“Passing” as Straight at Work Didn’t Protect Me from Homophobia
I privately couldn’t get over the fact that she’d even felt comfortable speaking to me that way.
My favorite part about working at JCPenney was getting to choke men.
Edgar Gomez is a Florida-born writer with roots in Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. A graduate of University of California, Riverside’s MFA program, his writing has been published in such outlets as POPSUGAR, Narratively, Longreads, Ploughshares, and The Rumpus. His memoir, High-Risk Homosexual, is forthcoming in January 2022 with Soft Skull Press. He lives in Queens, New York, where he is saving up for good lotion.
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Though the person in the skirt and I weren’t the same, when I saw them, I felt something I never had before at work: like I could be totally, completely myself.
We were two stereotypes—the sassy gay best friend, and the hyper-sexualized reporter—working at a place that highlighted our biggest insecurities.
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There will be as many different iterations of this storm, and the ones to come, as there are Houstonians. And we have to hear them—they’re what will determine our map for the next one.
It is no wonder that I am so in love with my bees. They fight for their lives.
Being left behind is not a disadvantage. It is an opportunity to grow and an opportunity to live life on my own terms.