Like many young women breaking into the working world, I spent some time and effort looking for mentors. I managed to find two significant ones. The first was a lesbian; the second was not. I mention this fact because, for the purposes of this article, it is the most important aspect of the two relationships. My first mentor, Linda, hired me for my first job out of college. She was my supervisor. Linda was an open lesbian; I was very young and still fairly confused about my own sexuality. I certainly was not out as a lesbian either to her or to my fellow workers. We worked closely together; she taught and shaped me and I soaked it all in. We became close emotionally as well, sharing lunches, occasional dinners, and confiding in one another about our lives outside of work. We spent a lot of time together. People noticed. My friends and colleagues asked me questions about the relationship. They were concerned about me. They warned me to be careful. My second mentor, Harriet, hired me for a legal internship one summer while I was in law school. She too was my supervisor. I had graduated from college seven years earlier and was fairly settled about my sexuality. I most definitely was out as a lesbian to her, as well as to my co-workers and to anyone else who asked. We worked closely together; she taught and shaped me and I soaked it all in. We became close emotionally as well, just as Linda and I had. People noticed. My friends and colleagues began asking me if we were having an affair. I learned that her friends and colleagues were asking her about the relationship. They were concerned about her. They told her to be careful.
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