Q: I am a 38-year-old lesbian, very femme, very out. I have a coworker I can’t figure out. We’ve worked together for a year and gotten very close. I never want to put out the wrong signals to coworkers, and I err on the side of keeping a safe but friendly distance. This is different. We are each other’s confidants at work. We stare at each other across the office, we text until late at night, and we go for weekend dog walks. Her texts aren’t overtly flirty, but they are intimate and feel more than friendly. I’ve never had a “straight” girl act like this toward me. Is she into me? Or just needy? Is it all in my head?
– Workplace Obsession Roiling Knowing-If-Nervous Gal
Five weeks ago, a letter writer jumped down my throat for giving advice to lesbians despite not being a lesbian myself. Questions from lesbians have been pouring in ever since — lesbians apparently don’t like being told who they may or may not ask for advice. Three weeks ago, I responded to a man whose coworker asked him if he might want to sleep with the coworker’s wife — a coworker who was “not [his] boss” — and people jumped down my throat for entertaining the idea because it is NEVER EVER NEVER EVER okay to sleep with a coworker and/or a coworker’s spouse. And now here I am responding to a question from a lesbian who wants to sleep with a coworker. Farewell to my mentions, as the kids say.
Here we go, WORKING…
Your straight-identified workmate could be straight, or she could be a lesbian (lots of lesbians come out later in life), or she could be bisexual (most bisexual women are closeted, and others are perceived to be straight despite their best efforts to identify as bisexual) — and lots of late-in-lifers and/or closeted folks don’t come out until some hot same-sex prospect works up the nerve to ask them out. If your coworker isn’t currently under you at work and you’re not an imminent promotion away from becoming her supervisor and your company doesn’t incentivize workplace romances by banning them, ask your coworker out on a date — an unambiguous ask for a date, not an appointment to meet up at the dog park. And this is important: Before she can respond to your ask, WORKING, invite her to say “no” if the answer is no or “straight” if the identity is straight. Good luck!
Q: I’m a lesbian, and my partner recently reconnected with a childhood friend. At first I felt sorry for him, as he was having a health crisis. But he’s better now, and his pushy behavior really gets to me. He texts her at all hours — and when he can’t get in touch with her, he bugs me. When I refused to go on a trip with him and his husband, he guilt-tripped me for weeks. He constantly wants us to come to his house, but they’re chain-smokers. I’m going to Los Angeles to interview a celebrity for a project, and now he’s trying to insert himself into this trip because he wants go starfucking! He also wants to officiate at our upcoming wedding! My partner won’t stand up for me when I say no to this guy. How can I get my partner to listen to me or get her jackass friend to leave me be?
– Can’t Think Of A Clever Acronym
Burn it down, CTOACA. Call or e-mail your partner’s old friend and tell him you think he’s a pushy, unpleasant, smelly asshole and that you don’t want to hang out with him — not at his place, not on a trip, and not at your wedding, which he not only won’t be officiating but, if you had your druthers, he wouldn’t be attending. That should do it. You can’t tell your soon-to-be wife who she can’t have as a friend — that’s controlling behavior — but she can’t force you to spend time with someone you loathe.