Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

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Old Gregg
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
somethingdemure wrote:
sparty99 wrote:No. No one cares that you are gay or will hire you because you are gay. Unless you are applying for the Legal Aid HIV Awareness attorney job or something. There is no gay diversity point. It is a lie. Unless the hiring manager is also gay and thinks you are attractive, then there might be a boost. Otherwise, there's reallly no boost. You might try lavender law next year. To network.

However, you should still come out of the closet. But not for the reasons why you state. It is 2013. There is no need to be in the closet in this day and age. Once you come out of the closet, which is really easy to do, you will be more confident. You won't have to hide who you are to your friends and family. You need to live your life for yourself. You are an adult. Once you come out of the closet you will feel more open to meeting other gays and you won't make redicilous comments about not relating to the "gay lifestyle," when you are factually speaking, gay.


This post is crazy ignorant. Of all the things straight people say about being gay, talking about how freeing, confidence-building, and EASY it is to come out is just the worst. Honestly, if you had to come out yourself and had an ounce of self-awareness, you'd recognize that coming out is an intensely personal, life-changing event that could never accurately be described as EASY.

As for OP, there are way better reasons to come out than your career. I'm happy being out at work, but I'm in one of the super liberal major markets; being homophobic in professional settings is gauche, so the homophobes generally keep their mouths shut. It's true that some firms will want to add gay lawyers to beef up the numbers they report, but it's also true that antigay discrimination is real, and not illegal in most states. And honestly, it's not hard at all to find white male gay lawyers; if anything we're vastly overrepresented in biglaw. So I think at best coming out is a wash with respect to your career, and your personal life, family situation, and future plans should determine when and how you come out.

That's probably true, but an employment boost would be a big motivator for most people especially if they kinda wanted to anyway. It's hard to relate because a sexual preference seems like such a small thing to someone's identity, but carries such a stigma. Any kind of net positive to employment would be somewhat of a motivator. Unfortunately, my admitting I like big butts and cannot lie does not help my employment prospects. To be fair, people weren't executed throughout history for liking big butts and not lying about it.

I guess what I'd say is if you are gay and some people won't like you just because of that, wouldn't you want to tell them to go F themselves? On the other hand, this seems like easier said than done and how would it come up organically if you weren't part of some organization? My understanding is most of the boost of being in the homosexual community are the diversity fairs that have since passed.

But it can't hurt by law (Idk if this is true in reality), so assuming the firms follow that law, it can only have no impact or help. Therefore, it seems to be parateo efficient?


Please shut the fuck up.

Pokemon
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Pokemon » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:40 am

OP, I read your latest comment, and their mindset sounded disgusting. Having separate ideas about female and male associates, and sending the gay guy with the female associates just seems way off. I believe this is a minority in biglaw. At the risk of myself also sounding like a complete imbecile, since this can be read as anti-southern trolling, but have you considered maybe going to NYC or something like that.

sparty99
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby sparty99 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:41 am

somethingdemure wrote:
sparty99 wrote:No. No one cares that you are gay or will hire you because you are gay. Unless you are applying for the Legal Aid HIV Awareness attorney job or something. There is no gay diversity point. It is a lie. Unless the hiring manager is also gay and thinks you are attractive, then there might be a boost. Otherwise, there's reallly no boost. You might try lavender law next year. To network.

However, you should still come out of the closet. But not for the reasons why you state. It is 2013. There is no need to be in the closet in this day and age. Once you come out of the closet, which is really easy to do, you will be more confident. You won't have to hide who you are to your friends and family. You need to live your life for yourself. You are an adult. Once you come out of the closet you will feel more open to meeting other gays and you won't make redicilous comments about not relating to the "gay lifestyle," when you are factually speaking, gay.


This post is crazy ignorant. Of all the things straight people say about being gay, talking about how freeing, confidence-building, and EASY it is to come out is just the worst. Honestly, if you had to come out yourself and had an ounce of self-awareness, you'd recognize that coming out is an intensely personal, life-changing event that could never accurately be described as EASY.

As for OP, there are way better reasons to come out than your career. I'm happy being out at work, but I'm in one of the super liberal major markets; being homophobic in professional settings is gauche, so the homophobes generally keep their mouths shut. It's true that some firms will want to add gay lawyers to beef up the numbers they report, but it's also true that antigay discrimination is real, and not illegal in most states. And honestly, it's not hard at all to find white male gay lawyers; if anything we're vastly overrepresented in biglaw. So I think at best coming out is a wash with respect to your career, and your personal life, family situation, and future plans should determine when and how you come out.


Who said I was straight? No one. Coming out is easy. Quit being a sissy and come out. It is 2013. No one cares. This isn't Uganda Africa. Come out of the closet and get some balls. Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions. Write an email to your friends, send a text to your friends. Then. Done. It's out in the open. No going back.

This is corporate america, you need to start playing "the game." If you need to fake it with other male attorneys, then "fake it" for 60 minutes. But you should come out, because there are many gay guys who like sports and who were in frats. If you came out of the closet and met more gays, you would see that there are many types. The reason why you were not hired was not because of your sexuality. The Partner wondered if you could relate with clients. You said you were introverted. Well, there you go. Be more extroverted at social events. Next time drink one or two beers to get you loser. Or do a better job faking it.

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Lwoods
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Lwoods » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:48 am

Pokemon wrote:OP, I read your latest comment, and their mindset sounded disgusting. Having separate ideas about female and male associates, and sending the gay guy with the female associates just seems way off. I believe this is a minority in biglaw. At the risk of myself also sounding like a complete imbecile, since this can be read as anti-southern trolling, but have you considered maybe going to NYC or something like that.


I would believe it based on a few anecdotes and statistics I've heard about the Dallas market (not sure how much better other Southern markets are). It seems like a "good ol' boys" market where racism and sexism abound. I worked for a major firm in NY (with notorious "shark" litigators) that brags about it's diversity, including the LGB attorneys. I don't think this is uncommon among NY firms. Similarly, I think LGB status could be considered an asset in DC, Chicago, SF, and LA as well as a number of smaller markets in the PNW, Midwest, California, and NE.

But in the South...I think it could be a gamble. As others have pointed out, sexual orientation is not a protected class under federal law. As it is, Dallas firms aren't even hiring black lawyers; I doubt few--if any--would give a boost to anyone who was not a straight, white male.

Benefit or detriment, though, you have to do what is best for you and your own mental and emotional well-being. I've helped a couple friends through the coming out process as an ally, and each experience is different. You may want to get involved with LGBTQ groups just to see if you like the support (you may not), but you don't have to put it on your resume if you want to keep that separate from work.

You have a clerkship, so you should be able to shop around for a firm that's a better fit for you. Whether or not you disclose should be based on whether or not you would want your ideal employer to know. If you would prefer not to disclose, just make sure your genuine personality comes across generally to have the best shot of finding a firm that fits you.

Anonymous User
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:33 am

Lwoods wrote:
Pokemon wrote:OP, I read your latest comment, and their mindset sounded disgusting. Having separate ideas about female and male associates, and sending the gay guy with the female associates just seems way off. I believe this is a minority in biglaw. At the risk of myself also sounding like a complete imbecile, since this can be read as anti-southern trolling, but have you considered maybe going to NYC or something like that.


I would believe it based on a few anecdotes and statistics I've heard about the Dallas market (not sure how much better other Southern markets are). It seems like a "good ol' boys" market where racism and sexism abound. I worked for a major firm in NY (with notorious "shark" litigators) that brags about it's diversity, including the LGB attorneys. I don't think this is uncommon among NY firms. Similarly, I think LGB status could be considered an asset in DC, Chicago, SF, and LA as well as a number of smaller markets in the PNW, Midwest, California, and NE.

But in the South...I think it could be a gamble. As others have pointed out, sexual orientation is not a protected class under federal law. As it is, Dallas firms aren't even hiring black lawyers; I doubt few--if any--would give a boost to anyone who was not a straight, white male.

Benefit or detriment, though, you have to do what is best for you and your own mental and emotional well-being. I've helped a couple friends through the coming out process as an ally, and each experience is different. You may want to get involved with LGBTQ groups just to see if you like the support (you may not), but you don't have to put it on your resume if you want to keep that separate from work.

You have a clerkship, so you should be able to shop around for a firm that's a better fit for you. Whether or not you disclose should be based on whether or not you would want your ideal employer to know. If you would prefer not to disclose, just make sure your genuine personality comes across generally to have the best shot of finding a firm that fits you.



LOL. I work at one of those top NYC firms that promotes diversity, etc. You would not believe how hostile it is to LGBT people (and women, for that matter).

It's one thing for a firm to pay lip service to diversity; its another where the culture actively cultivates it.

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kalvano
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby kalvano » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:55 am

Dallas will either be very welcoming or very not welcoming. There won't be much middle ground. My firm is extremely open-minded, but I do know of several that are definitely more stereotypical. Which is weird, since Dallas is a very gay-friendly city.

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Lwoods
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Lwoods » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:LOL. I work at one of those top NYC firms that promotes diversity, etc. You would not believe how hostile it is to LGBT people (and women, for that matter).

It's one thing for a firm to pay lip service to diversity; its another where the culture actively cultivates it.


Touché, though at that point it could be based more on firm culture than market culture. I worked closely with two female partners. One felt impacted by sexism whereas the other didn't. I worked with a couple LGB attorneys, but as our conversations were primarily professional (beyond, "did you have a good weekend?"), I'm not sure what they encountered. I never overheard any inappropriate remarks, though.
Definitely still a long way to go, but I still get the impression it's much worse in less liberal markets. That said, the hypocrisy in NY can be infuriating as well.

Anonymous User
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:28 pm

Lwoods wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:LOL. I work at one of those top NYC firms that promotes diversity, etc. You would not believe how hostile it is to LGBT people (and women, for that matter).

It's one thing for a firm to pay lip service to diversity; its another where the culture actively cultivates it.


Touché, though at that point it could be based more on firm culture than market culture. I worked closely with two female partners. One felt impacted by sexism whereas the other didn't. I worked with a couple LGB attorneys, but as our conversations were primarily professional (beyond, "did you have a good weekend?"), I'm not sure what they encountered. I never overheard any inappropriate remarks, though.
Definitely still a long way to go, but I still get the impression it's much worse in less liberal markets. That said, the hypocrisy in NY can be infuriating as well.


It's not active discrimination like "oh, let's fire the gay." It's more like the partners tend to pick certain kinds of associates to "go grab drinks with" or "party with," and after a while of this, you can start generalizing who those associates are (straight males, usually white, with a smattering of attractive women). Over time, these bonding experiences start to bleed into work, where you're excluded from conversations because you have no context, or where you miss the opportunity to here a candid comment from a partner, or even worse, you're not given the opportunity to work on certain projects because you're not really in the partner's mind (after all, you weren't the one getting shitfaced with him on Friday night).

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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:20 am

OP here:

Thanks, y'all are confirming what I already assumed. Any "bump" for sexual orientation would not overcome any perceived deficiencies with respect to an introverted personality. My friend also wants me to consider other advantages that I may receive by being involved with organizations like Lavendar Law, but I think I would want to get involved in those types of organizations after I am professionally settled and comfortable with being "out."

Anonymous User
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:28 pm

As someone who was out on my resume and in my cover letter during OCI, and applied only at big firms in Dallas and Houston, I can say that being out was never a liability, and actually helped me over perform my mid-level grades. I summered at a large law firm in Dallas this past summer, and if anything, being gay and out was a huge asset because I was able to connect with the few other gay attorneys at the firm (some of them extremely high up).

That being said, all I did was put that I was in OUTLaw on my resume and cover letter, so it didn't take too much to be "out," but it was definitely worth it from my point of view. (And no, growing up in rural Texas, it is not easy to be out.)

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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:12 am

Yes, just be prepared to discuss it. If you end up at a firm with a large presence or just particularly a gay attorney, it is likely they will bring it up in some method.

Most firms these days bite on diversity, it will help you if you are trying for biglaw in those regions. It can make a difference between close candidates, but you're not getting as big a boost by being a gay white guy as a straight black woman.

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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:18 am

How are you supposed to be "out" in an interview anyways? If you don't fit America's ignorant stereotype of gay men as "effeminate" how will they even know if your identity as LGBT doesn't rule your life? Would putting you've done research on LGBT issues on a resume/cover letter do it or would they just think you're a straight dude that's researching it?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:How are you supposed to be "out" in an interview anyways? If you don't fit America's ignorant stereotype of gay men as "effeminate" how will they even know if your identity as LGBT doesn't rule your life? Would putting you've done research on LGBT issues on a resume/cover letter do it or would they just think you're a straight dude that's researching it?

Basically if your resume indicates some particular interest in LGBT issues, people will probably either wonder or assume - so researching LGBT issues could do it, but more likely being a member of outlaw, interning or volunteering for LGBT causes, that kind of thing. Obviously straight people do those things, too, but seeing those things will probably raise a presumption.

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Arbiter213
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby Arbiter213 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:50 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Courts have applied it to sexual orientation....

Courts have applied it to gender roles/expectations. You can't fire a woman for not conforming to accepted gender roles by being too butch or a man for being too effeminate. Courts have not applied it to actual sexual orientation.


The EEOC's office of legal counsel has been suggesting that it might though. Definitely not yet, but perhaps soon.

09042014
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Re: Would coming out of the closet help my employment prospects?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:50 pm

Do we have any evidence that firms actually think being gay makes you a more desirable candidate?

Just because they are gay friendly and try to recruit gays, that doesn't mean there is any boost. Firms do the exact same to women, but there is no boost there either.

A lot of the diversity stuff is to convince the gays and women they already want to hire to come to them.

Though the ability to go to diversity fairs is a positive.




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