When I was in high school, I worked part-time teaching swimming lessons to kids at this swimming school that had several locations on Long Island. After a few weeks of teaching at one of the locations, I realized that the staff was 80% queer! It was comprised mostly gay boys, but also a sprinkling of bisexual girls who wore clothes from HotTopic and listened to Sublime (oh, how the suburbs made us cool) and of course, myself.
This was startling to me, because gay culture was not something that was exactly celebrated in the burbs. But at Saf-T-Swim of Commack (nope, didn’t change the name), Cher’s upcoming tour-date was water-cooler conversation, so to speak. But when I went to one of the school’s other locations for some professional development, I overheard snickering about how one should be careful not to drop the soap in the showers at Commack.
My theory that swim schools attracted the gays due to the dress code (and that swimming is a pretty gay sport to begin with), didn’t hold up. So why the high concentration of gays at my workplace? Was it that I had been given the tip about the job opening from my gay boy friend, and that similarly the gay numbers increased through word of mouth? But why is it that some places without an obvious gay appeal attract a higher concentration of homos?
In my current position as part of a cohort of interns at a cultural institution (which I will keep anonymous and mysterious for the time being), 4 of the 5 of us are women, 3 of those women are queer femmes (and the other attended my all-women’s/mostly lesbian college with me, and I’m sure has kissed a girl before, or at least considered it). Before starting my job, I didn’t know more than 3 queer femmes (who identified as such) in all of NYC! How is this even possible?
So, I’m throwin it out there — What is the concentration of homos at your workplace? Certainly being out and having a finely tuned gaydar helps you notice what others may miss... But if the numbers are especially high (and you don’t work at a gay organization or in a women’s studies department), why do you think this is?