One of my friends at work asked why I was at work on Wednesday – he assumed I’d be participating in “Day Without A Gay” and would’ve called in gay. Of course, the first response that popped into my head was “How very dare you?”
I must say, the idea of a day without gays was appealing initially – who doesn’t want an excuse to skip work? But on further reflection, I couldn’t figure out what it hoped to accomplish. I work for a very progressive company that has long provided same-sex partner benefits and supports marriage equality for all. As a middle-class, middle-management gay with a relatively stable job, I could certainly have called in gay – but everyone already knows I’m gay (including the many other gays and lesbians I work with) and the company is one of the “good guys” as it were. So what exactly would my not showing up on Wednesday have meant?
And not spending money? Again, nice idea – but what about those of us who already vote with our pocketbooks? (And, yes, I carry a pocketbook – what’s your point?). I generally do my best to avoid patronizing businesses that are anti-gay or have other unpleasant political leanings. But I live in SF – we’re not exactly bristling with Walmarts or Cracker Barrels anyhow… And I wouldn’t be spending my money at such places regardless.
Meanwhile, the gays who remain in the closet because they fear losing their jobs (it is, after all, legal in most states to fire someone because of their sexual orientation); or who live outside of major urban centers like SF or NYC and have limited choices as to where they’ll shop; or are living paycheck-to-paycheck and don’t have the luxury of taking a gay day; how can they participate? And how do they benefit from the rest of us not showing up for work?
Anyway, far be it from me to criticize (HA!)… Like I said, the idea of calling in gay for the day is appealing (actually, maybe I can call in gay for a week or two…). But I’d rather see events that are both more inclusive and have some more specific and concrete goals.
Oh, and for those of you who did call in gay, can you let me know what happened on the Judge Judy on Wednesday?