For this assignment, I interviewed a friend her later 30's of identifies as a lesbian women. In the interview I asked her to discuss some of her thoughts, feelings and experiences related to her work and career. Our interview started with a key question faced by many GLBTQ individuals when it comes to their work life - Is 'coming out' at work a good idea? She reflected on an early experience of hers when she was about 18 and starting a new job. She said that it was not obvious that she was lesbian, so she decided at that time she wasn't going to discuss it since she had a strong conviction that straight people don't have to 'come out.' However, she was unsure if she were to be asked by her employer or fellow co-workers, if she should (or would) tell them. The company she was working at during that time was very big, as she describes, and she felt there were bound to be homophobic people there. She debated whether she should just risk it; or, should she just stay in the closet? At the time, she says she was 'out' to all of her friends and that her familly even knew she had a girlfriend.
Due to her need to reflect on this issue she faced - which could potentially have major effects on her career and work life - she realized that for her the same rules should apply to coming out at work as they do to coming out anywhere. That being; don't come out when you think doing so would be unsafe. Also, as horrible as it was, she was already aware that, depending on where a person lived, it might actually not be against the law for an employer to fire you for being gay or lesbian. This was a very serious consideration and something she knew she had to look into before deciding on whether she would come out or not. Living in places that it is totally illegal to fire someone for their sexual orientation, which would give you protection in that area, could play a large part in this particular decision for a lesbian individual such as herself. Our interview then...
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