Following David’s post below I skimmed the HBR blog and came across this post. It makes sense. If you work in a mid-to-large sized company in a major US city and are gay there is probably no downside to being open about your sexual preferences. There may even be advantages because you become a member of a privileged minority, and everything in life is easier if you don’t feel you have to hide something important about yourself from people you spend a lot of time with.
But what about coming out of the closet for other kinds of personal preferences than sexual ones? The post gives the hypothetical example of someone who is obsessed with World of Warcraft. All well and good for that guy on your IT or junior marketing staff, but for senior managers? Would your company celebrate that weirdness? Note that Zappos hedges by stating they aren’t looking for “crazy or extreme” weirdness, where crazy and extreme are undefined. Probably this means that only fashionable, politically correct weirdness gets a pass. Gun enthusiasts, Tea Party activists, people who blog about men’s rights… In corporate America some people are probably wise to stay in the closet.