Warning: I was in a mood and this blog is serious…no humor at all.
I never ever, ever, ever, thought I would utter these words again or feel the need to take this drastic measure, but it is back to the closet for me after vowing I would never go to that dark place again. Unfortunately, reality has come into sharp focus for me and it will be the sacrifice I need to make until I can safely make it to retirement.
It is ironic that when I have talked with employees represented by a union there is a perception that management is treated much more favorably than non-management. I beg to differ. States like Washington are considered “employment at will” states, which essentially means a person can be fired for any reason, doesn’t have to be a good one. Of course in every single union contract, I have ever dealt with there is a concept called “just cause” which basically makes the “at will” provision null and void. In other words, management cannot terminate someone for any reason, they must have just cause.
Washington has laws to protect discrimination, but try proving that, thus back into that dark, scary place because eventually there is a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel.
Although I get a really good vibe from the place I hope to get an employment offer from, I’ve talked with my wife and we aren’t going to take the chance. I won’t bring her to the company events. I’ll continue to play the pronoun game and I won’t proudly display our wedding picture on my desk.
Instead, I will relish the freedom I have as an out lesbian author and let my alter ego feel the wind and sunlight dance across my face. As Annette Mori I will be free. The groups I belong to will be my safe place, my go to escape to be who I truly am, an out and proud lesbian. I’ve already taken down my other Facebook page under my real name because there were too many connections to my Annette Mori page.
In some ways, I feel like I am letting my lesbian sisters down. I feel we are in a strange place in our history and I hope I won’t be judged too harshly for the decision that my wife and I have made. Will I ever lie about being married to a woman…emphatically no. That would cross a boundary that I am not willing to take, no matter what those consequences are. I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge if it jumps in my path.
This was a heart-wrenching decision for me to make and I truly hope that someday, no-one will ever feel the need to follow in my footsteps and go back in the closet. I have hope that we will return to a brighter future and history will right itself again.
I am positive it is not possible for others to beat me up any more than I am currently doing to myself for my cowardice and unwillingness to be a bad ass woman. It has caused deep sadness and shame. I am proud of the one time in my life that I was able to work the system from the inside when negotiating a contract before sexual orientation or gender identity was part of Washington’s nondiscrimination laws. Arguing to add nondiscrimination language to a collective bargaining agreement that included sexual orientation was a tricky affair at the time, especially to a devout Morman CEO. Luckily Registered Nurses were in short supply and a business case was made, but it was an uphill battle. My normal tendency to swim against the current will temporarily wither on the vine. I applaud those proud sisters who hold the rainbow flag high without regard to dramatic consequences, I will seek my voice in prose because I still have my writing to allow that small amount of rebellion.
For all the lesbian authors out there, I believe there will be a whole new set of stories to write as the United States takes two steps back before we progress forward. Let’s write those stories to mark this dark time in our history so that we never forget it.
If you want to check out my books, especially The Termination, which is shockingly predictive of where we could be heading (okay maybe a tad exaggerated), just click the links below.
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20 thoughts on “Back In the Closet”
I am truly sorry you have to do this. However, look at it as going ‘undercover’ for a time, not ‘back in the closet.’ And, think of all the wonderful ideas and stories that can come about because of it.
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Oh yes, definitely fodder for new books
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Live suck sometimes
Don’t go to far in site your closet
You don’t belong there.
Thanks! I hope not to be there too long…three years will pass in a jiffy
I am sorry there is such a need to do this but I understand. This is the new reality that we are living in. I hope the light at the end of the tunnel is close and the journey to it is swift.
I’m so sorry you have to go “undercover”. Hopefully retirement isn’t that far off. You and your wife know what’s best at this time. Good luck. Always have your back.
Annette it truly pained me to read your blog. In this day and age no one should have to endure such a gut wrenching decision.
As my wife put it we will always have your back. You and Jody deserves so much better. Our thoughts are with you, your lucky to have such a supportive wife. I will always be not only your #1 fan but your friend. Peace Out my friend.
What a shame. I am truly sorry. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in such a welcoming environment you’ll be able to out yourself soon. No one should judge you. We all have to protect our families first.
Thanks…the silver lining…material for new books
Washington? Wow, not the state I would have guessed. How frustrating and sad, and let’s hope very temporary!
Still love you for the person you are. You need to do what you need to do. If anyone has a problem with that, they don’t have YOUR best interests at heart. Love to you and Jody. You will always have support from here
I feel for you and, believe it or not, I understand your anguish. I did a series of short stories recently that dealt with women in the U.S. in situations where they couldn’t be free to be out completely…or at all. Sadly, even in this country, even before the latest election cycle and certainly since it, it’s reality for a lot of lesbian women. The response to the stories has been overwhelming…and heartbreaking, just as yours is. I wish you much luck and pray that you can walk in the sun as your true self again very soon.
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While you’re appeasing the neanderthal-minded remember to stop & caress the roses as you continue to write & live your life of genuine love❤
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Thank you for writing about how you draw your lines — your emphatic refusal to outright lie about being married to your wife while you simultaneously accept the need to let people assume you’re straight. In my past career, I basically needed to keep myself a ghost, a shell, so I could best support my clients. I kept most of my life shielded from colleagues, too. We make choices we need to make. I wish you well in making this choice, and in keeping yourself and your soul strong and healthy as you stand partially in the closet again. Thank you for writing, and for creating a written world about us all.
This truly sucks but is totally understandable. I don’t out myself at work unless someone asks. When someone asks if I have kids, I tell them I have a wife but no kids. I found it helps to let people know you first before they find out you’re gay because if they like you it’s easier for them to see that you’re just a regular person. Good luck in your new job!
As an agnostic, I have an intellectual relationship with “god”. I was talking with my wife over the weekend about the nature of faith. “…the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is a gift. It cannot be earned. It cannot be faked.
Trust is not faith.
Why is that important?
Trust is the pen light that will get you through this dark time. But faith? Faith is the blindfold that will allow you to enjoy the journey.
Faith is what I wish for you, my friend. Because I know, without any doubt, what you are experiencing right now is the beginning of an amazing journey. Fortunately, I don’t need faith. I can see it clearly.
Do you trust me?
Do what you need to do for your family’s well-being. Those of us who have the liberty to do so will still speak out for all of us until you are able to come back out! 🙂