“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, he has written for POPSUGAR, Narratively, Longreads, Catapult, Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Lamda Literary, and elsewhere online and in print. His first book, a memoir titled High-Risk Homosexual, is forthcoming in January 2022 with Soft Skull Press. He currently lives in Queens, New York.
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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 is a part of me, even after so many iterations of faith and years of living in an adult body, that is waiting for punishment, waiting to be banished from the Garden.