"Out at home; in at work"
I was on a job interview at a high-tech firm and the hiring manager, who seemed really friendly, asked if I knew some mutual colleagues, all of whom happened to be gay. I did, but I felt like she was trying to find out about my sexual orientation. Although I am out in my private life, I prefer not to talk about it in the office.
If an interviewer asks you directly if you’re LGBT, she’s ethically and legally out of bounds. But the situation you described sounds neither illegal nor particularly rude. It’s actually standard practice to inquire about any working relationships you may have had with other colleagues. In fact, she may have even planned to ask them whether you’d be a good fit for the job in question. Perhaps past incidents of homophobia—not to mention the general climate against LGBT people—have colored your reaction, but don’t assume the worst in your interactions with straight people. Sometimes a question is just a question.
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