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.