Saturday, May 27, 2006

Coming and Being out...Evan & legal realities

Evan's experience of being out is very different from the other boys. Evan does not give off a gay-vibe at all. Girls are attracted to him. He is heavy, but he is cute, and he is relaxed and comfortable talking with them. (It does not of cours occur to them to wonder why he is so relaxed with them.) Boys on the other hand are warry of him. When he tries to flirt with them they wonder if he is flirting or testing. Does Evan want to date them? Or does he want to stalk and beat them?

Evan believes he gets better treatment from the world in general because he does not seem gay. He may be right.

He does also suffer from it though. He does not usually come out until after he gets to know people, which means that it is not unusual for him to have begun to develop a friendship with someone only later to realize he is dealing with a bigot. He has girl friends who are confused. They think he is going to hell and all, but they really like him. One said that she thought it would be a lot of fun if they could do something with their boyfriends; as long as they don't go out in public.

Evan tells me that his counselor says he suffers from internalized homophobia. I think he expected me to contradict her. I did not. I also have no judgment of Evan. My other boys were threatened or hit because they were gay. Evan had the $H*t beat out of him. Evan was a 17 year old, six-foot, 250 pound football player who was taken into protective custody because of the severity of a single beating. If Evan is nervous about being perceived as being gay by strangers, well, that makes sense. I find it remarkable that he is as comfortable as he is. I am proud of him for coming out to as many people as he does.

This morning Evan told me that he finally came out to a couple of girls at work (the ones who were flirting with him). They told him that he should absolutely not tell the manager/owner that he is gay. Evan asked me about it. The owner has told him that he would make a good assistant manager. "He can't just fire me because I'm gay, can he?"

Oh...my darling. Yes he can. This is a "will to work state." He can fire you for any reason. He does not even have to tell you the reason. He can even tell you that he is firing you because you are gay and there is nothing that you can do about it.

And Evan thought that the Pride celebration in June was just about having a party.

Another post on coming out: Being their mother

8 comments:

  1. It's so hard (reply to both posts). Tim had problems in high school, even in San Francisco, and when he followed me here, he was very cautious.

    He's completely out now, a little at a time and his employers has an outstanding record. No problem there, a couple with the customers but nothing too serious.

    He has been called names from passing cars while riding his bike.

    Adding you to blog roll - now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. rossecorp3:57 PM

    I don't know where you live, but here in Massachusetts, I guess I've become spoiled in my relative safety. I need to remember that it's not so easy in other places.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Texas is an at-will employer state as well. It was really hard for me to come to terms with as a thirtysometing when I moved here. I ultimately joined the more powerful teacher's union and came out anyway, but it was hard.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't look gay either and often I have had to convince people I was gay after I came out. I desperately wanted to walk the world as an out lesbian, but i look silly in a dyke-a-do.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tim has thought sometimes about moving out of state but then decides to stay.

    Even here in this conservative town, he's protected to some extent by state law.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry that Evan has to deal with that, it's still amazing to me how many bigots there are who are willing to act on their prejudices.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm always amazed at how strong people like Evan and my Hubby can be. When my partner came out to his parents we lived for weeks under death threats. When we were married here in San Francisco it was broadcast all over the country and we were interviewed. Again we spent the next few weeks under death threats.

    I am the more cautious one because of the experience but my partner has never been more resolved to be out. I look at this quiet gentle man and wonder where that strength comes from.

    It takes more courage to face that adversity, like Evan and Hubby, and come out as strong as they do.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yeah, in some states you can't, but not most. Sad fact of the matter is, he could be let go in a second.

    I commend him for the maturity he has.

    ReplyDelete

Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.