More gay

I wonder if I should present as “more gay” at work. I’m not even sure what that would look like, but the question has been provoking me ever since the Unitarian Universalist Association began a concerted effort to change the culture (of the workplace as well as the whole movement). Much of the focus is on race, but not only is whiteness privileged, so is heteronormativity (whether one is straight or not; i.e., gay people also make choices that are heteronormative), cis gender expression, higher education, and upper-middle to upper economic class.

I have some colleagues who appear to be totally free of “work casual” expectations of how to dress. I’ve been subject to dress codes at previous jobs, and didn’t like it, and while I reject the idea of a dress code, I still tend to reach for unremarkable. As a fat, older gay man, I’ve often fallen into the “wear dark baggy clothes” trap, and I’m trying to get out of that. I used to have quite a collection of earrings, but I no longer change them since I switched to surgical stainless hoops. And I used to wear rings on occasion, but most of them don’t currently fit on my fingers.

What I have been doing is wearing bracelets and choosing some brighter colors in clothing, as well as paying more attention to fit. The most obvious way in which I don’t conform to the work casual vibe is that my clothing reflects my working-class background. (My father owned his own business and owned property, but he did agricultural work and manual labor his entire life.)