I Feel Like A Coward
I work for a very small business where the only other people in the office are the owner, her daughter, and one other employee. We live in a small town in Texas, and although I have found some wonderful open minded friends, there are a lot of racist and homophobic people in our area who are not ashamed to admit it.
I have been at this job for about a year now, and I have found that the people I work with consider themselves fundamentalist Christians. I am an atheist, and religion is brought up almost every day. I try to keep quiet when it comes up, because I feel that I would lose my job if I came out as an atheist to my boss.
I have heard racist comments in the office from time to time, and I want to speak up and argue, but I don't know how to do that with the person who hands me my paycheck every week. I am white, so they just assume I won't find it offensive, but this ignorance still makes me very sad to have to hear day to day at work.
Last week I almost walked out of my job, which I am in no financial position to do.
I am engaged, and two of my very best gay friends are going to be standing on my side of the wedding, bridesmen, if you will. I have talked about this detail of my wedding at work, and talked about having many gay friends and family members.
A homosexual customer came into the office one day, and after he left, the boss and her daughter began talking about how disgusting they find homosexuality. The daughter said that she had raised her son to punch any man that he felt was gay and attracted to him, and they were just really trashing homosexuals.
I was so angry I was shaking. This topic came up twice throughout the day.
I feel like a coward for not standing up for the people I love who are gay. If I were in any situation other than the work place, I would have spoken up. I just can't lose my job right now.
I'm afraid this is something that may continue to come up at work. How can I go to work and hear this viciousness about people I love, and not be able to take up for them?