MANCHESTER, UK— Char Eden, 29, a non-binary paralegal at Manfred-Khan Solicitors is reported still partially closeted. Their attempt to come out to colleagues at the firm’s daily Zoom meeting failed due to a muted microphone. Sources confirm the technical failure was brought to Eden’s attention only after they had completed the entirety of their seventeen-minute scripted address.
“This was meant to be a big final step for Char,” confirmed housemate Holly O’Neil, who witnessed the remarks from the other side of their living room while also working remotely. “Their colleagues were the only people they still weren’t out to.”
Though some personal business is tolerated – within reason – the daily briefing, affectionately known as “The 9am,” is nominally intended for the 12 members of Manfred-Khan’s staff to discuss work priorities for the day ahead. Colleagues in attendance at Friday’s meeting gave wide-ranging accounts as to why Eden’s speech was allowed to continue uninterrupted.
“When someone’s talking with their microphone off, I wait until they’re finished before pointing it out,” said receptionist Megan Archibald. “It drags the meeting, which delays me having to do real work.”
“My wife says I’m not emotionally capable of dealing with people in crisis and Char seemed really worked up,” shrugged senior partner Vishy Mahendran.
According to colleagues, after Eden’s speech concluded they were given the opportunity to repeat themself, though it appears this was not seized upon. “Char mumbled something about donations for a charity run and then the meeting ended,” said Archibald. “I sent an email saying I would pledge £20, but Char never responded.”
Sources close to Eden suggest the speech, all things considered, was roughly as well-received as it could have been. “I think bemused silence is a pretty good outcome for explaining they/them pronouns to a group of middle-aged straight people.” said Matilda McCowan, guitarist in the Queer Rockabilly/Gregorian-Chant band, Trauma-Llama-Ding-Dong, of which Eden is also a member.
Having failed to get the message across at the first attempt, friends speculate Eden may now be open to more informal means of coming out. “Char told me they might just blurt it out at a completely inappropriate moment,” said O’Neil. “The firm might have some very confused clients come Monday.”