Category Archives: saying no

August 30, 2007, 5:02 am

To be or not to be… out

When I do lectures about lesbian/gay/bisexual (LGB) issues for students, I often discuss the challenges of “being out.” I explain that it is relatively impossible in our heterosexist culture to just make a declaration one time that one is LGB and be done with it. Society asserts that everyone is heterosexual, and most people operate from that default. As a result, most LGB folks have to come out over and over again.

This also holds true for LGB faculty members. There are many methods and venues in which a LGB faculty member can be out in academe, which lead to a constant series of choices to be made throughout one’s career. So far, I have been employed as an assistant/associate professor in academe less than 10 years. In that time, I have had to decide:

  • whether to come out to the search committee
  • whether to disclose to the chair/dean, ask for accommodations for a partner or push for…

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