Stereotypes and prejudices about gays
Stereotypes and prejudices about gays

People like to think in boxes, we can’t do anything about that. We stereotype and have (unconsciously) many prejudices. Because as a gay person you are a hairdresser, steward or nurse, right? How do you deal with these prejudices?

Hold your ground in a man’s world

I myself am a service engineer on diesel locomotives and wagons, in heart and soul, but as you may know from my previous blogs, I am also gay. I have to admit, in the beginning I was nervous to work in a real man’s world in the port of Antwerp.

Vulgar remarks accompanied by vulgar jokes, daily business in the port. I quickly learned that “proving yourself”, by responding and standing up for yourself, keeps it fun at work. Yet I can also imagine that not everyone dares to seek confrontation and sometimes it is better not to respond.

Boundaries at work

I believe it helps to set clear boundaries for yourself and to be clear to your colleagues. Certainly when they make remarks that may come across as hurtful to you. It is important that you continue to feel good at work. I myself indicate in a direct but polite way which comments I cannot appreciate, often I also share why I cannot appreciate a comment because people often do not consider the fact that your sexual preference is who you are, not what you choose to be. 

Sometimes I wonder if it is necessary to prove yourself as a gay person in a man’s world. In fact, the answer is no. Among younger colleagues I also have the feeling that I do not have to prove myself, I have this feeling especially with the somewhat older colleagues.

But what is it like for me personally to work in such a world?

The answer is: super fun! I get along well with my colleagues and I have a very nice job where I do things that are different from other people’s work!

All my colleagues know that I am gay. I am very open about this, because then I can be myself. Some colleagues never ask anything about it and others show a lot of interest about what it’s like to be gay. For example, they ask questions about relationships, sex, etc. I personally like to tell about this openly.

How would you handle a similar situation? Would you take the trouble to prove yourself extra because you have a passion for your job? And would you openly answer questions from your colleagues who show genuine interest?

Hug,

Bert

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Bert

24 years, always cheerful and enthusiastic. Service technician in heart and soul with a passion for photography and likes to have a drink with friends!

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