Resources for LGBTQ Employees - OutBuro - LGBT Employer Company Reviews Gay Professional Network LGBT Business News Information Lesbian Business News Queer Entrepreneur Community GLBT

Resources for LGBTQ Employees

As a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and heteroflexible employee you can face discrimination, harassment, paid less, passed over for advancement, and other challenges in many forms at work.  Studies have shown that facing such challenges can lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems that need to be addressed so that you can live a full and productive life both at work and in your private time.  Sometimes you suffer in silence and just look for another job.  Other times if severe enough it can lead to even more complexities through an LGBT discrimination court case.

I know, you know and now a study shows that being LGBTQ through our life experiences and dedication make outstanding management potential.   Also that no matter what role we play as an employee, a company that values you fully as an LGBTQ person has a lot to gain from you individually and collectively as a group of unique perspectives and value.

A Broken Bargain is a report examining the many hardships and barriers facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers across the country, written in collaboration between the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Center for American Progress (CAP), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

LGBTQ Resources on OutBüro

Be a Voice for Change

Naturally, we hope you’ve had great work experiences.  Maybe it’s been indifferent.  Maybe you’ve had some great work environments mixed in with some bad experiences.  Your employer experiences can now be a voice for change.  Best yet you may do so anonymously on OutBüro.   You can review/rate your current and recent past (up to 5 years past) employers on OutBüro providing the companies valuable insight into the issues in their company affecting LGBTQ employees and what they need to change to create an inclusive and welcoming environment.  Further, you’ll be providing insights into the workplace for potential future LGBTQ employees considering those companies as employers.

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More Resources

Lambda LegalLambda Legal - OutBuro LGBT Employer Reviews Rating Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking Diversity Recruiting Jobs Company Queer Bisexual Transgender

Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbiansgay menbisexualstransgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, it does not charge its clients for legal representation or advocacy, and it receives no government funding. We depend on contributions from supporters around the country.

American Civil Liberties Union LGBT ProjectACLU - American Civil Liberties Union - OutBuro - Gay Professional Networking LGBT Employeer Reviews Business News Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

The ACLU works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.

The ACLU has a long history of defending the LGBT community. We brought our first LGBT rights case in 1936 and founded the LGBT Project in 1986. Today, the ACLU brings more LGBT cases and advocacy initiatives than any other national organization does. With our reach into the courts and legislatures of every state, there is no other organization that can match our record of making progress both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion.

CenterLinkCenterLink - Network of LGBTQ Community Centers - OutBuro Gay Professional Networking LGBT Business News Employer Reviews Information Queer Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

CenterLink was founded in 1994 as a member-based coalition to support the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers.  The organization plays an important role in supporting the growth of LGBT centers and addressing the challenges they face, by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity and increase access to public resources. Based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, CenterLink works with other national organizations to advance the rights of LGBT individuals and to provide LGBT community centers with information and analysis of key issues.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)GLAD - Legal Defenders and Advocates - OutBuro - Gay Professional Networking LGBT Employeer Reviews Business News Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

Human Rights CampaignHRC - Human Rights Campaign - OutBuro Gay Professional Networking LGBT Business News Employer Reviews Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

HRC works to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Legal Aid At WorkLegal Aid at Work - OutBuro Gay Professional Networking LGBT Business News Employer Reviews Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

Legal Aid at Work -Employment Law Center’s Gender Equity & LGBT Rights Program is dedicated to promoting gender equity and advancing the rights of low-wage women and families, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, survivors of domestic and sexual violence, pregnant women, caregivers, military families and veterans, and other under-represented workers and students.  Legal Aid at Work provides workshops, information resources, legal counsel, legal representation in class and individual cases and advocates policy change.

Out & EqualOut and Equal - OutBuro Gay Professional Networking LGBT Business News Employer Reviews Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer workplace equality.

We partner with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies to provide executive leadership development, comprehensive training and consultation, and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments.

National Center for Lesbian RightsNational Center for Lesbian Rights - OutBuro Gay Professional Networking LGBT Business News Employer Reviews Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

(NCLR)  was the first national LGBTQ legal organization founded by women and brings a fierce, longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and our community’s most vulnerable.

Since 1977, NCLR has been at the forefront of advancing the civil and human rights of our full LGBTQ community and their families through impact litigation, public policy, and public education. Decades ago, NCLR led the way by establishing the first LGBTQ Immigration Project, Transgender Rights Project, Youth Project, Elder Law Project, and began working to end conversion therapy through what is now the Born Perfect campaign.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s goal is to create an organization that could support LGBT business owners and showcases the diversity of talent in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) National Help CenterLGBT National Help Center - OutBuro Gay Professional Networking LGBT Business News Employer Reviews Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) National Help Center, founded in 1996, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of LGBT volunteers, we operate three national hotlines, the LGBT National Hotline, the LGBT National Youth Talkline, and the LGBT National Senior Hotline as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that helps both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

Pride at WorkPride at Work - OutBuro Gay Professional Networking LGBT Business News Employer Reviews Information Queer Community Lesbian Entrepreneuer GLBT Job Board Postings

Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies. We are an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations) that organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community to further social and economic justice. From our national office in Washington, DC, we coordinate and support more than 20 Chapters across the country.

We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions. We work towards creating a Labor Movement that cherishes diversity, encourages openness, and ensures safety & dignity. We aim to educate the LGBTQ Community about the benefits of a union contract for LGBTQ working people, and to build support and solidarity for the union movement in the LGBTQ community.

EEO CommisionUS EEO Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - OutBuro - Gay Professional Networking LGBT Employeer Reviews Business News Queer Community Lesbian GLBT Job Board Postings

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.


Are you aware of other great resources for LGBTQ employees?  Contact us with a link to a URL to add to this listing so all may benefit.

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Study Occurrences of LGBT Workplace Discrimination Cases in the USA - LGBT Employees Rate Employer Review Company Employee Branding OutBuro - Corporate Workplace Equality Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity Inclusion

Study: Occurrences of LGBT Workplace Discrimination Cases in the USA

In 2017, reversing prior Department of Justice policy, the Trump administration proclaimed employment discrimination protections do not extend to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in the workplace. At the same time, several lawsuits alleging employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are winding their way through the federal court system with mixed results based on this uncertainty.  These legal disputes will continue to play out nationally as the current cases proceed as new cases are brought forth.

To examine this further, statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides insights into complaints related to gender identity and sexual orientation in recent years. It demonstrates how LGBTQ people are increasingly willing to step forward and make formal legal complaints, the increase in frequency they happen along with their success rate at winning their discrimination cases.

Taking a look first at geographical patterns of EEOC charges citing sexual orientation or gender identity the regional differences are easily apparent, with a heavy concentration in the Southern states. Georgia and Mississippi was near the top of the list, with roughly four charges per 100,000 residents each.  Based on those states current policy records on LGBTQ issues it’s not surprising.  These states lag far behind the rest of the country in terms of legal protections for gay. lesbian, bisexual,  transgender, queer people.

What was a bit of a surprise is that Washington, D.C., had the most complaints related to gender identity and sexual orientation per capita, even though it has a long history of activism by LGBTQ community in the nation’s capital.

From 2014 to 2017, legal charges of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were significantly more common than allegations of gender identity discrimination. Thatis is not surprising and seems to reflect the relative size of the respective communities. While estimates of the transgender population vary, a greater number of people identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In a small portion of cases (roughly 3%) complainants alleged both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination together.

Check out these additional resource articles:

Cumulatively, LGBTQ-related discrimination complaints increased substantially between 2014 and 2015 and continued to rise between 2015 and 2016. In 2017, however, complaints declined slightly from 2016. That statistic provides an interesting counternarrative to research suggesting a surge in anti-LGBTQ sentiment among heterosexual people in 2017. But this decline could also be attributable to hesitation on the part of the LGBTQ community to file complaints with the EEOC, given the uncertainty of protections under the Trump administration and the media attention anti-LGBT action receives.

Equality: A Work in Progress

This study suggests hundreds of thousands of people encounter workplace discrimination each year on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Although discrimination is clearly unacceptable in any professional setting, the volume of these charges may indicate LGBTQ empowerment. Rather than suffering in silence, LGBTQ employees are making use of a valuable legal resource to claim their rights for equality. Although discrimination remains an unfortunate part of America’s employment landscape, we should celebrate those with the courage to combat it.

One way to combat discrimination even if you as an employee don’t feel comfortable making is making it publically known by joining OutBüro for free, then adding the company to the directory and rating it anonymously.  Your feedback will be helpful to the company and to countless future prospective LGBT job seekers considering working there.  See this article for more information: Be a Superhero – Your Voice has the Power to Create Change

The research calls for employers to break the culture of silence that surrounds discrimination and harassment.  Check out the below article for more information:


Are you aware of an LGBT owned business or community non-profit we should inform our readers about?  Contact us with an LGBT owned business lead or news tip.

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72% of LGBT People Experience Mental Health Issues Due to Work Environment - OutBuro LGBT Business News Information Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking GLBT Queer

72% of LGBT People Experience Mental Health Issues Due to Work Environment

YouGov - OutBuro LGBT Employee Company Employer Reviews GLBT Business News Gay Professional Networking Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer job portal seeker community

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees still face workplace discrimination, harassment, and limitations on their career due to their sexuality.  From this is common to experience mental distress caused by the employer and coworkers.  The survey, conducted by YouGov and sponsored in part by Mercer, was published ahead of World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and shows LGBT people are disproportionately affected by mental health issues.

Mercer - OutBuro LGBT Employee Company Employer Reviews GLBT Business News Gay Professional Networking Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer job portal seeker community

Nearly three-quarters of LGBT people have experienced mental health issues because of work according to the poll, commissioned by Business in the Community with HR firm Mercer, which found 72 percent of LGBT people have experienced various levels of mental distress as a result of work/work environment.  that 20% of bisexual employees said they had hidden their identity (Creative Commons)  Further the poll found that  26% of LGBT employees said they had hidden their identity at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination, it also found. For many, this causes them to remain in the closet and validated by the results show only 60 percent of LGBT employees feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation at work, while 32 percent of managers have disguised that they are LGBT due to fear of discrimination.  This is collaborated by a separate study by HRC showing that the majority of LGBT workers closeted on the job.

Check out these related studies that support some of the sources of the stress LGBT workers face:

This represented just a four percent drop from HRC’s 2008 Degrees of Equality report, which was created before Barack Obama’s presidency, before same-sex marriage was legalized across the US and before transgender rights became a prominent issue in the civil rights struggle.

  • 53% said they had heard jokes about lesbian or gay people at every few months at work
  • 20% queer employees reported to HRC that they had been told or had colleagues imply that they should dress in a more feminine or masculine manner.
  • Nearly 33% LGBT+ people said they had felt unhappy or depressed at work.
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees are more than twice as likely as white employees to have experienced negativity from customers and clients (23 percent compared to 11 percent).
  • 7% have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the last year, rising to 15 percent of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, 20%of non-binary people

The research calls for employers to break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health and to invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees.


Are you aware of an LGBT owned business or community non-profit we should inform our readers about?  Contact us with an LGBT owned business lead or news tip.

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Study finds LGBT people less likely to be hired, paid less, and not promoted

A study recently published in the “Archives of Sexual Behaviour” conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey in the UK introduced voice samples and images with backgrounds removed of homosexual (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer) alongside the heterosexual persons, to a panel of heterosexual men and women. Participants weren’t informed of the subjects’ sexual orientation but permitted to openly guess their sexual orientation purely on the voice and photo of their face. The premise of the study was the heterosexual participants were recruiters and hiring managers and were instructed to evaluate the employability of the candidates. The participants were asked to respond to 5 statements on a scale of 1-5 as well as to provide their view of the perceived monthly wages they believed would be fair for the candidate.

They found that when participants perceived subjects to be homosexual (LGBT) – real or not, the believed them to be inadequate as leaders.

For male study candidates, voice and speech rather than physical looks influenced heavily on if they have been deemed appropriate for the job. Researchers discovered that projecting a “heterosexual-sounding” instead of the “gay-sounding” voice generated the belief that the study candidate normally displays masculine traits, which subsequently improved their perceived suitability for the job and the justification for a higher wage and advancement. The study discovered that heterosexuals believed gay men ought to be paid less than their heterosexual counterparts.

Perceived lesbian applicants were correlated with a deficiency of femininity and deemed as gender non-conforming. They received significantly less favorable evaluation compared to heterosexual perceived counterparts.

Dr. Fabio Fasoli explained: “These results reveal that the mere sound of a voice is enough to trigger stereotyping denying gay-sounding along with lesbian-sounding speakers that the benefit which is deemed typical of the gender.”

This study is demonstrating that despite all of the work to reduce workplace discrimination against the perceived and real LGBT workers and professionals, heterosexual individuals subconsciously typecast a person before getting to know them and make decisions to discriminate against them. This study highlights the real struggles at work and their career prospects. Heterosexuals can say that they pay their staff based on their qualifications, however, the basis of the employee/s value is being directly influenced by learned prejudices and stereotypes perpetuating inequality and oppression.

In another study participants were requested to listen to only the voices of two distinct speakers of one neutral content sentence and then asked to assess the speakers’ probable character traits and individual interests (i.e. sports, arts, areas of study and career). The traits and interests were manipulated in order to uncover stereotyping regarded as “generally manly” (e.g., soccer) and “typically feminine” (e.g., dancing). Additionally, participants were asked which of those speakers they’d select as a friend. The study was done in two parts. The first studying males and the second females.

Researchers found that participants attributed womanly traits into the perceived gay males compared to perceived heterosexual male speakers. Perceived lesbian speakers were far much more likely to be associated with manly traits than with feminine traits.

When asked which of these speakers’ participants would select as an acquaintance/friend, researchers discovered that male participants were far more likely to steer clear of gay-sounding speakers. This indicates the subtle yet real effect of how purely the voice and speech patterns contributes to social exclusion of homosexual people both in the workplace and in general society.

Dr. Fasoli added: “This study demonstrates that unacceptable levels of discrimination, be they subconscious or conscious, still exists in our society, and we need to do more to tackle the discrimination faced by the LGBT community.”

More information: Fabio Fasoli et al, Gay- and Lesbian-Sounding Auditory Cues Elicit Stereotyping and Discrimination, Archives of Sexual Behavior (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s10508-017-0962-0

Journal reference: Archives of Sexual Behavior – Springer Science+Business Media –
http://www.springer.com/public+health/journal/10508

University of Surrey – http://www.surrey.ac.uk/

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LGBT Workplace Equality – 5 Examples to Help Allies Understand

Ally companies put LGBT-friendly policies and business practices into place. But they don’t stop there knowing that policies are not enough. They create a workplace culture of inclusiveness and celebrate the differences that make each employee great. They actively recruit LGBTQ employees and welcome constructive feedback on how they are doing can how they can improve.

Employment discrimination and LGBT workplace equality have always been something of a personal issue and now my it is my focus with OutBüro.

My Personal Story

Professionally, I’d say that I’ve always been conservatively out. I have never made my sexuality a huge deal wearing it on my sleeve, but I have never tried to overtly hide it either – besides my time in the US Army in the late 80’s. When I’d start new jobs or client projects I’d be invited to the social after-work functions. Then as my sexuality became apparent those invites were reduced to only the super gay-friendly staff who wanted to do all the gay-things in the city. So the limited inclusiveness was layered with stereotypes of going to gay dance clubs and helping them shop for home décor, clothes, and gifts. Sure I’ve got style but at the time didn’t realize how I was being excluded and superficially used.

In my work and projects, I felt like I always had to go above and beyond the norm to prove myself to my employers and clients. I even had to deal with sexual harassment from a female senior executive that knew I was gay but seemed to feel that was a challenge she wanted to see if she could win.  Right now what are you thinking? Check yourself. Are you thinking, “poor him a woman was hitting on him”? If so, that’s a problem.

It became so bad I loathed going to the office, my days were filled with trying to avoid her and her excuses to be at my desk where she’d lean over from behind to point at my computer screen so that she could rub her breast against my back. This was coupled with many other innuendos and overt comments several times a week on how she liked how my pants fit and which ones didn’t hug my butt or crotch. I had no way to voice my frustration, anxiety, and anger too. No one took me seriously. When I tried to raise my concerns and issues I was literally laughed at by the Human Resource manager. He told me to toughen up and that he wished that executive was interested in him. REALLY With the rude and crude gay jokes from many male team members and the overt sexual harassment from the female top executive, my work-life was stressful, and ultimately had to leave that employer. I felt I had no recourse. It was a nightmare.

This caused me to enter corporate consulting where my Fortune 1000 and government clients changed every few months. I put myself in a position of swooping in, doing my job, and leaving so that I was nowhere long enough to have it matter. If it was bad, as it was several more times, I knew I had an exit and on to the next project.  On a government project, the main contact was not only very religious, her husband was a preacher.  I did the best job they have ever had anyone do – literally.  I turned the staff around from underperforming to over performing.  The contract was going to be lost until I swooped in and did my thing.  The firm was thrilled as they were rewarded the long term contract they thought they were sure to lose.  The client management was thrilled with the progress and performance.  But one day, the guy I was seeing dropped me off after lunch.  The main contact saw him giving me a pretty quick innocent kiss good-bye.  That afternoon she kept making reference to God, Jesus, and her church.  Then she started making negative comments about gay people and that she saw me kissing my boyfriend.  I stated that the kiss happened outside the office and likewise she needs to keep her religion outside of the office too.  Within a week I was laid off from the contract claiming there wasn’t enough budget – the budget I wrote and contact I saved.  So gay employee became unemployed over the religious views of a US Federal Government employee.  

After a couple of years of living out of a suitcase and hotel rooms, I again began to hate my work-life and my life in general with no roots and no real connections. It was difficult to make and maintain friendships and relationships traveling 75-90% of my work-life for 13 years. It was isolating.

Corporate LGBT-Friendly Policies

Today, corporations are leading the charge of LGBT rights and protections for employees. Companies of all sizes are implementing LGBT-friendly policies that include:

• Sexual orientation non-discrimination-policy
• Gender identity non-discrimination-policy
• Domestic partner benefits
• Transgender-inclusive benefits
• LGBTQ inclusive education

I share the above story of being sexually harassed to point out that in the United States Sexual Harassment policies have been in place since the mid-70’s. Yet it still happens today. Not only to women but also to men like me with both female and male perpetrators. My own incident may have happened quite some time ago, but just turn on any news station of your choice and within a week’s time you are sure to see a high profile case in the news today – right now. This clearly demonstrates that having company policies alone are not enough to remove and eliminate the root problem, change minds or culture.

Why Will LGBT-Discrimination Remain an Issue

I’d like to concentrate on the larger picture and examine why irrespective of anti-discrimination policies and legislative changes, LGBTQ employment discrimination will stay economically divisive, socially permissible and sadly common. Naturally gaining heterosexual allies to recognize this issue as a legitimate and continuing struggle for everyone regardless of sexual orientation is paramount to lasting equality for all. It all boils down to getting to know others and trying to empathize with their perspective. We have to keep in mind it isn’t LGBTQ people that are responsible for homophobia, thus ponder the sociological ecosystem of implicit homophobia that still does not permit queer people to thrive within it.

During my business travels working in hundreds of companies and government agencies I and found that my queer colleagues have nearly uniformly been and are more dedicated to performance and excellence in comparison to our heterosexual counterparts. This is not new or news. It’s fairly common knowledge. Why? It seems that in addition to overcoming any economic hurdles, their particular internalized homophobic programming and assorted trauma connected with a multitude of other societal disadvantages, disapproval, and rejection, they continue to be cautious and quite concerned about how others view about them to a much higher degree than their heterosexual peers. They are addressing a reality that their best will not be good enough, it will be discounted, simply because of who they are. Having experienced this in myself and observing so many others, I believe this bears “real-world” workplace significance.

Undermining Statements From Human Resources and Management

In an uninformed and apathetic manner, I’ve had the below statements made to me numerous times along my career journey. We need to re-frame the understanding of how gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender and queers struggle (not an exhaustive list):

1) Are you sure it was discrimination?
In other words: “Aren’t you just playing the gay card because it’s easier than nursing a bruised ego?” This is an invalidation that stems from a lack of desire to listen, learn and expend some true effort to assess the actual situation. Playing ones part within a discriminating culture means you don’t have to actively discriminate, however, you can certainly assist by remaining quite yourself and further silencing and demoralizing those who object to oppression. With this action, you also don’t have to stop and evaluate the experiences of other people in systems that you might incidentally thrive in, and therefore have no personal objections to. Allies do not show up for the party and then try to argue that the battle is not constant and affects everyone in the workplace. Thoughtfully listen to the full story, even if it shatters your own insecurities and past learned beliefs. Don’t enforce your narrative into it and emphasize your vantage point as the universal default. Become self-aware of when you are doing so and realize that it is not helpful and in fact perpetuates discrimination or worse.

2) Discrimination will be a hard thing to prove.
If an organization discriminates against a person, it’s the organization that must establish in court that it did not discriminate. Why is it so easily deemed that there ought to be a different set of rules for LGBTQ people, implying that it is up to them to prove that they are not lying, omitting facts or being oversensitive? Queer folks are actually all exceptional individuals. This thinking negates the fact that the injustice is being carried out by the perpetrator and not the victim. It dismisses the possibility that not all queer folks can financially afford to challenge discrimination in a court of law. Allies could educate themselves on systems of oppression and verses supporting dismissive statements.

3) But women – or insert race/gender/religion/nationality here – are discriminated against too.
If we are attempting to change a culture of discrimination specifically against queer people of all genders, races, nationalities, and heritage, it’s very diminishing to try and argue that there are simply more important problems, and by assuming gender/race/religious/nationality equality is explicitly heterosexual. Queer equality crosses all other equality categories. Listening is a really important part of supporting. We might use listening to build a sense of common purpose, silently recognizing similarities and then sharing approaches instead of falling into the trap of compartmentalized divisive thinking. Listen, get to know and understand your fellow human and co-worker.

4) Women are discriminated against all of the time. You are a man, so toughen up.
This type of statement is indeed binary, and once again fails to comprehend both why and how gay men and women are discriminated against so broadly and effectively. When you are a guy with perceived feminine qualities or a woman with perceived masculine traits, then gender stereotype fetishization and glorification of male masculinity and female femininity is used to discount, ridicule and isolate individuals and groups. Often a “hetero-passable” receive a pass or partial acceptance because they “fit” the environment cultural norm. This causes the employee to feel devalued again feeding into the idea that they have to work harder to prove themselves to be worthy.

5) You seem very angry. You may not wish to alienate or anger straight people.
I never want to purposely anger anyone, per se. However, I do want to upset the damaging hierarchies and power systems that all of us so effortlessly accept and preserve without any people ever receiving any real advantage from them. Frustration can lead to anger. But put yourself in that person’s perspective. Would you be frustrated and/or angry if the situation was directed at you? Oppressed people are generally exhausted from persevering it for the time until they’ve reached their tipping point to bring it to your attention. It is likely not an isolated event that has pushed them to the point of finally reaching out for help. Listen, analysis, empathize and rationally decide actions to take to address the current situation and prevent it from happening to others in the future.

Summary

Allies must acknowledge personal accountability, empathize with another person’s situation and then attempt to modify their thoughts and actions to grow from new knowledge and personal connections. Allies question their past learned beliefs and accept that their own thoughts and ideas about others may need to change. They take a proactive approach to empower and affect change within themselves, within coworkers and within the companies and organizations they work in and participate in.

Related Articles

Be a Superhero – Your Voice has the Power to Create Change

Company Reviews – Good for Companies and Their LGBTQ Employees

 

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