Miriam is into women and is not allowed to engage in relationship conversations with her colleagues

Where is the line between innocent contact and sexual harassment in the workplace? Miriam found out the hard way when she were accused of sexual harassment at her place of work.

Miriam, 29, is a lesbian and last year, her sexuality suddenly became an issue at her workplace after she had touched a female colleagues hand and was suddenly accused of sexual harassment because of this incident.

Miriam had seen her colleague as a confidant and only seen the touch as an innocent touch without a sexual thought in mind when they talked about their relationships. To her it were an emphatic gesture that were meant as a mean of emotional support and not in any way of communicating sexual interest at all.

But after this episode her sexuality suddenly became a problem at her workplace and her team leader demanded that she did not participate in personal conversations with her colleagues any longer. Something that she felt were crossing several boundaries, since she and her colleagues used to talk about their personal life’s daily, and that it were an integrated part of their work day.

Miriam were happy about her job at a retail store at Vivo City, a shopping mall in Singapore. A company she had been working with for several years and generally felt that she had been well treated and in the past also worked at their other locations around in Singapore. She had never concealed the fact that she had a girlfriend and that she were lesbian to her colleagues or superiors. It never felt that she had to limit herself or hide her sexuality while she worked because it weren’t something that came up negatively and she felt liked and accepted where she worked.

It therefore came as a huge shock to her when she suddenly were accused of having violated a colleague and were called into her manager’s office to discuss a “sensitive situation.”, where she were told by her manager that a colleague had felt physically and verbally sexually assaulted by Miriam and had accused her of sexual harassment.

“I was told that I should have touched my colleagues hand a little too affectionate and in the wrong way, and that three other colleagues felt that I had looked at them wrongly in the backroom of the store”.

While talking to her manager, Miriam were told that she no longer were allowed to participate in any personal conversations with her colleagues, especially of any that related to relationship matters and that she should walk away if any of her other colleagues began to discuss their personal relationships while she were near them. Her manager also stressed to Miriam that colleagues do not touch each other in any way whatsoever.

“My manager said that it had nothing to do with the fact that I liked women. But I think it had everything to do with it” said Miriam.

She later found out that the accusation of sexual harassment came from her very close colleague that she had known for years and that the colleague also had told the manager that three other women in the department also felt harassed, but that the manager haven’t directly confirmed this on her own.

Miriam and her colleague had been good friends and close colleagues for some time, they had often lunch together and seen each other outside work as well. Her colleague had even been to her home and met her partner at least twice before in the past, so things between them quickly became very familiar and they had often talked about private matters together both at work and outside work. Her colleague had more than once curiously asked into Miriam’s sexuality and at the same time expresses that she weren’t happy in her marriage and often thought of leaving her husband.

“I asked at one point whether she considered whether she were into women or felt attracted to women, but she answered ‘no’ to that” said Miriam, who at the same time stressed that there had never been anything but friendly feelings between them as colleagues.

The accusation of sexual harassment ends in a sick leave for Miriam and she end up asking if she could be transferred because she didn’t feel welcome there any longer and felt really bad about the whole incident and felt unfairly treated by both her colleague and manager.

 

“No raised eyebrows if I were heterosexual”

Her other colleagues whom she were told, that they should have felt that Miriam should have looked at them wrongly  in the backroom of her workplace, never acknowledged to have been part of the accusation of sexual harassment when she confronted and asked them about it, and Miriam feels convinced that if she had been heterosexual and had behaved in exactly the same way then neither her colleague or manager would have raised an eyebrow.

“I’m more careful at my new workplace. When we make fun and joke with one another, I am always a little nervous and think, uh, oh, I don’t hope they perceive anything I’ve said in the wrong way”.

Miriam is not her real name and she wants to remain anonymous. She confided in me through a number of emails and conversations from August to November 2015 where I got to know about her story. I know about her workplace in Vivo City and her new place of work, and have been able to confirm the existence of several of her colleagues and manager that she named while telling me her story.

Can you be out at your workplace? Are you able to be fully open about your relationship to another woman, or do you feel that you need to limit yourself compared to your heterosexual colleagues?

 

 

Are you still there?

I got a few letters from new and old followers asking if I were still blogging? And the answer to that is a “YES!” Yes, I am still working on the blog, but just had a crazy month where I had no time at all. Had too much work,  had to survive a lesbian dinner with 18 guests that I hosted in my home – and because I am miss perfect in some ways, then I ended up stressing myself like crazy over the dinner, so I ended up  sick for a week after.

Nahhh. I didn’t get sick of the dinner. We had in the office a flu like bronchitis-ish disease sweeping through everyone and it were my turn as the last one to get it! And then on the day where I had to host my dinner!!! grrrr I mean what?? Why?? Why that day??! Faint!

But success! The food were nice, I felt it were acceptable and everyone loved it like crazy.

Even my evil nemesis aka “you can’t be a real lesbian because you like the Room In Rome movie” from the local bar turned up and she even told to my face that she liked my food!  I think the world stopped spinning for a second there.

I made Green Curry Chicken, with a small salad and bread, and made Coconut ice-cream as desert. S… dared me to serve them Durian ice-cream, but I chickened out in the end.  I mean oh the horror it would have been if someone actually complained about my food.

Right?

Turns out that I can take a lot of things, but the thought of someone who didn’t like my food or didn’t feel entertained at my home is actually much, much worse than the idea of someone who don’t approve of my sexuality.

Who would have thought that?

I am a recent member in a lesbian dinner group, where those who can make it meet once a month – or so – at each other’s homes where they usually make dinner together as well as help with the cleaning and entertainment afterwards (strong alcoholic drinks, coffee  tea, lots of cakes and chitchatting).

It is also a very nice way to meet other women like this because not only do you get to experience their table manners, you also get to see how they act without being too drunk and in homely setting and so. So quite a few couples have come out of this 8 year old dinner event here.

Usually it is only 7-8 women of very different ages who show up each time, but someone “accidentally” forgot to mention to me that August is the month where everyone suddenly have time to join, so I got tricked to host it in August, that usually is the hardest month to get someone to host.

As the currently only non white woman in the group, then I guess there were some curiosity to see how the hot girl (if I can’t compliment myself, then who can??) with the slanted eyes lived as well.

I ended up making the food on my own. Mainly because I wanted it to-be-just-right, and the thought of that someone might end up ruining my signature dish didn’t sit well with my ego. Green Curry Chicken, is crazy easy to make, and is one of the better dishes to make when you want to impress “miss next girlfriend who is coming for dinner”.

I don’t know what it is with lesbians and kitchens? and cooking in general? But it seems like to me that kitchens in lesbian homes is just something that should to be used as little as humanly possibly, and generally is only good for making brownies in. Or at least it seems so to me when I am talking to the ladies around me.

Okay, my small group of lesbian friends is not representatives of every lesbian and lesbian couples on planet earth, but it is scary how many times my friends cycle through their 5-6 standard dishes over the year when they are making food on their own.

I LOVE MY KITCHEN

I am absolutely the one who is talking most about food. But that could just as well be my Singaporean genes who fiercely demands that I talk about food at least 8 times a day, or there is something horribly wrong with me.

I enjoy my kitchen and making food. Well, when I can decide what to make. I get crazy cranky if someone tell me what to do in a kitchen, or end up telling me how to chop, or do things in a kitchen, or try to correct the way I do things there. It is either my way or no way.

The idea of ending up as the typical “Noe Valley” stay at home lesbian mom is crazy scary to me.

Noe Valley is a suburb in San Francisco. We used to joke back in uni when I studied in San Francisco that the worst nightmare would be to end up getting married to someone who really did the whole corporate ladder career to the max and then decide that you had to stay at home and look after the typical million dollar house, make sure that it were spotless, give birth, raise 2 spoiled children and get the lesbian dogs properly trained while she went power tripping around the world.

In short a Noe Valley lesbian is a Lesbian Tai tai.

Turned out that that was exactly what one of my roommates ended up doing with a double master degree, and being the smartest woman that I have ever known. She ended up as a token femme lesbian wife who get unhappy and emotionally upset if she can’t get the things that she is looking for at the famers market and need to settle with non organic items instead.

Unbelieveable!

Sidetracked for a bit.

So yes, I like my kitchen. I like doing and making things in it, and think that well, besides my bed, then the kitchen is the most cozy place to just hang out in I feel. And NO I don’t invite random strangers to “hang” out in my bed and bedroom.

Ugh. I wanted to make a point with the whole Noe Valley comment, but then I forgot what it was that I wanted to say?!

….

Oh yes, now I remember.

I like doing kitchen and homely things, but only to a certain degree because as much as I like to do, you know, the whole femme lesbian cave with scented candles, pillows ,pride art everywhere, home ID and so, then I love to work even more, so my cooking end up as experimental and challenging as long as they stay uncomplicated and in the end are very easy to do.

But it is actually nice to get someone home and then make dinner with someone….. Lesbian dating tip #3. Don’t go out and eat. Invite miss sexy home and then tell her that you two are going to make dinner together while you chit chat. Go out and shop together, then chop and cook as well. Preferably over a glass of something.

Works every time… Most of the time… Okay sometimes…, and if you get too busy with something else (hm), then order pizza afterwards and hope to reheat the day after.

Okay, this post took me a whole other place than where I wanted to go to, so I am going to start over in a while – or tomorrow and then try again. But no. I am not giving up and will still be posting. So don’t you worry. I am here and I will continue writing.

You know that already, but homophobes might actually be gay?!

I knew it! The group “We are against PinkDot in Singapore” is actually a group of self denying closeted people who need our help.

So after you have seen the YouTube video, then go sprinkle them with some rainbow dust and plenty of love, because they need our help to come out.

 

 

 

I admit. I am still in the closet.

If there is one thing that I am still in the closet about, then it is that I like to play computer games!

Of all things in life, then this is one of those that I really don’t like to mention or admit that I do. Well unless someone drag it out of me, or ask me why there is a controller hidden under my coffee table.

Yes, I like to play games – Once in a while.

It is not that as soon as I get home from work, that it then turn on the Xbox and begin to shoot some aliens. Not that often anyway.

But what is there about it that I don’t really feel that I can be open about it?

I mean if I look at the statistics, then I am in the middle of the demographics.

40% of gamers is women (source from ISFE) – so yes that means that there is a very high chance that the one who just killed you in Call Of Duty could in fact have been a woman. Hah!

I am by the way an horrible Call Of Duty player myself and usually die before I get to look around, or when I stopped running because I wanted to look at the nicely done buildings and scenery. Not something that is advisable to do if you want to win in it.

1 out of 5 women play console games (source from ISFE). So what is there to feel ashamed or shy about?

I play a lot of games with my nieces and nephews when they are here or when I visit the family. Yes, I actually think Hayday or Subway Surfers are just as good computer games as large budget titles that you can get to the consoles are. So as long as they are engaged with them then I am going to have an interest in what it is they are playing and try to engage them in their own environments.

Something that I feel is a lot of fun, and I can see that they equally think it is kind a cool that their (maybe rather odd, but still cool) aunt don’t mind playing game with them.

As I said I am not really that good an Call Of Duty player, first person shooter games is not really my favourite. I can play them, but I don’t react fast enough to be a challenge to many. Besides I tend to get sidetracked when I begin to look at the designs and the fantastic art there are in many games.

I prefer games where I get to think about what to do. So I like games like Civilization, XCom Enemy Unknown and so on and were a massive fan of Diablo 2 that I played and still occasionally play with my Nephews and Nieces. Baldurs Gate, and the others in that series, and play SIMS with the nieces as well – and they can really go on and on about that game if I let them talk about it for too long.

The boys are now more into GTA, where I try to not answer my 6 yr old nephews questions about strip bars in that game….. I tell you that boy surely is going to have a breast fetish when he grows up.

Well, like father, like son so nothing surprising about that.

But it is really fun and entertaining to see how they interact with these games.

I have for the last months been deep into Alien Isolation and holy crap that game scared me so much that I could only play for maybe 10-15 minutes at a time where I practically stayed under the same table in the game for the whole duration that day, while the Alien kept stomping around the medical centre, until I turned off the game again because I couldn’t take it any longer.

First and only game that I had to play with practically a pillow in front of my face.

I finally completed the game and is going to play it again soon – or one day.

Loved the game.  Hated the ending.

Ever since I for the first time watched Alien at an way, way, way too young age, then I have been a massive fan about the series – just ask my 3 cats. Ripley, Newt and Jonesy about that.

No I don’t have any cats any longer. 2 died of old age and one were drowned by an neighbour, that crazy dick. So it’s been some years since I had cats now.

Ya ya I thought I were oh so original but later realized that several others have had the same ideas about cat names as me.

Big fan of the Alien universe – and kickass Ripley.

Sigourney Weaver is for more than one reason an amazing icon to me.

So being able to play a game that were that deep and detailed about the Alien universe were an amazing experience to me, and I would have loved to just run around and press buttons and look at all the details that reminded me about the future seen from an 1980’s design style.

By the way. One day I am going to jump out of the closet in Alien Isolation, stomp hard on the Aliens tail and then jump into the closet to hide again. Just to see what is going to happen – but I guess I already know that.

But, besides that horrible game, then I usually prefer games that I can pause and have time to think about what to do next and strategize about. This is the games I like to play. First person shooter games where you have to be super on all the time is not really my cup of tea and with these I very much prefer to sit and see others play, compared to being the one who is engrossed in the games – in that way I will have time to study the amazing environments and graphics much better too.

But for all there is too it, then I am actually emotionally an closeted computer player, and not something that I openly admit to others that I do or “once in a while” like to do.

Or, if my co-workers ask me why I look so tired? Then my answer more often will be “Oh I read a book and time got away from me.”, instead of admitting that I might have spend a few hours playing a game before going to bed the day before.

 

(originally written as a commission piece)

13 Thoughts Only Lesbians Will Understand – said by a German!

Do you know how hard it is NOT to make any lists on my own?

But thanks to the internet then I don’t really have to, I just link to someone else who stole my thoughts or simply said the same that I wanted to say but came up with them earlier than I did.

When I started this blog, I made a rule that I did not want to make any lists whatsoever and post them here on my blog.

It is a really, really difficult rule to follow because I make lists (besides shopping lists) in my head all the time! – and some of them actually should have been on this blog. You know lists like “Top 10 women I have seen today who should be gay.” and so on.

Anyway, my most recent follower, is a German (ironic Italics) Barcelonian (I firmly believe that is a word) who once in a while make YouTube videos, and she made this list that everyone can relate to.

Okay, I really object to the one about male teenagers, but else…

See for yourself.

By the way. I only got ONE flannel shirt in my closet, and haven’t used it in ages.

Speaking of German, I once had some really interesting talks with a German woman whom I meet on OKCupid (yes I had a profile there..), and she told me that Munich did not have any lesbian cafes or clubs and she didn’t think there really were any in Germany?? Huh? How can that be?? Is that true?

 

I am a hit!

Or my blog is.

A few days ago, my brother and his mates found themselves in Bar Naked in Singapore.

No, it is not some kind of a swingers club, but an actual bar where they could get alcohol in and do whatever male bonding is necessary for the male ego.

I guess bang their chest up against each other while they spill their beer at the other guests who are standing near them while saying “yo” or “dude” to each other.

My brother got some kind of a super hearing and is also notoriously known to comment and charm himself into every conversation that he can overhear, almost fell off his chair when he heard a rather intense conversation from a nearby table where someone were discussing MY BLOG! and MY writings.

He is not a subtle person and feel no shame in life, so he apparently laughed rather loud while looking at them in surprise, and wanted to comment on their, I guess, rather private conversation.

They, then mistook his laughter and intense stares as a very misplaced interruption and a early attempt to hit on 3 (presumably lesbian) women who were out for a drink, so they got mad at him for interrupting their conversations and further for coming up with the worst icebreaker that they ever had heard in the history of straight men trying to hit on women. He then, didn’t make it any better when he in an attempt to explain himself, moved over to their table to explain to them that he didn’t mean any harm and that he just wanted to tell them that it were his sisters blog that they were talking about, and that he could direct any comments they might have had to me if they wanted.

Not one believed him, and only got more insulted when he tried to explain himself.

Ha!

I guess knowing my brother, then he weren’t the most sober person at that time, but I also know that he wouldn’t harm anyone.

At the same time it is rather flattering that anyone actually read my blog and then take time to mention it to others while they are out in town – that is a sure hit for me.

I think I have had around 10-12K visitors from Singapore since I started this blog, and I am not really certain that everyone read my posts through. I mean looking at the search words and terms that some people use to find this blog, then I am quite sure that someone gets quite disappointed to see what it is that I am writing about and rather quickly find something else to look at. So that anyone spend a Saturday night (I believe it were), to discuss this blog, then it is a success to me.

If you read this and could see yourself in it, then yes, my brother were telling you the truth.

 

 

 

 

It’s the straight peoples fault?

I have heard it more than once lately. “It’s the straight peoples fault”. This time it was when I was sitting in the airport waiting for the flying bus to bring me back when I overheard a conversation between two ladies, that I firmly believe who is gay, well, simply because I had strategically placed myself within hearing distance of what they were talking about. Not because of magic beans, my super functioning gaydar, or their looks, which were fine by the way.

But walking over to the gate, I overheard the word “cis-women”, and I thought to myself “Hello! I need to listen to that!!”, yes I am shameless and I know all about it. But there are only a small group in this world who talk about cis-women or mention the word, and I should really be one of them. If I could stand that term. “CIS” that is.

Anyway, that is for another blog post.

I am not going to bore you with their who’s hot or not conversation, but what I found interesting was their discussion about whose fault it is that there are so few lesbian bars or cafe’s and why there are so many gay bar’s compared to lesbian bars.

Their immediate conclusion was that it was the straight peoples fault.

Not lesbians own fault, but that straight people did it to all of us!

I have heard it before and from other parts of the world too. If “our” hangout place is closing down, then it is not because of poor financials and lack of paying guests, but because straight people are mean people.

Eh, straight people = men.

Mostly.

In these kind of conversations.

I mean aren’t men the root of all evil when even a small group of lesbians gang together? – Well and then it is almost mandatory to hate all bi women too, if just a single of us have an issue with those who have an issue deciding what team they now want to support.

But is it really?

I have hardly seen any guys at a lesbian bar, and those few I see, once in a blue moon, are usually quite subdued or quiet. So how can it be their fault at all?

Isn’t it our own damn fault that there are so few lesbian bars and cafe’s for us? I always hear discussions about that we should protect our personal watering places, but it is always while we are sitting somewhere else and talking about it.

Today, we can freely hold hands in any random cafe without anyone hardly say anything about it – yes there might come a look or two, and sometimes some idiot might ruin it, but that does not happen often.

But I think that we. Yes, WE, are horrible people when it comes to supporting our places. And as soon as we – or a lot of us – find the one, or the next one in our life’s, then we go into our nesting mindset and refuse to leave our nest before we absolutely have to.

It’s not like that with gay men where they even as a couple urgently need to go out almost every second weekend and show of their oily bods and their partners to anyone else who is interested to hear about it, and even better if there is a lot of alcohol involved.

No, we, we get our lesbian dogs or kittens. We dress the dog(s) outrageously lesbian, and then we go into shopping mode at IKEA (if you haven’t banned it), or somewhere else, like these small knickknack shops where you can find everything that your heart and credit card demands that you need for your cave, and simply stop thinking about that place where you met her who is now the one and only in your life.

I am just as bad. And I am horrible good at nesting, even on my own too.

And even sometimes had that argument with myself that if I on a sexy Friday evening should go out with the girls, or go for a run on my own and then afterwards nest in with that nice cup of coffee or tea. And guess WHAT I ended up choosing.

Horrible, Horrible, Horrible.

Well, yes, I do need to urgently go out and dance once in a while. But with shame I have to admit that I am not a good Lesbian when it comes to supporting lesbian themed cafe’s. But I am better at lesbian bars / night clubs.

A little better.

I believe that the reason for why there are so few clubs, is that we don’t spend enough money where we should and don’t support them well enough and only manage to sit together and complain about it when it is over and done.

So blaming men for the reason that there are so few lesbian clubs, is like blaming Obama for the weather, or if you are in Singapore, blaming Caucasians for why you didn’t get that promotion, or that your life is horrible.