Gay/lesbian nurses

  1. Hi; I've only posted here a couple of times (started out posting last year, then got real busy at work). I guess I'm a "lurker" because I mostly read the postings. Although there are many topics, I haven't seen anyone discuss gay men or lesbians in nursing. When I was in nursing school for my LPN (1984), an instructor (PSYCH!) said "I don't care if they don't consider it a disease anymore, I think it's just plain sick". Well, welcome to the world of nursing. That's how it was (or seemed to me ) for many years. Lately, either there is more tolerance or I just don't give a s**t anymore. I am interested in hearing experiences from other gays and lesbians as it relates to your work. Not necessarily all bad "nobody understands me" stuff..maybe some funny stories that will help our coworkers understand that we can laugh too!. Like the time I was hanging a 6pm IV while the patient was watching the news. There was a gay pride parade or something on. The patient was pretty disgusted and said "those d**n lesbians are everywhere". I just laughed and said "you got that right!" (I'm out but pretty feminine looking-they never guess!). Hope this topic is acceptable for this BB. Thanks, Cin
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   chrn
    Wow, I feel more of an outsider here than other places. So much for unity and supporting each other.
  4. by   Janet Barclay
    I don't think there was any attempt to ostracise, your post was directed at other gay and lesbian nurses. If you want to interact as just another nurse, and who cares about your sexual orientation, then c'mon in!
  5. by   duckie
    I agree with Janet. A persons sexual preference is not important here, no more than religion, the color of ones hair or how much we weigh. We are nurses, talking about what we do and venting our frustrations at times. You are welcome to post on any subject and I hope you do. Have a great day!
  6. by   Zee_RN
    I'm not sure what you wanted to discuss.... I didn't post a reply because....well, I don't really have one. What kind of reply are you looking for? I have no opinion. Your sexuality is your business. You're gay; I'm straight---so what? I have blond hair, you may have brown hair---so what?

    There are gay/lesbian nurses just like there are gay/lesbians in every profession. What's the big deal? Why have you taken offense?
  7. by   Ectopy
    I think there are some definite issues that crop up in regards to gay and lesbian nurses. Some funny, some not. Recently, a friend decided to host a baby shower for a co-worker. She ended up asking me, and others who know her well, if she should take down pictures of herself and her partner first. This is a question I never thought of and one that no straight couple would even consider. Also, probably half of all my conversation at work includes my husband. Now that I notice, I find this friend is very limited in what she can talk about as far as her home life. Sad. It really should be a non-issue, but apparently not.
  8. by   chrn
    Also, probably half of all my conversation at work includes my husband. Now that I notice, I find this friend is very limited in what she can talk about as far as her home life.....

    Ectopy; a very good point. Although nurses can say "it doesn't make any difference" or "we're all the same", there is a double standard. Everyone at work feels free to talk about their spouses but I have rarely felt comfortable talking about my partner. Seems like it's a guaranteed conversation stopper. I'm talking about things like "we went out to dinner last night" or "we are planning a vacation"-certainly not anything even remotely sexual, although straight women can talk about their sex lives to the great delight of everyone. I don't want to do that, just an example of double standards. Whenever I have been in an institution or agency where there was an openly gay patient, it was treated as a big joke. Maybe this isn't a nursing issue...but that's why I posted it in "off topic". Thanks
  9. by   sWolfie
    This is an interesting topic. I have talked with many gays and lesbians around the world about their experiences in their work place. I guess I am lucky since I don't live in a city. I've been "out" for over 10 years. When I decided to get into the medical field, I was uneasy at I said, this is a small hick town. To my suprise, when I first started in the nursing home where I am at now, many employees came to me and asked if I am gay. The next day I get to work, everyone knew....and I mean everyone. I was never treated different...cept by the employee who runs the housekeeping & laundry dept. Then I dated one of her employees for many years.
    Chrn, have you been treated different? I love hearing stories related to this subject.

    I'm not the type to go around shouting I am a lesbian and proud....but if asked, I will say the rainbows give it away. Everyone knows my girlfriend, she comes in often to bring us dinner, or coffee.
  10. by   chrn
    sWolfie; I have always lived in small towns too. While it seems that people have always accepted me and my long term female partner, sometimes it seems like it's hard to know for sure because I don't feel free to talk openly. The "don't ask, don't tell" policies referred to in another post and the "it's none of my business" attitude really only serve to put up a wall. I often feel that I will endanger the casual, friendly relationships you enjoy at work if I talk about my "real life". I'm not "flaming" and do not ever participate in public display of affection, I'm just talking about everyday things. Those who say it doesn't matter are kidding noone, it does matter. Only if I keep my mouth shut am I tolerated. Kind of a sore spot today, I guess. Thanks, CH
  11. by   sWolfie
    It's hard to sit back and listen to everyone talk about their husbands and wives, knowing you can't say "my girlfriend and I did this" etc.

    It took awhile for me to actually talk about my personal life like it is nothing where I work. I have heart to heart talk with many of the nurses and they ask questions...I have nothing to hide, and will never live my life in a lie again. I respect everyone and some gays/lesbians think you should hide at certain times...I have my views and never had a problem yet. I was lucky tho, everyone either knew me, or got to know me before they knew I was gay. Then they had a right to judge. Sure people are going to talk....what do you expect from a bunch of womyn.....LoL

    I don't show affection in public either. The Ladies I work with respect me for the fact that I don't throw it at them, that's not my style. They'll come up to me and ask "how's your girl today or is TK going to come in and visit". Like I said, we all have different views on this subject, that's what makes it so interesting.