Avoiding Prejudicial Parents

My brother Jared is gay. He is also incredibly compassionate, intelligent, very moral but still fun-loving, and one of the best people I know. He is truly my best friend. I have been a nanny for 11 years. When I go on nanny interviews, I try to get a feel for any prejudice. I am female and white (also bi, but I usually don't mention it), so it is hard to tell sometimes. I have always hated prejudice of any kind, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, it all pisses me off. Therefore, I could not deal with working for prejudiced people. How could I support myself with money from racists? How could I look an anti-Semite in the face every day? I could not possibly deal with hearing gay jokes or derogatory comments. My question is, what is an appropriate way to bring this up? Do I mention it in an interview, or wait until a job is offered? Should I tell them that I am bi and my brother is gay? So many people get awkward about things, and I want to make it clear that people's differences are not a big deal to me, but hating them for their differences is a HUGE deal. I don't usually mention that I am bi because I feel like it is irrelevant to childcare, NOT because I am ashamed. Any advice?


Bethany said...

I tend to find it's better to let people show you there worst and you quit than to assume the worst and give them a lecture at interview.

Even the most accepting of people don't like to feel as though they are getting a lecture.

I would leave off telling about your brother or yourself. It's not their business, and believe me you want to keep as much of your personal life to yourself as you can.

In your profile you can list yourself as an LGBT friendly nanny. That should be enough to keep the prejudiced folks away.

I hope you find a job soon!

princess said...

Yeah I don't think you should go into it telling them things like that. I hate to say but just as its discrimination to hire or not hire someone bc of race, sexual preference, etc, as well as their feelings about those things, its not something I think you can ask flat out like that. "Hi, I want to take care of your kids, but first I need to know, are you a bigot?" Lol you know? Ive worked in special ed until recently and my blood boils when people say insensitive things. My current db made a comment about "those kind of kids" in a snooty tone and you better believe I was fuming. But I wouldn't quit over it nor would I ever think of an acceptable way to ask about any prejudices prior to working for them. If anything, you could be there to help thechildren see and hear another point of view and hopefully make them more accepting.

princess said...

Also, I don't feel the need to tell my employers that I'm straight, so I feel its totally unprofessional to bring up your sexual preference to them.

HandsmacksHead said...

Are you seriously asking if you should bring up your SEXUALITY at a JOB INTERVIEW? If you honestly don't know the answer to that question then I don't think you're ready to be out in the world without supervision.

Just say in your ad that you're LGBT-friendly. If you raised the issue of your sexuality in an interview with me, I wouldn't hire you. Not because of the fact that you're bi, but because you don't know basic common sense (see my first question).

Martha J Escudero said...

Hi my friend, I understand your concern, but I think that you are way behind on time. You shouldnt be preocupied regading your sexuality during any job interview any more now. Being gay is becoming more acceptable as part of earth's ife today, than the previous generations' idea that being gay was a merely choice of lifestyle. I suggest you to bring it up during your next job enterview. Ask the question "how do you feel about your nanny being born with a Gender Identity discordance (or Disorder)" As an employer,for me it will be trully important to define your personality as well as knowing if my prospect employer will accept and understand my personality. And if not, that worker, or, that family is not for me. I would rather move on because being happy on the job is crucial when working with children. I hope my suggestion helps. Thanks! Martha.

Lyn said...

Don't bring it up in the interview. In time after being on the job for a while bits and pieces of our family life come into conversation. As is totally normal when seeing someone everyday. If you feel it is important to bring to your MB's attention when she asks you how your weekend was on a Monday morning you can always reply "Thanks for asking! It was great. My brother and his partner had a cookout at their new house. It's always nice to have the family all together!" Or something like that.

I would NOT mention your sexual preferences at all. I also wouldn't mention them to a boss in a corporate setting though. Keep some things to yourself and your separate life from work. At least until ****quite**** a bit of time into the job when you know the family a bit better. Again, I would only bring this up well after accepting a job and working for a while and probably only if I were in a serious dating relationship.

Also, I have one of the equality bumper stickers. The ones that look like an equal sign on a blue background. When I first moved to and started looking for work in North Carolina it brought a lot of weird glances. But I think it helped me to weed out some families I interviewed with and probably helped them do the same, haha. :)

Lyn said...

Sorry for the typos!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I would not mention it whatsoever. You're right, it is completely irrelevant to childcare. Period.

I find mostly conservative + religious families have issues w/homosexuality while Europeans seem the most open-minded. Perhaps something to keep in mind when interviewing w/potential families.

I would just keep you and your brother's sexuality out of it. It is none of their business and it does not have anything to do w/your job.

Most people today are very accepting of homosexuality vs. even 10 yrs ago, so I wouldn't even worry about what others think.

It's funny, but I have NEVER seen a Help Wanted childcare ad saying if one is a homosexual, then not to apply. I have seen ads stating certain families do not want someone w/tattoos, piercings, etc. But never someone who is gay.

Hope this makes you feel better.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I wouldn't mention it at all! It really is none of their business. However, I do see your point that you are uncomfortable with racism, prejudice, etc and that you want to limit the chances of that happening with your bosses but I don't think it is appropriate to bring up to them before knowing them for an extended amount of time. I think there are other ways to potentially see how "open" they are about things by possibly finding out their religious views, political views, etc. Again, not appropriate to grill them at the interview but it can give you a better idea of what they're like.

If you do end up getting a job and your bosses make a joke or bring up a topic that you aren't comfortable with, politely tell them. Some people just don't think about that kind of stuff (which is wrong) and they sometimes need reminding to be more respectful of others.

Katie said...

Perhaps working in homes is not for you, or working in general.

It sucks, but that's life as an adult we can't always avoid bigots.

As has been said do not bring up your personal relationships during an interview. That is not professional.
It is also not professional to grill them about religious, political or other views . It is also not okay for them to ask these questions.

If you do grill them even if they are the most accepting evolved people they may not hire you.

Why? Because, very few parents want a nanny that will grill or lecture them. They will probably assume you are the type to fight them on parenting choices as well, breast v bottle or cloth v disposable.

Your focus should be on providing care to the kids.

If you live in an area that is less tolerant than average list in your nanny ad that you are LGBT-friendly or apply to jobs looking for an LGBT-friendly nanny. I've seen tons of these ads in my area lately.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Here's a thought: Would you EVER tell potential employers that you were Bi and your brother was gay if you were looking for a secretarial job, a retail job, a job as an accountant?

Of course not. You would never even consider doing that, because it would virtually guarantee that either you didn't get hired or that you did get a job that you didn't qualify for because they thought your inappropriate disclosure might mean you'd sue them if they didn't hire you.

Be professional. When interviewing keep the focus on the job and if you get hired, keep things professional. If you hear a derogatory comment or a joke is made that offends you, walk away or calmly reply that XYZ bothers you.

If the revelation of your and your brother's sexuality is essential to you and your job happiness, be sure that you do list yourself as ONLY interested in meeting LGBT friendly families, but unless you live in a pretty accepting and tolerant area, you'll severely limit your options.

annoyed said...

So you are judging those people for judging you. You are doing the same thing you are complaining about! They have a point of view thats different then yours deal with it

UmassSlytherin said...

I don't think you should say anything. It is not their business.

MissMannah said...

OP, I know exactly how you feel but I also think you are kind of wearing your heart on your sleeve. You didn't mention if bigotry is a big problem where you live, but I definitely understand the feeling because it is here. It is hard to find people who accept others for who they are, rather than their sexuality/race/etc. But you know what I do? I get over it, because I have no choice. My last MB, who I really liked, ended up being a bit of a racist. I cringed whenever she said something about "those blacks" (aka, her neighbors) but I wasn't going to quit over that simply because it wasn't constant and she was a good boss the rest of the time.

I think what you need to do is go into an interview as if it was for any other job and not mention anything about sexuality. (You're right, it is none of their business.) Try to feel out families in the interviews and look for people who seem tolerant but also more standoffish so they won't tend to ask personal questions.

Believe me, I know what it's like. My best friend is a gay man and I love him dearly. It kills me when I hear homophobic comments. But any good professional family shouldn't say stuff like that in front of you anyway.

Lgbt nanny said...

I get what you are saying op but at the same time, we are professionals in a job. It's hard working for a family who may not hold your same belief systems, ie my last MB and DB were very religious and thought very poorly of gays. Well fantastic because I am a lesbian, who has been committed in a relationship for 3 years. I knew the family wouldn't last long term, as I am beginning the process of insemination. Point being though I kept my personal life private and worked with them for almost 2 years. It stinks when your MB and DB make bigoted comments but you just have to let it go. As nannies we are there ultimately to perform a service, not make friends with the parents.

MakesNoDifference said...

I'm. Gay & I couldn't care less what anyone believes. Sounds like you care way too much what others think. NOBODY wants to hear that your bi and your brother is gay in a JOB interview. Do u expect the parents to tell u they like threesomes???? Get over it before u drive urself crazy.

lexeael13 said...

i understand how you feel about being judged by people you may meet as a nanny and that you are proud of yourself and your life. I think we all work for people who dont have everything in common and need to be tolerant of others i am always trying to teach my charges that differences are good. I would suggest that you dont say anything about sexual orientation in your interview just like you would not go in and talk about your specific religious beliefs etc. I hope you find someone understanding and wonderful to work for.

seriously-wtf said...

A different pov like.....judging someone on their behavior and not the color of their skin or their sexual preferences.

Yeah, that is totally the same thing!!!!!!

parkour said...

Definitely don't bring it up at the interview. It's really quite uncalled for. Being bi is not going to alter your ability to properly care for their child, so mentioning it is neither here nor there. I also highly doubt they will ever inquire much about your siblings. Your job is to care for children, not gab about family and your sexual orientation because frankly
it is none of their business. It is also none of your business if they do or do not support your lifestyle.
While you may not be ashamed, you do seem very insecure.
No one should "hate" anyone for anything so why even humor the thought that they would hate you because you are bi?
Would you hate them because they do not agree with homosexuality?
While you may not be ashamed, you do seem very insecure/young.

Susannah said...

You sound very young.

Is this your first job?

All of what you mentioned concerns your private life. You do not discuss your private life during an interview. You do not discuss it when you are hired. It is irrelevant.
Now should they make a comment you find offensive you may politely tell them you are not comfortable with that type of language. The end.

lifesjusttooshortdarling! said...

I was thinking the same exact things. To be young is to be idealistic. I agree that sexual likes & disklikes are never appropriate to be discussed during an interview or while @ work. Honestly, I'm gay @ I couldn't care any less if my employer is the worldest biggest homophobe. In fact, Id kinda like it! Because when it would be time to move on, Id casually mention that "one of them" has been their nanny for X years. Then, Id laugh like a psycho! Lifes too short to put that much stock into what someone else thinks.

Beezus said...

You are correct! It is totally irrelevant to childcare! Who cares how they view bisexuality-not you,right?!, so their feelings on the matter are void. Ignorance is bliss so don't go looking for trouble.

"Say what you mean and act how you feel, because those who matter don't mind, and those who do mind don't matter."

Fan said...

You expect a bigot to tolerate the gay when the gay can't tolerate the bigot?

You sound very self-involved.

When -- WHEN -- it becomes an issue, deal with it then. Until then just get on with things.

Truth Seeker said...

I am straight, however if a family I worked for made anti-gay comments to me or anyone else, I would not want to work for them at all.

In this day and age, such comments are ignorant.

Dinah said...

So basically, you are saying you are predjudiced against people who don't hold the same beliefs as you? If I were you I would seriously re-examine myself. The first part of your post defends your brother in spite of his being gay. Read it again, dear, that's what it does. If you were truly comfortable with it you wouldn't even need to bring it up. It's no one's business but his. You certaibnly wouldn't feel the need to list all the positive qualituies he has.

And as for bringing this up in an interview no way I would hire you uif you did. People have every right to think the way they wish. If they make a comment that makes you uncomfortable you need simply say "That really makes me uncomfortable" Or just ignore it. Not everyone will think and feel like you do.

I don't know how long you have been working total, but you say you have been a nanny for 11 years. Do you really think you have always had employers who hold exactly your same beliefs? Your post makes me think of all the hate-mongers you supposedly can't tolerate. You think along the same lines it's just the thoughts themselves that differ and I am not sure how true that even is. Re-examine yourself.

bostonnanny said...

This might be stupid but if you put lgbt friendly in an ad do most families think your gay or do they take it as your open to all types of families. I post it in my ads because I have a dream of working with interracial gay couple with adopted children and hope that one day I'll attract that type of family. I'm straight but I wonder if I'm scaring off some families (not that I would want to work for people who are prejudice) by posting that.

Babs said...

OP - If your resume lists volunteer experiences that reflect your belief system (for example, volunteering to work with at-risk LGBTQ youth), it is a subtle and appropriate way to provide that information.

Phoenix said...

well you need to get over it.

ther is a reason why companies have the policy of things to not discuss at work. You are too damn sensetive and you your beliefs are your beliefs and you shouldn't bring it up. If you were my nanny and you brought something like that up to me I would fire you. There is no room for that in the work place.

Being bias against bias people is acting the same way that you wish to not be like. If you throw out hate for hateful people then you are no better than they are.

My mother-in-law is gay. She's been with her current girl friend for 10 years. The one before that she has a kid with.

she doesn't give two shits if the people she works for like gay people or not. She's getting paid and she can't change the world or their opinions

You are trying to be a victim.

Get over it

nycmom said...


Best advice on the thread!

OhhPlease said...

You say you have been a nanny for 11 years, in those 11 years, have you worked for families that spew racial slurrs, anti-Semitism, or homophobic remarks on a daily basis? How did you deal with job interviews in the 11 years you have been a nanny? What made this all come about?

OceanBlue said...

Something does not add up here.

You've been a nanny for 11 years, but have no idea what is and is not appropriate interview conversation.

I'e been a nanny half that time and know it wouldn't be appropriate to tell potential employers about my sexual orientation or that of my family members. WTFH!

You have never dealt with prejudice in 11 years?

Why is this an issue now?

You sound like you were looking for a a huge debate or attention on a blog.

If by some small chance this is a real issue, you have been given good advice.

classic wacko comment said...

"I have a dream of working with interracial gay couple with adopted children and hope that one day I'll attract that type of family."

Wow. I'm speechless.

erica said...

@ bostonnanny,
You could place 2 ads: one being LGBT-friendly and the other without... that way you don't need to worry if your off-putting to some families. Then --- how cool would it be, to see which ad gets the most response? ;)

Phoenix said...

this is the same thing as refusing to work for a family if they are not a certain religion.


NannyBrandie said...

I wouldn't mention it during the interview, I was concerned about that as well when I was looking for a job. If you come out and say you are bi and your brother is gay it might rub them the wrong way. Not because the family is homophobic, but just because people dont mention their sexual preferences at an interview.

The way that I came out to my family (I'm queer/Bi/whatever you'd like to call it) is about 6 months after I started working for them I requested time off to volunteer at a march during PRIDE in Boston. They put it together (they have many friends who are gay/bi, that I didn't know of) and we got to talking and they asked if I was going to PRIDE. They asked if I was a supporter and I said no. (trying to feel out their response) They replied, but you date men ( I had a bf at the time), and I added, and women as well (with a big smile) and we all giggled a bit and they said, oh your bi. I thought it would be uncomfortable, but for the most part if you feel a family out, and they get to know you before your sexual preferences, I really can't see anyone freaking out about it.
Where are you located? I am in Boston, which is pretty liberal, obviously reactions may be a bit stronger in more conservative areas.
Best of luck

MissMannah said...

Phoenix: not really. Or maybe it is and I just don't have any shame. Because I will not work for overtly religious people...of any faith. I don't want to teach religion to children because I don't believe it. Just feels like pretending to me and I know a very religious family will want me to teach it to their children. I also will not ever work for ER doctors or cops. Should I be ashamed of that too?

Reality said...

Why would that be shameful? If I'm a hard core Mormon, why wouldn't I want to work with a family who has the same values & beliefs. That's why so many nannys like to find jobs through their churches.

I'm surprised at your age that you have such rigid thinking.

OP said...

OP here

A few things-I do live in a fairly tolerant area, but I encounter bigotry from time to time. Also, yes I have walked out on jobs because of comments they have made. I don't see being prejudiced as "a different viewpoint." Prejudice is hate and ignorance. When people say we should respect the viewpoint of a homophobe, that is like saying we should respect the viewpoint of a man who beats his wife.

A lot of you don't get it. Bigotry is not something we should just ignore and "suck it up". So many of you said you have worked for racists or homophobes, I simply cannot and will not do that. I could never look myself in the face if my sole source of financial support came from someone so prejudiced. That's just they way I am.

I never said I was going to start broadcasting my sexuality to everyone I interview with. I have never mentioned it at an interview in my life. However, I did have one MB find out and she said she didn't care that I was bi, she was upset that I lied about it. I never actually lied, but by not telling her, she saw that as a lie of omission.

Thanks to those of you who gave me good advice. Those of you who don't get it...might never get it.

I am very sad to see so few people are as passionate about prejudice as I am.

Katie said...

So you were looking for fellow passionate people?

I hear what you're saying. I jus tdon't think it's very realistic unless you are in a position where you can afford to potentially be looking for jobs all the time.

Perhaps, it's because I've worked in fields besides being a nanny, but if I quit every job I ever had that one of my superiors was a racist, well suffice it to say thre wouldn't be a Katie because I would have starved to death.

Perhaps you'd be happier in a career focused on righting social injustices.

Just curios and I don't mean this in a nasty way, but how far do you take this passion?

You say you could not accept money from a racist or prejudiced person as part of your income, it would follow in my thinking that you do not give your money to prejudiced individuals or organizations.

Do you track where your money goes as far as food, clothing, housing, and recreational activities etc?

Katie said...

Bostonnanny, I think I understand what your saying, but it just seems so odd in writing. All I can think of celebs and their designer dog accessories only it's with people.

bostonnanny said...

It was more of a joking comment with a hint of seriousness in it ;) obviously I don't choose my families based off whether they meet those specifications but it would be cool to work a family like that especially if one of the parents was an environmentalist and the other in the army lol it would be like working every thing I believed in and supported. Add that they were vegan and I would hit the jackpot!

MissMannah said...

OP, it is wonderful to be passionate about your beliefs but you also have to be realistic. Not everyone is going to believe the same way you do and in fact it is going to be very difficult to find a boss who won't piss you off with something they say at some point. You do have to ignore little comment sometimes. I'm not saying you should ignore it if a boss says "I hate those fucking fags, let's kill them all." I would walk out of a job if I heard that too.

Katie, you asked if OP keeps track of where her money is going and I just thought I would answer that I try to. For example, I don't eat at Chick-Fil-A or shop at Salvation Army anymore because they both have donated large amounts of money to anti-gay organizations. I obviously know that my tiny amount of money isn't going to make any difference to them but I don't want to support them now that I know this about them.

Trista said...

I googled prospective employers and found out That the dad who had already told me was a therapist, was linked to a Catholic site for therapy. I then saw his personal work page which listed human sexuality as one of his areas of focus. I didn't know if that mean't he was for or against homosexuality. I ended up asking after our in person interview went really well & they were happy to confirm they we're very supportive of gay rights and wanted their kids to be as well. *squeal*

I think they way of going about it can be tricky, but if you are working for a family with kids old enough to notice two women holding hands or two men kissing in the street, the issue will surely arise. Most kids will be curious enough to ask why & you'll be the one delivering an explanation. It's better for everyone If you know how you're able to respond. Some people think it's not your place to talk about that kind of thing with your nanny kids at all but say you're out and about and the kids see a same sex couple and make a insensitive remark about it, pointing out how wrong it is.

I would do as some of the others have suggested and leave out your sexuality as well as your brothers, and just fit it in somewhere that you're pro gay rights or even have one of you're posted photos be of you in a gay rights rainbow shirt or something :) you get the idea. Personally, I just looped it into my personal interests section on my profile.

I find the issue of gay rights extremely important and applaud you for trying to figure out the best way of going about it as a nanny for hire.

etter better off knowing how the parents want you to handle