I know it will be highly controversial for your listeners to learn I am not out at work. One reason is I am principally a therapist and I subscribe to the theory that it is best to allow my clients their unfettered ideas about who I am. My role as a therapist is extremely important in my setting. I serve in the first-responder role in many cases, and in so doing literally help save lives. In addition, to be brutally honest, the damage that is done to us by the closet indeed follows us through our lives. Perhaps this damage is at play, even in some unconscious way, in my decision to prioritize my identity issues at my job.
However, there's another sad but equally important reason. In my environment I could not reach the kids I reach if me being gay was the first thing on my calling card. And, sadly, it would be. Many kids have said to me, in multiple contexts, including couples counseling or discussion of relationships, "I don't know if you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend or what and it really doesn't matter, but you know what it's like.." This implies that they get it. I would LOVE to be out at work. I would LOVE to be that kind of role model. But I have made the decision, about which I remain ambivalent every day, to serve a certain role, to reach as many kids as I can. I am the only male in my particular role at my school. I work with very tough kids. I am white and privileged, they are not. I reach them through my work, through my professionalism, my skills, my love. I welcome any and all comments about this, however, I have made the decision to not reveal much, if at all, about my personal life, again, so I can reach, and serve, and save, as many kids as possible.