I’m off to work on the bus today. Its going to be a good day; the sun is shining for the first time in weeks, I’ve got a bit of work to get done this morning, and then this afternoon, we’ve got a company barbecue – a few drinks paid for, a decent bunch of people for the most part, and I’ve told everyone (up to and including the CEO) that it’ll cost them beer to talk shop to me after the first pint.
And I’m wearing metallic blue nail varnish.
I’m not in the closet at work, but neither am I out of it. I think I present at the flamboyant end of straight, I wear a rainbow lanyard, and I’ve expressed my enthusiasm for taking a leadership role in the Pride Network that I’ve agitated for and that’s about to be announced, but I haven’t come out as… what? A cross-dressing pansexual? I can’t use that description; it invites a hundred more questions that require gender studies basics to explain, and my company is predominantly straight/white/middle aged/men and heavily ex-military. They’d understand, but my capacity for repeated explanation is limited. I’ll probably just go with queer. Or bisexual, and you can fuck off with the follow-up questions.
I’m wearing metallic blue nail varnish, and I don’t have the time, equipment or opportunity to remove it.
Our company’s big D&I awareness campaign (and the Pride kick off) don’t happen until next week – it’d have been really helpful if it had been last week, but today is definitely the day to start being neutrally out instead of neutrally in the closet. Low-pressure work social.
Also, I’m not the only gay in the village – there’s at least one other non-straight (but about 400 people are going to be at the barbie). There are definitely others, and I feel a really strong need to be visible for them. I’m reasonably senior and reasonably respected and disproportionately well recognised in the company, and I need to advocate for those who are less comfortable than I am. But it doesn’t feel very comfortable to me right at this moment.
I know they won’t care, but what if they do?
I know they’ll be supportive, but what if they’re not?
I know they’ll be respectful (or at least not intentionally disrespectful), but what if they’re not?
I know it won’t be career limiting, but what if it kind of subtly is?
And all this from an unspoken message I’m sending by wearing nail varnish FFS. What if I’d really gone for it and work a long, silky wrap skirt?
Oh well, that’ll just have to wait for the Christmas bash.
Wish me luck.