LGBThursdays: How to Come Out at Work

If you’re LGBTQIA*, coming out to your employers, coworkers, supervisors, and other staff on your team is definitely a personal choice. Some LGBTQIA* people may never feel the need to bring it up, for whatever reason. It may not ever come up in conversation or become an issue. However, many people feel the need to be honest about themselves, or may have specific reasons that require them to be honest – for example, if a transgender employee is facing discrimination for this reason by another coworker, and needs to tell their supervisor, or if a person in a same-sex relationship wants to invite their significant other to a work get-together.

Coming out at work is tricky business, because LGBTQIA* individuals still face workplace discrimination despite all of the community’s recent triumphs. Even in states, cities or counties where discrimination for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal, employers can find other reasons to fire an employee to hide behind the truth: discrimination.

If you’re like me, and you want to enter a professional workforce, but you’re really looking to work long-term at a place where, if there’s a work party, you can invite your same-sex spouse, or if you mention your wife and kids, nobody throws up their arms, these tips are for you:

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Meet the Owner of DamiAnimation, a Visual Arts Blog

I knew of Damian Alexander, who also goes by Dami, before I really even met him. I found his blog, DamiAnimation, while I was searching for my university on the blogging platform Tumblr in the hashtag ‘WSU.’ I was unaware that Damian was a transfer student in my year. I just thought his artwork was beautiful, and I enjoyed his movie reviews.

Fast-forward two years, and I finally interacted with Damian in person. We both became members of the campus literary journal’s editorial board. I was the Fiction Editor and he was the Layout Editor. Soon after, we started taking a course together called The Freelancer, based on learning about freelance writing, editing and design work.

I had a chance to sit down with Damian in the art studios of Parenzo Hall, where he was finishing up some work in his sketchbook. I was able to look through a proof copy of his children’s book, which he is looking to get published, called I Want a Kid and I Don’t Care. It was wonderful to sit down and get a look inside this artist’s mind, especially from the perspective of having read his blog for several years now.

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LGBThursday: Is There a Such Thing as “Gay Fashion Sense?”

If you’ve ever looked at an effeminate-looking guy with excellent fashion sense and thought to yourself, “He must be gay,” then you’re guilty of doing what I think we all sometimes do – stereotyping based on clothing and appearance. I’m no stranger to being on both sides of this, so today I’m going to get to the bottom of the “gay fashion sense” debacle, debunk some myths about how LGBTQA people dress, and discuss how my fashion style plays into my sexual orientation.

Two things that are near and dear to me often come together in the same sentence – being LGBTQA and my fashion sense. I’m openly bisexual, and most people who encounter me on a personal level know that I am. I also wear as many colors as I can in a day, and was known as “The Tutu Girl” at my high school. I never thought of these two things as connected, but it’s strange how often people ask about my orientation simply based on what I wear.

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LGBThursday: Coming Out in College

For this first installment in the brand-new LGBThursdays, I’m going to write about coming out as LGBTQA* in college/university. It’s a very individual experience that people have different outcomes with, but I’d like to talk about potential ways to come out, how to deal with negative reactions and all the other nuances of coming out in a new place.

LGBThursdays are going to feature topics that are of interest to LGBTQA* people, such as coming out, dealing with negative reactions, relationships, discrimination, and advice. Want to submit a question or topic for advice? Go to the “contact” page here.

Coming out in college is hard. Maybe not as hard as coming out in high school, because college is supposed to be a more open-minded place – after all, you gotta pay to be here, right? That doesn’t mean people should underestimate how scary and hard it can be to come out in generally, never mind while you’re also juggling classes, extracurriculars and making new friends.

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Crafting the Perfect Gift: Cheap and Unique Ways to Express Your Love

Okay, confession time: my girlfriend (and yes, to my politically correct readers, we use the term ‘girlfriend,’ but you are free to say partner as well, ’cause it makes me feel like we’re partners in crime and that’s kind of cool) and I have been dating for 6 years, and we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. We never have. Valentine’s Day, to me, means giving chocolate or cards to my friends and gifts from my parents when I was a kid. My mom used to give me a locket every day on Valentine’s Day, because lockets are my fave and they’re in abundance around the time.

We do, ironically, celebrate February 15, which has meaning to us – it’s the anniversary of our first kiss. So what do we do on Feb. 14? Nothing. We spend time with our friends, mostly. I make chocolate covered stuff for people, and bake cookies, or whatever.

The trouble with celebrating Feb. 15 is that our yearly anniversary is only a month beforehand, and it’s always an expensive ordeal. We’re doing photo shoots, going places, and we spend a lot on dinner and after-dinner drinks. And we’re also young, and saving for our future. So who can help but want a cheap, but creative, way to express your love to someone, whether it’s romantic love or not? This year, and every other year, I try to find ways to show her I love her beyond just a hefty diamond with an even heftier price tag.

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(A photo of the front of my card to my girlfriend.)

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