Here’s a data point that fascinates and saddens me in equal parts. According to @Chris Kolmar in his article 75+ Must-Know LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics : Rates and Trends – Zippia, 46% of LGBTQ+ workers report they remain closeted at work. One of the main reasons given is that, of that 46%, 36% don’t want to make their coworkers uncomfortable.
Imagine carrying the weight of this responsibility around. We don’t want awareness of our sexuality to cause discomfort to others. Better for us to keep it to ourselves and deal with the little inconveniences of selectively talking about what we did over the weekend.
Of course, the lesbian in Marketing doesn’t know for sure that she’d make these particular people uncomfortable. But she sure knows from experience that she made someone uncomfortable before. It happened before to many of us and if it happened before, it could happen again.
That memory’s lingering sting is more powerful than the awareness that their new knowledge about us is for that person to deal with, not us.
Your true self along with you. With anti-LGBTQ sentiment on the rise, now more than ever, organizations can widen the opportunities for gay advancement for those both in and out of the closet, and smash that gay glass ceiling once and for all.
Kevin Jones wrote this book based on the challenges he faced navigating, ultimately successfully, corporate America as a Gay man. It highlights the author’s own experiences growing up closeted in the conservative South as a Gen Xer in the 1970s and ‘80s, and how those experiences influenced his early career development inside the corporate closet and later advancement once he came out. It also investigates the hidden forms of discrimination and biases ingrained in the collective mindset of straight people as well as those inside the LGBTQ+ community.
Blending anecdotes from the author’s life with data from multiple sources to depict the unique complexities of life as a gay person in corporate America, he illustrates the challenges, microdecisions and microaggressions that they and their closeted peers face every day. Whether you’re gay or straight, however you identify, after reading this book, you will become more aware of your own judgments and biases, both toward yourself and those around you.
Most LGBTQ individuals have chosen to remain invisible during our lives, unlike other minorities. It’s harder to identify someone’s sexuality compared to their race.
This morning, I saw 749 others besides Simon being sworn in. 749 other stories. Who was tempest tost? Who was wretched refuse from their home country’s teeming shores? How brightly does that lamp burn in their eyes and hearts?
There are still lots of those kids out there, carrying old adolescent fears of discovery in middle-aged bodies. Fears that don’t end like a Teams call when we fire up the laptop to start a new day.