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Being outed at work by appointments

8 replies

IdealisticThinker · 13/08/2022 07:35

Hi All,

It's my first time posting here. So we have just started family planning as a same sex couple and are navigating the world of iui and ivf. I've started having appointments off for scans test etc and my boss and the rest of the HR team are curious about the appointments.

I'm the only HR person of a small company and they are very dependent on me in the sense of there is no one to cover me when I'm off. I'm feeling more and more overloaded work wise and starting to get anxious about not being able to keep up with the added pressure of the appointments and time off. To add to the pressure im dyslexic and only my boss knows I'm a lesbian and dyslexic as I'm worried about being discriminated against and dont want to be outed to the company via the appointments.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and if so how did you juggle everything?

I'm conscious that stress is not good for conceiving or for my dyslexia or just mental health in general. It's funny, I'm always advising others but when it comes to myself I get a bit lost.

OP posts:
bluejelly · 13/08/2022 07:54

Personally I would have a quiet word with your boss and let them know you are having fertility treatment. Tell them you don't feel comfortable being quizzed about it regularly but will let them know how things go.

Good luck on your journey!

Waterfallgirl · 13/08/2022 07:55

What an exciting journey you are on!

Bottom line is, they can be as curious as they like they do not need to know. Just say ‘medical appointment’ if you have to leave work to go.
As the HR lead you know they don’t need to know anything else and you know your rights around discrimination.
However feeling anxious / not being yourself due to the hormones is normal but also I get it!!
so try to do things with your dp to help - yoga/mindfulness if that’s your thing or just get outside for some walking or spend time together relaxing.

IdealisticThinker · 13/08/2022 08:29

Thank you, I'm sure my boss will be fine about it but shes best mates with the ceo and he'll be thinking what if she leaves etc which I dont want tbh. That's my underlying concern in telling my boss.

OP posts:
IdealisticThinker · 13/08/2022 08:33

It's true I've just said medical appointment before. The worry is my anxiety takes over and affects my work because stress makes my dyslexia worse. Bit of vicious cycle, I think the yoga might be a good idea though. Thank you

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mommynette · 13/08/2022 11:41

Oh yes I understand those appointments urgghh and then you have to clear everything in your calendar/diary for those blood tests and scans and procedures, not forgetting picking up the medications/injections etc... Those appointments are stressful if you live or work very far from the fertility clinic.

Shamoo · 13/08/2022 11:51

Well the basic point is that other than your manager (and probably your HR business partner as your manager is entitled to HR advice on leave policies etc) nobody has any right to know why you aren’t in work for medical reasons. So just tell anyone else it’s private and bat it away.

However, do your wider work colleagues not know you are in a relationship? As tough as it is, it isn’t realistic to have a baby in a same sex relationship and hide your sexuality long term. What are you going to do when your child is two and talks about mummy and mummy? Or are you never going to let any colleague meet your child? What will all of this say to your kid?

So I would really encourage you to work on being able to be open about who you are.

I say this as a lesbian who had similar battles internally when I was younger. And I don’t mean to sound nasty or patronising. I’m sorry if I do. I know it’s not easy. But honestly in my experience your work are far more likely to discriminate against you for getting pregnant than being gay, and if they really are that homophobic then long term you should be looking to move to somewhere you can be yourself.

Barleysugar86 · 13/08/2022 11:54

I read a great problem page site- ask a manager- and I think her wording for this is really good www.askamanager.org/2020/06/employee-wont-let-go-of-a-mistake-i-made-how-to-politely-end-phone-calls-and-more.html

number 5 at the link

IdealisticThinker · 14/08/2022 06:49

Thank you Shamoo for your post, I am fully out outside work and talk about my partner at work I just dont mention she's a woman. I've been there for just under a year so was taking a wait and see approach regarding coming out there. I do totally agree with you about the mummy and mummy comments and I do not intend to hide anything or make our future child feel anything is wrong or shameful about our relationship or being gay in general.

I've been directly discriminated against for being a lesbian before when being out at a company when I was younger, and it still plays on my mind so I'm cautious now. Most of my colleagues work remotely or hybrid so are unlikely to meet our future child but I do get your point. I'm dating someone who is only out to some family as it's illegal in their home country and so it's not possible to be fully out without the risk of prison when visiting family and friends back home so we have probably learned to be mindful of this which adds to anxiety.

It's going to be interesting to navigate and if anyone has ever been in this situation and has advice I'm open to this.

I do agree that mums get discriminated against alot too, being HR I've argued for their rights with various companies on multiple occasions. I am using my position to try to create policies and processes etc to support all minorities and everyone the best I can.

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