I work in a regressive department in an otherwise progressive company. Attitudes change with each new hire, but some of the lifers in the department make it so the rest of us want to move on, like yesterday. As with the last ten people who have come and gone, I don’t see the three new hires changing team dynamics overnight.
I’m not out as an M/M romance writer to my department. My boss knows. My boss’s boss knows. I’ve told my best friend at work (who has since left the department) so she can talk me down from all of my paranoid delusions. I’ve told my Pride friends, and one or two others who have left the department.
I thought I knew the handful of people who knew, until I went out for drinks with another friend who asked, “When do I get to read your book?”
I replied, “You may not want to read it. You don’t know what it’s about.”
“Yes I do. Oh, and in related news, I finally figured out that domestic partnership page I asked you about last week.”
This friend left my department just over a year ago, which prompted me to get drunk in public for the first time since…ever. That’s how devastated I was to lose him as part of the group. And no, he’s not gay, and no, it’s not romantic. There are just some people with whom I click, and those people will be my friends for life, or until I piss them off to the point they never want to see me again. This dude is family, and the fact that he didn’t even bat an eye at the fact that I write LGBT fiction is one of the reasons why I consider him family.
He says this while we’re sitting with another guy who left the department almost two years ago, who either didn’t understand the segue or he also knows. This prompted me to wonder how many people know. How public has this gone while I’ve been trying to keep my head down and just do my job?
The thing is, I want all of my friends to know. I may have even told this friend in the fit of jubilation after I submitted to DSP, or that time I was drunk, or sometime at lunch… Truth is, I’m tired of hiding. I’m tired of living a double life. This is who I am, love me or hate me.
My boss reassures me that they can’t fire me for anything I do on my own time, but the company becomes more and more intrusive with every passing health screening and benefits election. I have health insurance through The Lemur, so I’m saving them money. They should get up off my back about my spare time.
Although I didn’t recover from the shock well enough to respond to my friend’s request to read my book, I hope we have a chance to talk about it soon. I wouldn’t make him read the romantic stuff, but he might be able to share where the first chapter is boring as fuck, and how to make it better. I used to think that was too much to ask from my work friends, but I have hope. I have so much hope for the next couple of weeks.
Hell, if they fire me, at least I’ll have time to write. ^__^