AI: Queer Jobs
I am currently working a job that I probably wouldn't even have known about if I didn't identify as queer. I met my boss through queer friends, and a huge part of our clientele are gay men. 2/3 of my company's employees identify as queer (okay, there are only 3 employees). I love working for a company in which I can be openly myself, especially after 8 years in a more limiting office environment.
We often look at queer identity as being a limiting factor in employment, due to discrimination and other factors, and it often is. However for some it can also open doors in some places, or lead us into careers we would not otherwise have considered.
Has your sexual orientation or gender identity changed your career path? Were those changes positive, negative, or both? Has a queer identity opened doors for you that you would not have expected?
Great question! My answer is yes, absolutely. I became interested in anthropology because I was curious how gender and sexuality varied in different parts of the world. My current research could probably be done by a straight person, but I find that rapport is established really quickly with my informants because we are all queer (I had one informant ask me before we even started takling if I was gay, and when I said yes he said good because that meant he could be more honest and "more silly" with me). They are a little less guarded talking to me because they know I understand where they're coming from, so being gay has opened doors for me.
Conversely, I know a few queer people who have had issues with jobs in academia because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, but I'm not super worried about job prospects in the future at this point.
I once had a coworker think I was gay. He commented that there were a lot of pretty girls in my city and that it must be good for a single guy like me. I told him “I’m not much of a ladies man.” And for like four months after that he was weird towards me. I never found out until a new hire told me this guy told him I was gay. At the time I got inappropriately indignant about it. Now I’d be fine with people thinking what they want about me as long as it didn’t affect my work prospects.
Which, based on things I’ve read from the gay community and the people within my field (automotive repair), it almost certainly would.