He didn't want them to know his secret. Andre Cooley lives in Mississippi, one of 29 states where it's legal for employers to fire a person for being gay. In that environment, why would he risk being out of the closet at work? Cooley grew up in foster care and wanted to give back. His job as a juvenile corrections officer was too central to his identity. So he covered it up. The 27-year-old lowered his voice. Talked less with his hands. Pretended he was straight, all to protect himself.