The other day, I heard a rumor that a co-worker of mine is gay. Actually, I've already heard that rumor but, the other day, I heard it from someone who is friends with him. Actually, what I heard was that he knows he is gay, he is having a hard time dealing with it, and that some of his (and my) coworkers have been "giving him a hard time" about it. To make a long explanation short, I'll just say that he has sought professional help. To do what, I don't know.
Ever since I started working for my company, I have always thought that he was gay. I just knew. Actually, I assumed he was gay until someone told me that he was not. I laughed it off. When I started working for the same team (no pun intended) as him, I was even more convinced that he was gay. Just some of his actions toward me were a bit "over the top".
His friend (also mine) said that he was coming along in accepting his homosexuality but because my co-workers (and his) have teased him about it, he has been having a difficult time "dealing with it". Although this is upsetting to me, it really isn't what is gnawing away at my mind.
Even though my company claims to be who they are, they really don't do much to foster an environment of tolerance. At least not in New York City. I have been in situations where someone has tried to hassle me about me. I have always put them in their place. I, after all, know how to fight. And, all the homophobes at work know that I do. Let's just say that I have never been or felt threatened. I know people have complained to our past store leadership about things said and done that are derogatory. I am yet to see any actions taken to teach tolerance or to even remind team members that inappropriate behavior toward anyone's sexuality will not be tolerated. I know of two incidents that supposedly were going to be addressed. I have never heard of any such addressing.
So, one thing that bothers me about my co-worker is that he did not fight back. I can't believe that he would not stand up for who he is when my other co-workers would hassle him about his sexuality. It bothers me that he did not know enough to approach the right people in leadership to help him deal with his co-workers behavior. For the record, this is the first time I am hearing of him being harassed. It is also the first time I have heard of him accepting his homosexuality.
But what really bothers me is... and here's the kicker... I don't care enough for any of them (the harassers or the harassed) to fight for him. I've been thinking about it and I think that part of me feels that he needs to do his part. He needs to fight for his right to live the way he wants to. I can't fight that battle for him. Nor do I care enough for him to do so. I'm I wrong? And what can I truly do for him? He hasn't confided in me. I would like to think that living openly and speaking freely about my sexuality would help him find the confidence to do the same. I still don't really care either way. Which is what really, truly is bothering me. Later.