Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

In honor of National Coming Out Day, we have put together some guidance on coming out in the workplace. Coming out in the workplace should be a safe and supportive process. If you are struggling with coming out at work, here are some things to consider.

Ask Questions

  • Does your employer have a written non-discrimination policy? (note: if you are in New York, you are automatically protected under Title VII, and NYC & NYS Human Rights Laws)
  • Is there an LGBTQIA+ employee resource group at your workplace?
  • What is the general climate at your workplace–do people tend to make anti-LGBTQIA+ comments?
  • Are any of your coworkers openly LGBTQIA+?

Make a Plan

  • Identify someone at your workplace who is LGBTQIA+ supportive, and talk to them first. They may have advice on how to best go about coming out in your specific environment, and can provide you with emotional support.
  • Talk about LGBTQIA+ news, movies, TV shows, etc. as a way to signal your views and assess the climate of your workplace. Once you feel comfortable that those around you will not create a hostile environment, you can feel more at ease to express yourself.

Keep in Mind

You are not obligated to tell your employer anything regarding your sexual orientation or gender identity. If you do choose to come out to your employer, be clear about, for example, your pronouns. An employer cannot be held liable for discrimination if they are not aware.

It is also important to remember that conversations about sexual orientation inherently have a sexual component. Be careful that you are not engaging in any overtly sexual conversation that might offend other employees. Everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, should be mindful of this. This does not mean that you should be afraid to say you are gay and proud!

If You Feel You Are Being Discriminated Against

  • Educate yourself about your rights.
  • Go on record (preferably in writing–email is a great tool) saying that you have experienced a violation. This should be to someone of authority who can actually do something to ameliorate the issue, not just a colleague. It does not have to be HR (HR is not your friend; they are there to serve the company’s interests and minimize potential legal exposure).
  • Find a good attorney

Benefits of Being Open at Work

  • Eliminates the stress of hiding
  • Breaks down barriers and fosters more understanding
  • Builds trust in working relationships
  • Allows you to bring your whole self to work


We at Filippatos PLLC believe that all employees have the right to exist freely as their authentic selves. On behalf of all of us at Filippatos PLLC, Happy National Coming Out Day!



“Coming out at Work.” n.d. HRC.

Preserving Justice in the Workplace Since 1992

199 Main Street, Suite 800
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone/Fax: 914-984-1111

Toll Free: 888-9-JOBLAW


Book a Free Consult

Send An Inquiry

Preserving Justice in the Workplace Since 1992