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Sad! 48% Of Gay Americans Are In The Closet At Work!

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayLGBT


How sad! To think there are so many people who everyday hide who they really are out of fear … It breaks our hearts!

A new study reveals that almost half of the college-educated homosexual Americans working today won't say that they are gay in the workplace. The study compiled by the Center for Work-Life Policy reveals that many of these individuals chose to live a "double life" - staying in the closet at work while being "out" in their personal lives.

The reasons for this vary, but mostly these people are fearful of their co-workers perception of themselves. However, this "silent minority" in the workplace is doing serious harm to themselves as the study also found that closeted employees are more likely to report job-related stress and isolation. This results in a lack of productivity and job satisfaction and more often than not, people quit their jobs over these feelings.

Wow. You know, as a community we know we've come a long way, but to hear this just makes us realize there is still such a long way to go. Not only to policies and political practices need to be changed, but also the stigmas and perceptions themselves. These poor people are afraid of something that should feel perfectly natural to them and perfectly expectable to the rest of the world. It's a shame we still haven't gotten to that point yet - but we will!

[Image via WENN.]

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43 comments to “Sad! 48% Of Gay Americans Are In The Closet At Work!”

  1. 1

    I am pro equal rights , but what does one's sexuality have to do with the workplace?

  2. 2

    I'm not gay but I'm in the closet about a lot of things at work. I'm all for you being yourself but I don't go around talking about my sex life etc. Being a professional at work does not involve your personal life.

  3. 3

    Makes Me Sad….Happy to be in canada and not have to hide it!!

  4. 4

    Psst…hey fuckstick guess what…90% of people don't talk about ANY aspect of their sex life at work.

  5. 5

    Sexuality shouldn't be a part of the workplace, hetero or homosexual. Stop trying to force this agenda.

  6. 6

    This piece fails to address whether "hallf [the places that hire] college-educated homosexual Americans working today" bother to ask about one's sexuality. It also doesnt seem to recognize that in most professional envioronments, people work. They dont sit around talking about their sexuality or their sex lives. Neither my partner nor I have ever been asked at our workplaces, nor do we inquire about our co-workers. I can guess who is and I am sure they can, too. But honestly - who cares and who wants to hear about it one way or the other? As for someone who is in the closet because of fear, maybe they should talk to HR, their boss, or a shrink. If one is working in an environment where people of either persuasion are sitting around talking about their sex lives - straight or gay - maybe they should think of looking for a more professional place of employment where people work, not gossip.

  7. 7

    Your actions have made them embarrassed to be gay. They don't want to be thought of as some pedophile who dresses like a 6 year old pageant contestant or gets giddy when he watches a MattyB video.

  8. 8

    in the workplace you have to comply with certain standards. I have to take out piercings and wear business attire…if I were to go to work looking like I do in my off time I would be fired. I would rather make professional money than work at hot topics. its the same gay or straight. as well I agree with other posters that no one talks about their sex life and the smart people avoid speaking of their home life in the ofc.
    get over it perez and learn what standard ofc decorum is

  9. 9

    Re: tallguy10 – I agree 100%. My partner and I are the same way. It is not an issue. I have been what I call out since 1986, but of course I do not go around proclaiming I am gay. I just behave as I always do and I have never had one problem anywhere because of my sexuality. Public, church, or in the workplace

  10. 10

    I dont think sexuality should be something that is discussed at work regardless of what it is. Why should anyone feel the need to talk about it anyway! You are in the work place.

  11. 11

    Don't forget all the gays who are in the closet full time, the gays who are in hetero marriages, and all the gays who call themselves bisexuals (all men).

  12. 12

    they should fuckin stay there.

  13. 13

    Why the F should they? I don't run around telling people at my work I'm hetero? Perez you need something else to occupy your time other than this obsessive notion of yours that 90% of the world is in the closet.

  14. 14

    I'm not out at work myself, even though I'm sure a lot of people suspect, although no one has yet asked outright if I'm gay or not (if they ask, I'd have no problem saying yes). But I also keep my personal and professional life separate. There's a lot of things about me I choose not to share with my co-workers that have nothing to do with my sexuality. I also don't associate with these people after work hours, as I'm not at work to make friends, so I really don't think who I'm attracted to should be an issue, because I could care less as well who my co-workers sleep with.

  15. 15

    Last I heard talking about sex at work landed you in sensitivity training or the unemployment line. I don't feel any need to proclaim my sexuality at work why should gay people need to do it?

  16. 16

    Yes, it's sad. But it's easy coming from someone who wouldn't be able to hide it if they were paid to. And doesn't need to hide it because they rake in 20 million a year. Jerkoff.

  17. 17

    sexuality and sex life are two totally different things. a person can be openly gay in the workplace WITHOUT talking about their sex life. get real haters

  18. 18

    Seriously Perez, I am not so sure there is evidence to back up that "closeted employees are more likely to report job-related stress and isolation" and that it is directly related to not coming out in the workplace. People need to be careful about lots of things that are personal in the workplace, it isn't just who you partner up with. There are a lot of people that enjoy non-mainstream activities or lifestyles, work isn't a place to wear your personal stuff on your sleeve.

  19. 19

    Piggy, why don't you recommend that gays in the work place wear arm bands, much like the Jews in Hitler's Germany? Or maybe tattooed numbers on the arm if the office has a dress-code. Production levels would soar because the need for attention-seeking flamboyancy would be eliminated. Leave your Pork pie hat at home with your mama.

  20. 20

    I'm 100 % out to all.

  21. 21

    I wanted to add: it's up to the individual. I certainly do not discuss my personal life at work.

  22. 22

    As a lesbian business woman, i feel like people like PEREZ hilton make was want to hide our sexuality… haha. NO but honestly, it has not room in the workplace and business and pleasure don't HAVE to mix in order for me to be completely HAPPY with my life… I'm at the point that i want the damn marriage equality stuff to be passed so i can hear REAL news on the news…

  23. 23

    Sexlife and Work don't mix- What's wrong with you dude? This whole "I'm really gay and really proud" stuff is sooo in everyones face 24/7 its becoming cliché. I'm straight and proud, but I don't go around shoving it down everyone's through. SHUT UP!

  24. 24

    I agree with what everyone is saying…. sexuality shouldn't be part of the workplace. I don't know if the people I work with are homosexual or heterosexual and guess what, I DON'T CARE. As long as they do their job thats all that matters.

    I think when Perez and others act like minor things like this are these huge injustices it takes the impact away from things that ARE sad, discriminatory, and unjust!

    EQUAL RIGHTS 4 ALL!!!!! (and professionalism in the workplace!)

  25. 25

    Oh good grief people I know you guys can't be this dumb get a f*cking clue. The article is talking about "being out" at ones workplace. Not about ones sex-life. There's a huge difference between the two. There's a sad majority of gays that are closeted at work meaning their coworkers don't know that they're "gay". They try to blend in, be straight, not draw attention to themselves.

    That's what Perez and the article are addressing. That gays aren't comfortable letting it be known they are gay at work. It's living a double standard and that in itself is sad. No one human being on this planet should have to live in fear like that.

  26. 26

    Re: Tallahasseejoe – FINALLY!! a smart gay man.

    whether you are straight or gay NO ONE needs to know who you sleep with or like.

  27. 27

    Re: ProudGirl88 – We hate Canadians……go fuck off!

  28. 28

    Well then I am a closet heterosexual. I don't discuss my personal life at work. I wonder if there aren't more closet heterosexuals than closet homosexuals. A lot more homosexual co-workers announce their sexuality to me than do heterosexual co-workers.

  29. 29

    I can understand this. I am gay and generally out of the closet…but at work, I work in a private Catholic healthcare organization in a state where there is no legal protection against bias based on sexual orientation. So I kinda have to keep my trap shut.
    I am fortunate though that I work with a pretty tight-knit group, so they know and its no big deal, which I guess means I really AM out at the workplace but…it still has to be more like an open secret, unfortunately.
    Also, for people who say "what does one's sexuality have to do with the workplace?" this is a dumb question if ever I heard one. Straight people have the freedom to talk about who their spouse is, their engagements, weddings, dating life, etc - to their hearts content. Gay people cannot always do this comfortably. A statement as simple as "My husband and I went to the Zoo on Sunday" is not something a gay person could necessarily make without raising an eyebrow or two in some settings. I mean, really. Its not like gay people are seeking the freedom to discuss the nitty gritty of their sex-lives with random coworkers.

  30. 30

    I want to provide another example.
    The President of my organization ocassionally hosts wonderful gatherings at her home, with her husband. Invitations frequently say things along the lines of "Hosted by [the president] and [her husband]." These invitations are sent out to mass groups.
    There are places with no legal protection where a gay person could be FIRED!!!! LEGALLY FIRED!!! For doing this same thing.

  31. 31

    Good. its a place of work and it isn't appropriate for anyone to broadcast their sexuality, gay, straight, bi whatever.

    This isn't high school, grown adults control their environment 100% and if they do not believe their employer would look favorably on their sexuality then they should find employment elsewhere.

    I work with several gay and bi co-workers. Its not a big deal. They don't come in wearing a rainbow flag they come in do their job like everyone else.

  32. 32

    To add to Justicebro 21 - it is not just about sex. What about same sex benefits at work like dental, health, life insurance? Canadians have those benefits and same sex marriage is accepted and legal because we are civilized. No us Canadians will not fuck off, we will continue to set an example for equality.

  33. 33

    To the people saying being gay and one's sex-life are two different things, yeah, that's true to an extent, but sometimes it does come down to one's sex life. From my personal experience, once I start telling heteros I'm gay, my sex life starts to become a topic to some of them. Some of the conversations in my workplace have become sexual–people start asking me personal questions. It's human nature–people are curious about what others do. If they're not prying in your personal life, they're most likely visualizing it. And don't get me started with other gays at work who know I'm gay.
    All sex-life aside, I'm more worried more about the repercussions of being out than people all in my business. I live in a state that doesn't protect me if I'm fired for being gay, and I think that's probably the case for a lot of gay and lesbians.

  34. 34

    luc76985 - Thank you I couldn't have said it better myself.

  35. 35

    Gay, straight, dabbling in both- should not have anything to do with the work place. Ones sexual preference should not be discussed or even be a factor in the work place. You are at work to do one thing: and that is work, get paid and support yourself. Your sexualy preference has nothing to do with your quality of work- Perez you really need to get off this agenda and stick to what you know. Personally I don't want to know about my coworkers sexuality or details of their private life and I wouldn't want them to know about mine either.

  36. 36

    Why would you preach your sexuality at the workplace? That isn't the place to talk about it, moron.

  37. 37

    Re: Wenchtits
    I don't even know if this is worth replying to, or commenting on any further. But I'll try to make it clear one more time. Being "out" at the workplace is not about "preaching" or sharing "details of my private life". And if you work in a setting where you are forced to be a soulless, robotic automaton, I am sorry for you. I too had those jobs at one point.
    This is not about waving rainbow flags (FFS!).
    This is about the FACT that I could be terminated without cause from my position if I introduce my PARTNER as my PARTNER, rather than as my "friend" (which is both awkward and a lie). I take a BIG risk simply by bringing him with me to the formal events I am obligated to attend from time to time.
    So if you are going to sit there and tell me, "keep your sexuality out of the workplace," as if you have any clue, then you need to STFU because you don't know what you're talking about.
    Expecting me to leave my partner out of the conversation completely and forever would be as drastic as you never talking about your spouse at work again. Or your children, or your grandchildren. Or your ex-wife. Or your wedding plans. Or where you are going on vacation together.
    Are you getting this?

  38. 38

    Re: luc76985 – If you're at risk of being terminated because you are gay - then your company is doing something wrong. That's called discrimination and, um, they can't do that. Not legally anyway. However, I feel that I can relate to the issue of having to 'closet' your lifestyle. As an atheist in the south, I avoid speaking about faith in the workplace because it would be disruptive (not because of me, but because of the way these issues are generally handled by sensitive [see also: intolerant] people. Believe it or not, some people in management aren't exactly "PC" and do take small details into consideration for promotions, raises, etc. I could be secretly branded a "devil-heathen" or something. Even though it's not in writing, it could still affect my career. So it's not just gays, really.. it's any kind of social minority in the workplace - gays, women, religious, people of color, etc. It's sad but we gotta make that paycheck. Be thankful we do have certain laws that protect us, and make sure you report any place of employment that violates them.

  39. 39

    Re: eilliM
    Actually, I am going to correct you - sexual orientation is not a protected class in many states - over half of them, I believe. And one could be fired for being gay…legally. Now, many large organizations do have policies which disallow discrimination based on sexual orientation, which are legally binding, but not all.
    I do not believe my company WOULD fire me for being gay - after all, like I said, its an open secret as is, and no one has come after me. But technically, they could. Its a Catholic organization.

  40. 40

    I fall into this category. Although I'm a proud gay man who is completely open in my personal life, I choose to keep my lifestyle out of the workplace. Many co-workers are quick to jump to conclusions and assume the worst. Additionally, I've found many of my co-workers are immensely nosy and like to intentionally pry. Due to these reasons, I feel it is best to keep my private life separated from my job. Besides, I work not to make friends, but to make a living.

  41. 41

    STFU, PEREZ. I'm equally for equality for the GBLT but honestly… your website is like whoring out the cause to a whole new level. Just give us celebrity news, and shut up about this crap. I understand teens are getting bullied - THATS important news. No one gives a fuck about your winning self cause maybe its better to keep it to yourself in the work place. Not even 'straight' people go to work and come out and are all "HEY WORLD, IM STRAIGHT." … gays don't have to be "HEY WORLD, IM GAY"… It's the work place, you shut up and do work. Thats what people are paid for…nothing else! So don't turn a mouse into an elephant.

  42. 42

    I'm also pro equal rights, but just like politics and religion shouldn't be discussed in the work place, neither should someone's sexuality. A person is not defined by their sexuality, it is merely a part of their personal story. I think gay's should be able to be married because they aren't gays, they're people. Calling them gay makes them sound like they're different and they're not, we're all just people who work to have a little fun before we die and hopefully we all die knowing we loved and were loved in return.

  43. 43

    That's sad I've never even thought to think about what my work mates sexual preferences are. I never knew I was supposed to announce mine - I'll make an appointment with my boss tomorrow to let him know I have a fetish for small breasts.