The other thing my research project has made me start thinking about is, with regards to my personal career, I’m possibly going to be running a risk. I admit I didn’t read any articles directly about LGBTQA librarians, just about serving LGBTQA patrons, but based on the reactions cited to patrons, I can only imagine that if word of librarians spread it could get awkward in some communities.
I’m a Northern girl, I really am. My desired location to end up in is the greater Seattle area (this was always true, to an extent, but the fact that my girlfriend already lives there has pretty much solidified it, and the fact that they have a reputably excellent library system is an added bonus) and Seattle is, by and large, pretty cool, though I’m not sure exactly how cool the suburbs are. Right now, where I am in my life, I come out to… some people. Friends, most of whom are cool with it (though some are like “but you’re bi, how do you know you wanna be with your girlfriend forever if you’ve never been with a man”), and my parents both know, although only my mom knows about my girlfriend specifically; I told I think three or four different people at orientation last August, mostly because they were talking about their (opposite-sex) partners and I just wanted to join in the fun and be able to brag about “my girlfriend” because I don’t always get to do so, although now after having been in class with people for a couple of terms, I’d be a little more hesitant to say anything specifically (the most horrifying thing that’s happened was in one class, someone openly advocated for beating their child) and a couple of the people who I work in retail with know, though not all of them (one of them, on Game of Thrones: “I don’t remember Oberyn being with guys, but I guess it’s HBO, they have to add in all that gay stuff,” followed by my: “actually, it’s very clear in the books that Oberyn is bisexual” – and really, the fact that they devoted a scene last season to Oberyn full-on explaining bisexuality did my heart so much good, but I digress).
But then there has also been the issue of a friend I had in high school, who fell out of touch with me for a variety of reasons and then wrote me a letter asking what was up. Initially I was kind of mad, because the falling out of touch had been pretty well on her and I had gotten to the point of saying “maybe it’s for the better, we’re different people now,” the friend being significantly more conservative than I, but at my father’s (who loved this friend) prompting, I wrote back. And I told her what was up, including my love of my life girlfriend. That was about two months ago and I haven’t heard back from her, and I can only assume… well.
I guess this is a giant explanation of why this research project has gotten me thinking: good grief, I hope that the library/library-related workplace I end up in is casual enough about accepting people that I don’t have to be constantly guarding myself.