal life from my co-workers. Ideally, I would like to mention it "in passing" a few times in a few weeks/months- I don't want to have to wait until I am friends with them and come out in a more formal way. However, this is the issue: I'm currently single, so I would not be able to mention anything about a partner. I do not 'look like' a lesbian, and I don't think that anyone would suspect. So, my questions are: how have you come out to co-workers? How have co-workers come out to you? Any advice?

Specializes in,mental health,geriatrics.

I think that one huge mistake most of us make, myself included, is worrying what other people will think of us. I used to be somewhat proud, but God had a plan to get me over that. Yes, I am a Christian, and I have learned that humility is a gift earned in a difficult way sometimes. I have two adopted sons who have been in all SORTS of trouble- legal problems, theft, probation, etc. I used to worry about what other people thought, until circumstances beyond my control took it out of my hands. I live in a fairly small city, and all of my friends and acquaintances knew about our issues. Some were supportive; some were judgmental ("well, I would have known how to parent the child...") We did our very best to parent them. We have one other son, a surprise biological son, who has never had any such problems and is a bright and successful young man. Re: the other two, I have actually had well-meaning friends say such hurtful things as "I wish I had had the chance to spend some time with him..." Oh my God, we were loving parents and did our very best- we did what parents do- give love, have boundaries and limits, the same as we do with our biological son. The things that happened just happened.

Both boys are maturing now and settling down into fairly safe and happy lives. After years of grief, hair-pulling, tears, sorrow, suicidal name it... I have reached the place where I have learned to cope with the poor choices my two sons have made, AND I have learned NOT to worry about what other people will think. They will think whatever they think. They may say differently to your face, but they will think what they think and that is the truth.

You find out who your real friends are when everything comes out. I don't believe in keeping secrets. I don't need anyone for a friend who isn't a friend for REAL. If your life is less than storybook perfect or different than expected by others, trust me, you will find out when the rubber hits the road who your real friends are- and you really don't need the fair-weather friends.

Specializes in Telemetry Med/Surg.

I think it all has to do with your working environment; if you're working with die hard christians, hush, but if you are working with young, "who give a care" type people, let it out.

i was working one night, talking about how i felt so bloated and i thought my uterus was going to fall out" the respiratory therapist looks at me and HE says "that's why I'm gay, i can't deal with >>>> like that" I busted out laughing and said, "i couldn't deal with it either" I even went as far to ask him, "how can you work with

I think it's all in how comfy you are in working with those people whether or not to say something.

Regardless of what happens, you have a friend in me. My mom grew up in a hardcore chrisitian home and 3 of her very best friends are gay males. We aren't all bad, just use your judgement.

Specializes in Acute Mental Health.

I think you'll know how to slip it in when you feel comfortable. I don't talk about my personal life at work but every once in awhile I say children...... and that's it. I really want to keep my personal life and my professional life far apart. I personally can care less if my coworker is gay or straight or what religion you might be. I love that this is a profession that brings so many different people together. :yeah:

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education.

You will know, as others mention, when the time is right. This is a part of your life, and hopefully your coworkers will want to share in your life. It really isn't anyone else's place to judge or be critical. At least on the unit where I work, a lot of my coworkers are very openly out.

Also, be careful about assuming all Christians share the same beliefs on this. I personally am very committed to my Christian beliefs, which are pretty specific about hypocrisy and judging others. I have enough wrong with me to fix in this lifetime without trying to judge others. I want anyone in my life who is kind and compassionate to others, whatever their faith, color, sexual orientation, etc. My philosophy is pretty simple- avoid mean people, lol. It's probably naive, but I hope that in the future people will care more about what's in someone's heart and less about what does/doesn't go on in their bedroom.

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