Dear Abby has advice for closeted gay employee being pressured to date female

Iconic advice columnist points out that it's sexual harassment and a hostile work environment

Dear Abby has advice for closeted gay employee being pressured to date female
04 September 2012

The advice columnist known as Dear Abby is getting praise for pointing out to a closeted gay man being pressured to date a female co-worker that he is a victim of sexual harassment and is working in a hostile work environment.

Columnist Abigail Van Buren is really Jeanne Phillips who several years ago took over for the column’s founder, her mother Pauline Phillips. The column is the most widely syndicated in the world.

The 29-year-old man, who signed his letter ‘Can’t Come Out in Texas,’ writes in a letter published Tuesday (4 September) that a female colleague is not only trying to convince me that the two of us would make a good pair, but she has gotten all of their co-workers involved.

‘I’m constantly pressured by my supervisor to ‘just go out with her and give her a chance,” he writes.

The man said he has said he’s not interested in mixing business with pleasure but to no avail. He now dreads coming in to work and is considering hiring a girlfriend to stop by the office to take the pressure off.

Dear Abby does not focus on the man’s sexual orientation in her reply but instead calls what is happening to him ‘a classic example of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.’

‘Your co-workers and supervisor may consider themselves to be ‘Cupid’s helpers,’ but their actions could be the basis for a lawsuit,’ she writes. ‘That you are gay has nothing to do with it. If you were straight and preferred not to involve yourself in an office romance that could turn out badly, or felt no chemistry with your aggressor, what is being done to you is intolerable. It’s embarrassing and distracts you from your job.’

She advises the man to document everything, go to his supervisor’s boss if necessary and consider speaking to an attorney if necessary.

‘You do not have to explain why you’re not attracted to this desperate woman,’ she writes.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Coming out in business: It’s all about authenticity

Think that your sexuality has no bearing on your work? An LGBT business conference taking place in London today reminded those attending that honesty fosters stronger and more authentic business relationships
No thumbnail available

Uruguay celebrates its first legal same-sex marriage anniversary

Uruguayans celebrated the one year anniversary of same-sex couples being allowed to legally marry this month, with over 200 couples marrying in the first 12 months they have been able to
No thumbnail available

Bret Easton Ellis rails against GLAAD and reaction to Jason Collins coming-out

Controversial author says basketball player Jason Collins was treated like a 'baby panda' when he came out
No thumbnail available

Gay couple win parenting blog award

Two moms from Dorset say they are ‘delighted and amazed’ to have scooped a top award for blogging about their family life together
No thumbnail available

Trans women 49 times more likely to have HIV

Using multiple studies and assessing over 11,000 women from around the world, a study has found HIV is highly prevalant among trans women
No thumbnail available

Leading Liberia pastor: gay rights - a 'total abomination'

Ben Cooper, an influential clergy in Liberia, warned that LGBT rights advocacy aims to 'destroy' humanity and is alien to African values
No thumbnail available

Transgender man personalizes Sweden's sterilization law

Georg Elfvelin leading campaign to stop forced sterilizations of trans people
No thumbnail available

Apple reveals video to celebrate Pride

CEO Tim Cook is in the video showing Apple employees showing their Pride in San Francisco
No thumbnail available

Gays will be welcome at ‘rainbow village for over 50s’ despite French mayor

Local mayor ‘flabbergasted’ to find new village for over 50s is being targeted at gay people
No thumbnail available

Australian radio host Jackie O slammed for calling Ellen a 'lez'

Radio breakfast show host Jackie O blasted for homophobic slur.