Should Nanny Reveal to Family She is Gay?

opinion 2 Question A: I was wondering if there are any nannies who read this site who are gay and are out to their bosses? Moms and dads who read this, would you be okay with having a nanny who was gay? Would you want to know?

I've been at my current position for over a year. My MB works from home so we spend lots of time together and we're quite close. Usually we spend at least an hour a day just sitting around talking about the kids, her job, my life, their family, and so on. I'm single and I date around quite a bit, so my romantic life is a frequent topic of discussion as I tell her the ridiculous stuff that happens sometimes on dates and seek advice from her when one of my dates does something that confuses me.

The issue is, I'm bisexual, and for the first time since taking this job I'm dating a woman.

If we never discussed my life I would probably have no reason to ever mention this, but she always asks me what I've been up to on my evenings and weekends, which is putting me in the position where I have to decide whether to tell her, "I went on a date" and then have to admit it was with a woman when she asks me about it, lie about what I did, or lie by omission by saying I was out with "a friend". I know my romantic life isn't necessarily any of her business, but I do like talking and sharing with her and I feel bad when I think about lying to her about this, especially since I know I'll be with this family for at least another six months. In that time, I could wind up seriously involved with the girl I'm seeing and lying would only get more difficult and complex.

My bosses are young and pretty liberal, but they're also somewhat religious so I don't really know how comfortable they might be with the idea of a queer woman watching their kids, especially after I've worked for them so long without them knowing this about me.
Although very similar in nature, these Submissions were sent in by separate Posters. I felt the advice given by Readers would be helpful to both so I thought Publishing them together would be more beneficial. Thanks, MPP.

opinion 2
Question B: I have recently accepted an au pair job in Europe - which I am super excited about! I have worked as a nanny for many families - but never as a live-in, and I am preparing myself for a very different experience. I have spoken with the family numerous times via skype and we seem to have similar philosophies, etc. My question is this: As a lesbian, do I have an obligation to tell the family before I move in with them for a year? I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I have worked with many families with different beliefs/values and the question of sexuality has never come up (nor would it need to) as it does not change my ability to take care of children. However, moving to Europe and living with a family for year, and presuming I may at some point in time want to date - presents me with a conundrum. Should I tell them prior to going in case they have a problem with it? Or should I not bring it up as it is not a big deal - and bringing it up would make it one? Thanks in advance for your help!


BlahMom said...

It's really none of their business - in a "regular" job it'd be illegal, at least in the US, for them to discriminate against you for your sexuality.

I would not care at all. Just like I'd assume that you'd never bring your boyfriend over and have sex with him on my bed, I assume you wouldn't do that with your girlfriend. What you do in the bedroom does not at all apply to what you do at work, and there should (obviously) be no crossover.

Question B: I think you should ask the agency setting you up with your au pair job if discrimination laws apply in your host country.

I wouldn't care at all if my nanny were gay or lesbian. It really doesn't affect your ability to take good care of children at all.

vegasgrrl24 said...

I'm a nanny and also a lesbian. I ALWAYS try to come out @ an interview. People assume I'm straight b/c I don't "look" gay. It's always difficult but I remind myself that it's more difficult to do later.
For question A: just ask MB if you could have a few minutes to speak to her, or when she asks you about your weekend just say actually I have something else I'd really like to talk about.
Question B: I wouldn't come out. You'll only be there a year and there's no reason to jeopordize your standing. Maybe you should consider discussing the topic w/ the aupair "contact person/agency" to get some feedback.

Good luck to both of you!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

As the first poster said, unless you plan to be physically intimate with your partner in front of your employers (and YUCK! to that), it's not their business.

However, since most anti-discrimination laws don't apply to families employing nannies. As an example, MA, the most liberal state in the nation, exempts businesses with fewer than 6 employees and specifically excludes nannies and "domestic workers" from coverage on anti-discrimination laws.

So, for OP A, you need to judge whether you think your employer will deal with your dating a woman well or not based on past discussions with her. I wish I could say something brilliant, but that's what it boils down to. I would reconsider being as open as you have been about your dating life in your next job, just so you don't have to go through this again. Just MHO.

For OP B, check with the agency sending you overseas to verify laws in the country where you'll be living. Ask the agency also what sort of rights host families have to put limits on their au pairs social activities, and what would happen if a family disapproved of who an au pair chose to date. Don't get crazy with specifics, just ask general questions.

Nanny E said...

I am a bisexual and my boss doesnt know, mostly because im not close with them at all, and I dont really share my life with them. I would just say to use your own jufgment as to what kind of people they are. I am bisexual, but I am also Catholic, so I wouldnt say that people who are religious would neccesarily be discriminatory towards you.

re-post for anon mom said...

Anonymous said...

As a mother, I would say: unless you feel the need to express yourself you shouldn't have to tell anyone about your private life.

nycmom said...

I would not care at all. However, I also wouldn't want to be as involved in my nanny's personal life as you are with your current boss. Normally I would say do not tell the current boss as it is none of their business and certainly nothing you need to "confess." However, you have already opened the doors wide and it's hard to close them. Decide based solely on what is better for you (you owe your employers no information): either telling them and risking negative judgment/job loss or lying about the details of your weekend. One positive to telling them is that it would be good practice on dealing with Question B. Plus, sounds like the job is ending soon anyway so the risk is lower financially.

For the au pair job, again do only what is best for YOU. The advantage to telling them is that you can be sure they are comfortable with this before you get over to a foreign country without a good support system. If you think you are likely to continue to share a lot with your employer and that this will be something you share, then it is probably easier to do it in advance since you are clearly worried. However, if you are confident you can be discreet, then do not tell them. You are *definitely* not obligated to do so.

On a slightly related note, our last au pair chose to extend for a second year but we could not keep her with our family. She accepted a position with two lesbian women and two school-age kids. According to the moms, MANY au pairs were unwilling to join their family due to this issue. So clearly discrimination is still rampant - something for you to consider if you are ready to be "out."

Mia said...

Question A: I am a mom and I would be totally okay with having a straight or gay nanny. However, I admit I find bisexuality confusing and wishy-washy. This is probably due to having gay friends and family members whom are sure of their preference. Perhaps you should wait until you are very serious with this girl before coming out to your bosses. People often are more conservative when it comes to their own children.

Europea said...

Question B: You don't have an obligation to tell the family but I think it would be better to be upfront since you are living with them. You are definitely going to feel like dating and the last thing you want is to be living with disapproving employers far away from home.

Village said...

It's none of their business.

UmassSlytherin said...

You are not obligated to tell ANYONE that you are gay if you don't feel comfortable telling them.

If you do, however, and they have a problem with it, they are NOT the type of people you want to work for, obviously.

You are you, and your sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to nanny, just as my being straight has nothing to do with my job.

unicornsparkleprincess said...

A few things:
1) I don't think it's anyone's business what orientation you are. Unless you and your employers are super close, have maybe known each other for years and can expect to or rely on them to not discriminate you then do whatever you want.

2) It's orientation, not preference people!

another nanny said...

OP A- Normally I would say keep it to yourself, but because you're in the habit of talking about your personal life, I think it makes sense to tell them. I would say it light-heartedly, casually, but I do like to use humor to deflect things. Women dating women is enough of a trend in modern culture and media that it shouldn't really be that shocking, IMO(please note, I'm NOT saying you are bisexual to follow a trend, I'm just saying the existing trend makes it less taboo)

OP B- Again, normally I would say you don't have to share, but I think it would be in your best interest to make sure they're okay with your sexual orientation before you move halfway across the globe and into their home. If it turns out they're not accepting, that could put you in a very hard situation later (ie, with no place live in a foreign country)

AussieNanny said...

Question A:
It sounds like you have a fairly close relationship with your MB and she is clearly aware of your ability to look after her kiddies. This isnt something that has just popped up one morning, so clearly your sexual orientation doesnt affect the way you work, or how you look after the kids. I would tell her, only because it might make things uncomfortable on your behalf, keeping things from her, if you havent in the past. When your talking next, about your weekend just let her know that you've met a girl and that you like her/have developed a relationship with her etc. You hope it doesnt affect her opinion of you and to you, life carries on as normal.

Question B: I would have a chat to the nanny agency before you talk to them. I think your situation is a bit different, your a live in au pair who is only going to be there for 12 months or so and it isnt really any of their business what you do in your own time. In saying that, being an au pair, you probably wouldnt be allowed to bring your boyfriend home, so i would suspect that you wouldnt be allowed to bring a gf home either.

IMO, it isnt really anyone else's business who you fancy (or dont fancy) and if they fire you/dont want you working for them based on your sexual orientation, then clearly they are not the right family for you! =)

unicornsparkleprincess said...


i wouldn't say that bisexuality is a 'trend' just because it has become more socially acceptable. just a thought.

Brianna said...

I left a comment on here earlier and "poof" it is gone. It wasn't a mean-spirited comment, just the opposite. Why does this happen to me?

Marypoppin'pills said...


I don't know what to say... I looked in my e-mail and couldn't find anything from you under this name.

If anyone else has a comment disappear just let me know, I can usually dig it up and re-post it for you. It's a glitch from google that ISYN has been unable to fix as of yet.

Sorry, Brianna.

Brianna said...

I know this has been happening a lot on this blog MPP. I know it is not you deleting my stuff, it is the computer and it's dumb glitches!! I don't blame you one bit, I know you are very fair and do not delete comments that disagree with yours, only those that contain racist things.

Anyway, congrats on the increased traffic on this website. You are doing a fantastic job, keep up the good work my Friend!! :)

Luc said...

Great question! I am one of those people who just 'looks gay' so I don't generally have to say anything for people to know. For others, I always advocate for just responding normally to a question. If you would tell her about your new boyfriend, tell her about your new girlfriend in the same way. If you don't act like it's a big deal, then they should pick up on the fact that this doesn't define you.

I have been lucky to work with very open-minded people who have never made it an issue. About a year ago I got married to my partner, and DB brought the 6 and 8 year old boys to the wedding. They had a blast! When I came back to work after the honeymoon my little guy asked where my partner was because he thought when you get married that means you spend alllll your time with that person!

Apples4 said...

I am straight and I nanny twin girls of lesbian parents! They are trying for more and they are the greatest parents!!! Tell them if your comfortable!

Proud Gay Woman said...

There is no such thing as bisexual. You are either gay or straight. Bisexuals are simply curious about same sex and opposite sex or may be repressed and hard to satisfy. To say that someone is bisexual takes away from claims that sexual preference is inherent at birth. It is a slap in the face to every gay person. It is just tom foolery. When you decide that you are gay, yes, you might tell her. But right now, you're just out there fng around. You might as well being diddling horses in the barn. Simple medications such as prozac and celexa can help you with your maniacal sex drive and reveal to you what your true preference is.
You make me sick. Also, bisexuality is a lifestyle choice; like beastiality. I wouldn't come out as bisexual. It makes you sound foolish, unreliable and over sexed.

Bisexual and Proud said...

Rude Gay Woman,

What an evil thing to say. It is absolutely possible to be attracted to both sexes, your problem is your stuck on labels. But since you seem to be stuck on labels you should know that over 1/4 of women that are attracted to females are ALSO attracted to males.

And just why do you think the LGBT exists? And for those of you that may not know that's the Lesbian, Gay, BISEXUAL, Transgender community and they recognize Bisexuality as being a group.

My question to you is this: I'm sure being gay has brought you some adversity in your life, so why would you visit your hatred upon a group that is a part of your community?

You must be one of those gay stomping man-haters.

AussieNanny said...

Well said Bisexual and proud! I couldnt agree more!

Proud Gay Woman: Who are you to comment or judge on someone else's sexuality? I thought you would have dealt with enough judgement and critisim, without unleashing some of your own. I believe 100% that you DONT choose who you are attracted to, you are born that way. You were born attracted to girls, others are both attracted to both, and others attracted to just males.

I dont understand how one who is bisexual can come across as 'oversexed'? That comment was uncalled for..

Actually your whole 'piece' was uncalled for.

unicornsparkleprincess said...

Ok, I'm going to have to call proud gay woman a troll. her username has nothing to do at all with what she said as a comment.
what a rude, and ignorant person.

Nicki Babysits said...

Maybe you could find a way to bring it up as a hypothetical situation and gage their reaction... maybe mention a friend who is gay and has children of their own, or something. See if they act like, "WHAT? UGH!"
Or, don't mention it until it comes up, and then just act all natural, like, "Oh, didn't you know? I'm bisexual! I thought I mentioned that. Hmm."
I don't think it should matter. Many teachers and others who work with children are gay and they don't have to announce it if they don't want! But yes if they're prejudice against that type of thing, it could be awkward!

Bostonian617 said...

I have been in your position before, and I agree it is very uncomfortable to keep things from your boss. My nanny family and I are very close and talk often about about my dating life. Last year I participated in Pride activities throughout the week. On that Friday I asked if it was possible to leave early and was hoping they would put two and two together (they are very open and have gay friends who had talked to them earlier about Pride). Seeing as I had a boyfriend, they askwd of I had gay friends, which I do, but I also took that opportunity to let them know I am bisexual. I am equally attracted to men and woman, and see people as people and I am attracted to what I like, not defining sexual organs or societies gender roles. Bisexuals are often ostrosized and bashed in the Gay community and I have a hard time meeting other Bisexual women and Gay women so for the most part I date men.
Do what feels comfortable for you. Do your employers have friends/co workers/ family, in the LGBT community? Is there anway you could test the waters, rather than jumping right in?

Jill said...

Hey! I would probably not tell them...but only because my own past experiences.

I applied for a nanny position in Las Vegas. I had several phone interviews that went wonderfully. After almost 2 weeks of talking on the phone, we met up for an interview. My girlfriend drove me to my interview and waited in the car. The interview went spectacularly and as I was leaving the mother asked "who is that in the car?". Well, needless to say, I froze. I was shocked. I told her that it was my girlfriend. She just said "Okay. Nice to meet you." and I never talked to her again.

I do not look gay so I have never really had to deal with any discrimination in the workforce until this happened. I'm still a little upset about it, but all is well.

Good luck with whatever decision you make/made!

Nanny in the Bay Area said...

I am a nanny, I'm also lesbian. Even here in the Bay Area where there are more gay people compared to other places, I still find it very hard to come out to families. I feel like they won't want me around their daughters because I might turn them gay and some people think all gay people are perverted for younger children which is gross! But I know that goes through some parents minds. I decided to put "LGBT family friendly" on my resume that I send when applying for a job so if a family has a major issue with gay people maybe they won't want to interview me because of moral clashes so I won't have to go through an awkward interview and waste time. Parents often ask who I live with, I tell them I live with my partner, which could mean a male or female but most pick up that partner generally means same sex partner. I don't lie to families and tell them I'm straight or bi, one of the worst things to do is lie to a family about anything. If you are open and honest with a family and don't seem like you are hiding something, they will usually trust you and consider you to be a great person despite differences of opinion and possibly even change their minds about how they feel about gay people in general which would be awesome. At the same time, don't flaunt it.