We had a security briefing on Friday. Basically, explaining to us that most of the stuff we’re working on has been or will be classified and even that stuff which isn’t shouldn’t be bandied about. Not only should we keep information from spies (who look like Russians) but we also have to keep this information from everyone else as well. So basically I can’t talk about anything. Now, if I was the sort of person who likes keeping secrets I would be really chuffed about that, but really, I love talking about my work, so keeping mum is kind of sad, it really is very interesting work…
We started talking about security clearance. My clearance is still being worked on (hopefully will be done by the time I am finished). One of the guys mentioned that back in the day, being a “closet gay” could have caused someone problems when it came to seeking security clearance. I blushed visibly.
Now, the reason they usually say why “closeted gays” are not given security clearance is because of the chance of blackmail. I am hoping that because I have been so open about it here that the SIS will realise it’s not going to be a matter of blackmail. If they want, I’ll publish every single sordid detail of every sexual encounter I have had since I was 6. Actually, that document’s half-written, it’s not very long…
Anyway, when I applied for security clearance I diligently looked for the tick-box which says “are you gay?” there was none. So I figured they could find out by themselves. They are the secret service after all, it’s what they do. I considered putting it down under the “other stuff” section but then I thought “why should I be treated differently because of my sexuality?” People are always complaining gays want special treatment or make a big deal about being “special”. I really didn’t want to have to make a big deal about it.
One form I was required to disclose my sexuality on was my medical examination form. It asked “are you a member of one of these groups at risk of HIV/AIDS: homosexual / hemophiliac. So, I ticked “yes”. I didn’t want to lie or anything.
In the actual medical exam it was far more embarrassing than a form could ever be:
“I see here you ticked the box which says you’re a member of one of these groups that’s at risk of HIV/AIDS” the female nurse asked me kindly
“Yes, I did” I grinned as confidently as I dared. This was going to be bad.
“So, which one is it?” she ventured as tactfully as she could.
“Ok,” she smiled encouragingly “and so have you..”
“NO!” I cut her off hastily before she could ask such a personal question.
“Well, is there any possibility that?”
“No. Well, I had a blood transfusion back in South Africa, I guess that could have been bad blood.”
Near the end of the medical exam, after doing things to me that had I been a child I would later remember during hypnotherapy as evidence of sexual abuse (or alien visitation), she asked me:
“So, would you like an HIV test?”
“Uh, well, if you think it’s necessary.”
“Well, just in case, you know, that blood trnsfusion”
“Yeah, sure, ok.”
They don’t normally require you to do an HIV test. Sure, she wasn’t forcing me but I felt as though if I refused she would think it suspicious and put a black mark against my name or something. I must say that I felt a little degraded after that. I mean, there’s no possible way I could have contracted AIDS from another guy because I had never had any sexual contact with another guy. To say that simply because I was gay required them to ask me to do an HIV test is, quite frankly, kind of disturbing.
Anyway, back to the present.
After the security briefing I emailed my boss and told him in no uncertain terms I was gay (just in case he missed the bumper sticker). I don’t want anyone to be able to use that information as an excuse for denying me security clearance.