Apr 9, 2016

February 2005: Hooking Up on a Job Interview

Xenia, Ohio, February 2005

I've been on the academic job market four times, after getting my Ph.D. (2001), when trying to leave Florida (2005), and at the end of my temporary positions in Dayton (2008) and Philadelphia (2013).  About 10 interviews each time, 50 in all.

So I know all the routines.

1. I will be asked about the last game of whatever sports team is popular in my area.

2. I will be told about the hotness of local girls.

3. I will usually be assumed heterosexual, in spite of my resume-full of gay-themed research, although some people will wonder, and ask sneaky questions in an attempt to find out.

4. Others will conclude that I am gay, and hide in their offices when I'm around, lest they be forced to shake hands with a queer.

5. Sometimes they have just invited me to interview so they can congratulate themselves on how liberal they are; I have no chance at an offer.

Those interviews can actually be pleasant: since I have no chance, I can relax, not be "on" all the time, pay more attention to my surroundings.  And it's fun seeing them stumble around the gay issue.

In the spring of 2005, when I was invited to Wilberforce University, near Xenia, Ohio, it was obvious even before I arrived that I had no chance of a offer.  It's a historically black college. 500 students, 98% black.   And affiliated with the homophobic African Methodist Episcopal Church.  No gay student organizations.

No way they're hiring a gay white guy.

So I relaxed, played it cool, and settled in for my free trip.

The full story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.