by Chloe Patterson
First of all – I am a lesbian. In other words, a woman who loves women, sexually, romantically, and emotionally. And this week, the Supreme Court heard arguments to decide whether LGBTQ employees like me can be fired based on their sexual orientation. This case will ultimately decide whether myself and other queer Americans deserve basic rights, or if we deserve to be fired just for who we are. I know there are a lot of straight people in upper management, and if my tally is correct, there is exactly one lesbian here and she is me. So before things really go south, let me just say now — please don’t fire me because I’m a lesbian. Fire me because I’ve been a terrible employee for the last three years.
To be honest, there is a good chance the Supreme Court will decide that discrimination on the basis of sexuality is legal. But please, if they do, don’t send me out the door because I love women. Send me out the door because I have never arrived in the office before 10 a.m. despite our 9 a.m. start time, and refuse to answer calls on Fridays.
Now, I know you’ve fired some of my peers in the past for behaving unprofessionally in the office…and to be honest, I have a worse attitude than all of those former employees. If you must, let me go for constantly muttering, “I fucking hate this place” under my breath on walks to the bathroom. Not because I like to kiss women in different, darker bathrooms.
Just so we’re clear: I don’t want you to fire me! I need money! But, if you have to fire me, don’t say it’s because I have a live-in partner that I travel to a cabin in Maine with semi-annually. Say it’s because I single-handedly got our office banned from all Hilton Hotels and their affiliates after last year’s Christmas party.
There are a lot of things I choose to do while employed here — ignore a lot of emails, complain about our lack of work-life balance, get my tarot cards read professionally in the middle of the workday that one time because I was pretty sure my lack of confidence was a creation of my own anxiety but wanted to make sure before I did anything drastic…but I DIDN’T choose to crave the embrace of a woman with whom I can share my darkest, deepest fears — I was born that way.
LGTBQ Americans already deal with harassment, microaggressions, and internalized homophobia on a daily basis. Shouldn’t those things be enough? Shouldn’t we have the right to a discrimination-free workplace? And shouldn’t I be allowed to bring my own dog with me to work every day and call her the office dog? No? Well, I do.
Some queer women are inspirations to the community, doing work for the betterment of all of us — owning and operating queer spaces, writing queer stories, mentoring LGBTQIA youth…I am not one of those women. But I am one of those women who would like to keep my job in spite of the fact that I’ve seen The L Word three times through. And while we’re on The L Word — no one here understands my complaints about season six when Shane’s five-season character arc is completely thrown away. Is that not enough punishment?
It’s terrifying to think that in a few months, I could legally be fired just for being gay. There are so many other things I could legally be fired for already! So one last time: please don’t fire me because I’m a lesbian. Fire me because I’m a lesbian who fucked your wife while on the clock.
Will choosing to continue to employ me, a lesbian, change my attitude about my job? No. Because choosing to employ me, a lesbian, is actually the moral and ethical thing to do considering I am equal to my peers in every other measurable way…unless you’re measuring work ethic, product, and professionalism.