Ask Amanda: Construction Site Concerns

Dear Amanda,

I work for a construction company and work with mostly straight guys.  They know I am gay, and for years it has not been an issue. Recently a very handsome and young new employee was hired and somebody joked asking “Would that work for you?” I agreed that it would.

Now there are stories going around regarding proctology exams performed  by me on the new employee. I am used to being the butt of jokes (sic)
however, I feel bad for the new guy and feel partly responsible for the teasing he is now getting, and of course he is not happy with me either.

What can or should I do?
Not-In-the-Closet Carpenter

My Dear Mr. Carpenter:

Goodness, how butch – a real carpenter. But Amanda digresses.

You are in a difficult spot and the solution might not be much fun at first but will, in the long run, work out very well.

First of all, I hope you now realize what you can say in response to stupid questions from your co-workers and what you cannot say. They sound pretty evolved if they accept you as you are but some of their red-necks are showing in the fact that they would take the response to the next level and put you and the newbie into the situation they have. Trust seems to have been eroded and Amanda hopes you have learned from that.

Secondly, Amanda would sit down with the new guy and explain exactly what happened and make sure he knows you didn’t mean any harm by what has transpired. He may not wish to hear what you have to say at first but it would be a very good way to mend the fence with him. At least you will have tried. Make sure he knows that what has turned into something uncomfortable really began as a compliment to him and assure him that you are not looking for anything from him except a good working relationship (and certainly not a proctology exam).

If you can pinpoint one of the ring-leaders of the rumor, Amanda would also talk with him and let him know how uncomfortable things have become for you and that it was not really fair what happened.

From this point on Amanda would recommend never talking about anyone within reach of your tacky co-workers.

Now, with all that said, how does one keep their mind on driving nails, setting beams, and snapping plumb lines with all those hunky construction workers around? Not that Amanda has ever had a construction worker fantasy – but really?

Kiss, Kiss, Amanda

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