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7 Undercover Homophobic Situations You'll Experience in the Workplace and How to Deal With It

7 Undercover Homophobic Situations You'll Experience in the Workplace and How to Deal With It

7 Undercover Homophobic Situations You'll Experience in the Workplace and How to Deal With It
brianasalese

Although homophobia is a thing we’d all like to believe is a figment of our glittering imaginations, it's still alive and well. In most popular cities, the type of homophobia experienced is a bit more under the surface. Even in a place like San Francisco, in an office where 100% of the people working there are liberal and a sizable portion are LGBT, there still manages to be, what I like to call “undercover homophobia” or UH for short.

ugh 1

Get it? Here’s some UH instances we’ve spotted, and how to deal with them.

UH Instance #1: One of your coworkers “makes a face” when you say, “I’m gay,” after sharing a story about your girlfriend to your new co-worker who clearly couldn’t decipher if you meant your romantic girlfriend or your platonic girlfriend.

How To Cope: Follow whatever statement you’re trying to make with, “And I only said that for clarification, since nobody would question if you were to talk about your ‘hypothetical boyfriend,’ but me referring to a girlfriend over and over again is slightly ambiguous.” Make sure to get this into the conversation before the said face-maker walks away. Despite the fact that this will likely result in an awkward laugh, it’s honest and to the point, and it’s definitely way more professional than turning to the hater and saying, “WHAT’S GOOD?!”

UH Instance #2: A coworker learns your gay (despite your outward appearance or not) and says, “OMG I would have never known you were gay! You don’t look gay at all.”

not amused JLo

How To Cope: Smile and say with a slight sarcastic tone, “Oh, you don’t need to say that. No two gays look alike, just like no two heteros look alike. I would have never known if you were gay or straight either!”

UH Instance #3: You add in a story about you and your girl to a group conversation, but it quickly fizzles, and then they change the subject.

disappointed zoey

How To Cope: Keep telling your stories. Don’t let someone defeat you and belittle your voice. Your coworkers will only get comfortable with chatter about queer couples if they keep hearing chatter about queer couples.

UH Instance #4: You experience awkward comments about your short hair. Things like, “Are you planning on keeping it short?” or “When did you decide to cut it and why?”

smiles lucy hale

How To Cope: Never act annoyed by these questions. Actually, act uncomfortably cheerful, so they pick up on the fact that what they’re saying and implying is unwanted and rude, but that you’re painfully trying to be professional.

UH Instance #5: You are intentionally and obviously left out of any conversations that have to do with clothing, or beauty of any sort.

i see what you did there

How To Cope: See your way into those conversations. Mention where you like to buy certain items of clothing. Give your 2 cents about your skin care regimen or favorite makeup brands. Don’t allow the people in your office to think that just because you’re a queer woman, your opinion on feminine things isn’t valuable.

UH Instance #6: Someone is complaining about their boy problems and looks at you and says “You’re so lucky.”

disappointed model

How To Cope: Despite the fact that there is some truth in the fact that we don’t have to deal with males in our relationships, we still have to deal with another human in our relationships, and that doesn’t discount that we may understand what they’re dealing with. So, when the time open up for you to talk, politely say, “I get where you’re coming from, even if that’s not my immediate reality.”

UH Instance #7: People take the wrong side in national debates about LGBT rights, and say stupid bigoted shit they think is “just an opinion” like, “But I can kind of see where Kim Davis is coming from.”

smh

How To Cope: Tread lightly because you want to remember that you must stay professional. The best thing you can say here is, “It’s probably not appropriate to discuss sensitive matters like religious beliefs or politics in the office, since often times you’ll end up offending someone, or worse, hurting their feelings.” And if you’re feeling like being ballsy add, “Like maybe mine.” If that doesn’t shut them up, talk to HR.

These are just a few UH moments we’ve experienced in the workspace, but we’d love to hear from you guys! What UH moments have you had to endure?

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Briana Gonzalez

<p>A proud, queer, Latina, identical twin with a penchant for brash humans and things that make me cough laugh.</p>

<p>A proud, queer, Latina, identical twin with a penchant for brash humans and things that make me cough laugh.</p>