My Name’s Not Katy Perry, O.K.?


We are not like Katy Perry.

Also not like Katy Perry? Zooey Deschanel


 At my last job, given the nature of my organization, I found myself in the odd position of being closeted at work.  All my co-workers were gay; we worked right next to San Francisco’s “gay district” The Castro; oh, and then there’s the fact that yeah, we were the gayest organization in San Francisco.  No, literally.


 It’s not that I was ashamed to be straight — I can’t help that I was born this way, it’s just that my sexual orientation never really seemed like a relevant topic of discussion at work.    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I ever pretended to be gay. I was out to my co-workers, who all knew that I had done more than just experiment with heterosexuality in college, but members of the public who would come into our office knew no such thing. They all assumed I was gay, and I felt no burning need to correct them.  I quickly learned that flirting with any men who came into the office was wasted effort — and also, mildly creepy. But the girls at the front desk were awfully smiley and chatty towards me — and it would have been rude not to return the favor.  I liked to imagine that my ambiguous sexuality made me mysterious.  Thought-provoking even.  Like that riddle about where to bury the survivors of a plane crash if they crash in international waters (duh, you don’t bury survivors, silly).

Then one day, I was working with Elaine on making packets for our sponsors. I’d explain it, but it’s boring and you don’t care. Elaine told me that she needed info from one of our bank sponsors ASAP.  I told her about how I had met someone that weekend who worked at that bank.”Where do you work?” They had asked.  

I had respond, “oh. I uh, work at a non-profit,” which I was sure had sounded like jibberish to Mr. Financial District I-banking Analyst. And gee, isn’t that funny?

“Do your friends think you’re gay?” Elaine suddenly asked me. Scott swiveled around in his chair, and I felt their eyes probing my startled ones.
“Uh..well…no, I don’t think so, I mean, a lot of my friends are gay…why, do I ACT gay?” I stammered, taken aback.
“Uh…I meant because you work here…” Elaine’s voice trailed off into laughter.
“Oh.” Then I was kind of disappointed. I wanted them to tell me how when they found out I was straight they were stunned, and had sent their gaydar to the mechanic for a tune up. Instead, later on in the day Scott just played Britney Spears for me, and talked to me about hot boys, while Elaine lifted heavy stuff so I wouldn’t have to. Couldn’t be straighter to them. I guess I wasn’t such a riddle, after all.

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