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Are you out at work?/ homo,biphobia at work

Discussion in 'Bisexual' started by bi dystopia, Jul 17, 2017.  |  Print Topic

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  1. bi dystopia
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    Hi all,

    I'm in this situation at work where I haven't come out to anyone that I'm bisexual, but on an almost daily basis there are comments or conversations from coworkers around me that are negative or critical or insulting of LGBT people, including that bisexuals 'don't exist' or are 'a bit funny' (weird) and that LGBT is 'not normal' and 'like something from the zoo'.

    I currently work in a kitchen/driver job, and it's not exactly famed for its LGBT tolerance, but I know discrimination is covered by the 2010 equalities act..... but I don't want to make a complaint because I'd still have to tell the manager and it's only a staff of ten.

    A few weeks ago the head office HR guy was in and asked me what my sexuality was for a form, with everyone else in the same room, but not listening - I said quietly I'd rather not answer, then later he quietly told me he had a husband - so I could say to him but there's still the above issues with the manager and the small team.

    Anyone got any ideas what I should do? Is anyone else out at work? Have you faced any discrimination?


    Thanks
     
  2. WiKKiTsoul
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    ello,
    sadly i can't be out at work, i live in a country where it is illegal to be anything but straight (even they aren't allowed to get married out of their religious sect) people talk about homosexuality, or anything other than heterosexuality, like it is an illness and a sin. you'll find very few people that are okay with it if they aren't in any way queer, then there is us the gay population, then you have the ones that are some sort of queer but have grown up hating queers so they hate themselves and hate on anyone that is queer even more, you also have the guys that think lesbians are okay (because they are hot) but guys being gay is disgusting and wrong (oddly there aren't many women that are okay and think gay sex is hot but not lesbian sex...),.finally you have the extremest they are the worst they will turn you in or act themselves and get away with it by claiming "honor killing" or "enforcing the law"...i have to deal with the occasional ''so you aren't engaged? when are you going to get married and have kids?'' but mainly it's trying to bite my tongue when they are "gay-bashing" which i am not very good at, so because i can't talk about it in a way that is flat out saying i'm gay , i usually end up talking defending it as a third party by saying something along the lines of "what the hell does it matter who they are sleeping with? it's not like they are doing it in your bed". yet even with that being the case i am actually out to about 3 people i work with...it is tough feels like you are living a secret life, it's actually very suffocating (blah) i feel ya man, but if you start feeling too uncomfortable don't forget you have the privilege to legally ask to have something done about it.
     
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  3. bi dystopia
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    Hi, thanks for your life story, it was definitely relevant to my original post and question...

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation , of course, I wish you the best of luck in moving to a better country - however, given that most of the people on here tend to be from first world countries, my original post ideally desires replies from within that context (or at the least, an attempt to understand it)

    Aside from your facetious comments, your situation is indeed terrible - but it does not make my situation any less of a problem for me, or any less important as a generalised issue.

    I have a friend from Zambia who responded to my disclosure to her of suffering depression and anxiety with a complaint that in Zambia people are hungry and have aids - again - true maybe, but that doesn't mean my problem stops existing.

    First world problems accusation? Well - I live in the first world and I do have a problem - that's why I'm asking other people for their advice.

    I'm sure you have contributions to the site which will be more relevant to you - but get your own thread and stop spamming mine!
     
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  4. WiKKiTsoul
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    wasn't trying to spam your thread or say that you don't have a problem, what i was saying is if it gets too bad you might as well tell someone because you have the law to throw down on them they can't fire you for complaining or reporting discrimination....especially if the HR guy felt like he could tell you that he, himself, has a husband (since i'm sure a complaint like that will go through HR). your only other choice would be leaving the job if it gets to where you can't stand it anymore and that would be stupid
     
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    #4 WiKKiTsoul, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  5. wanderer
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    when i worked it was in the usa and i stopped in the 90s. in the 80s i worked in los angeles and i was out (transitioned on the job) and came out as lesbian later. later on i moved to a more conservative area and stayed in the closet. the last couple of years in the usa i was out as lesbian but that was it. now that i am in belize where it only became legal last august no, i am not out as anything to anyone but my room mates who i brought with me
     
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  6. anon_abstraction
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    As you know I also work in a kitchen. It is a geek kitchen so we have a lot of LGBT clientel. There is a lot of latent homophobia and sexism where I work both FoH and BoH. That isn't different much in the community....Many of them are very supportive. I am frends with a cis het woman there and we talk all the time. I am the only one to out sass her.

    After I came out at work I got a lot of support. I had to tell them to be quiet about it until I could tell my exwife directly.

    My boss actually asked me before leaving work if the organization I am a part of on my campus does any training for LGBT awareness...for teaching potential and current employees and community in general. So coming out at work was very beneficial for me and my workplace. I am unsure of how it would work where you are but it was very good of me to do so at work.
     
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  7. bi dystopia
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    Hi,
    I'm sorry if my reply to your last post seemed a bit rude or nasty, or clinically abrupt, but I was sitting in the car at work when I posted the thread and in a pissy mood because of the comments around me - and the wording of your post (particularly the last few lines) suggested that you were being critical or dismissive that my situation was of no value because it was a lesser problem than those in your country - and I was like - sorry? what?

    Anyway, thanks for your advice.
     
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  8. bi dystopia
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    Hi again anon _abstraction!

    Thats good that that worked out for you at work - it sounds very positive, especially them asking for advice on LGBT awareness.
    Yeah, I don't know whether the comments at work are just casual unsuspecting bigotry or if they are serious - or if they would stop or feel embarrassed if I came out to them.

    How long had you been at the job before you came out to them - were you close to any of them before?
     
  9. WiKKiTsoul
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    hey :)  don't worry about it man, i figured it the word privilege must have came off in a bad way. i totally understand bad days, you just hang in there you've got this...i read an article yesterday about a guy in the UK that was asked to stop wearing makeup to work and when he stated that the girls he worked with wore more makeup than him they initially asked him to "tone it down" he completely lost his shit and put in a formal complaint and the head of the company sent out an apology saying that it was just a local store mistake and that as a company they take pride in their diverse staff....
    when shit gets real and formal complaints are put in they are quick to swallow their words.
     
  10. Valarmorghulis
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    In my opinion you don't need to do anything. They have their opinion at work they are not understanding, you can't make them understand. Why do you feel the need to announce your sexuality, it is personal to you and work is work. You are never going to change the opinions of those who think it is weird. Not to be insensitive or anything but people have to stop expecting other people to change and just not take offense at other people's opinions otherwise people are just going to be unhappy for their whole life.
     
    #10 Valarmorghulis, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  11. PaxAeon
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    The UK has a a national law prohibiting discrimination based on orientation. The U.S. does NOT have such a federal law.
     
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  12. bi dystopia
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    You do have anti-discrimination laws in almost half the states though right? Including in Wisconsin?
     
  13. Valarmorghulis
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    yeah but my point is why tell anyone? its a personal thing right so to expect everyone around you to be accepting of it and be positive is counterproductive and so you should probably keep it to yourself incase anyone NEEDS to know. I mean your boss is fine with it so what is the problem?
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 18, 2017 ---
    like tell your friends or whatever but the random assholes at work? it's work just get on with your day and then go home it's not like it affects you that much. They are assholes , but assholes will be assholes whether you want them too or are offended or not. I mean seriously why do others opinions matter so much? it doesn't affect your work .. i mean i can understand an employee having to disclose medical information that might affect work. But your sexual orientation affects nothing and nobody gains anything from learning it you don't want to risk people treating you differently because you are gay/bi/lesbian whatever so why not just keep it to yourself and go do your thing. Does a group of random people's opinions matter so much to you?
     
    #13 Valarmorghulis, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  14. PaxAeon
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    There is no national/federal law in the US prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation except if you are a federal employee. Many states do, including Wisconsin. See link;
    Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace
     
  15. bi dystopia
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    The Equality Act in the UK isn't a national law either - it only covers Great Britain in its entirety. There are similar things in the EU too.

    I think it should be a national directive - especially since the US now has marriage equality.
     
  16. PaxAeon
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    As the person who posted lives in the UK, they are covered by the national law. I agree though, there should be a US federal law covering discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is the source of such discrimination laws, does not specifically mention sexual orientation and the Republicans keep blocking any attempts to change that.
     
  17. bi dystopia
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    Yeah I know, I was the person from the Uk who posted :p 
    What I meant was that the Equality Act 2010 which is the relevant law is not a national law because it only applies to Great Britain and not to Northern Ireland - so not the whole of the UK (there are so many complicated names to all the bits of the UK).
    Does the Civil Rights Act 1964 mention race or sex specifically or is it just general if it doesn't mention sexuality?
    I'd love to know what the Republican view is as to why they think LGBT workers are less capable than heterosexual ones!
     
  18. wanderer
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    "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States[5] that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.[6] It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

    many think orientation and gender identity should be added but that is not going to happen with the current administration - it did not even happen with the obama administration but he did add more protections through various orders
     
  19. bi dystopia
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    Hi - I understand where you're coming from with your point of view.
    Similarly I also, as a rule, don't see it being anybody's business at work really, which is also why I was hesitant to put it on the company personal details form - I was like why do you need to know my sexuality for me to make and delivery sugary, overpriced chinese food?

    At the same time though - the reason I am concerned about it is that, being in the position in which, certainly in this country, we have won the rights to NOT be discriminated against at work, - I feel uncomfortable and angry at being forced to work in the environment in which I have to listen to other people casually dispensing homophobic and biphopbic hatred.

    I don't particularly want to come out at work, because I don't think it's their business to know, but at the same time I either want to a) put in a complaint to the manager/head office or just come out to the people there in the hope that they will stop with the comments.

    What do you think?
     
  20. Valarmorghulis
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    well again.. why would you make it harder on yourself? people will be who people will be you can't change them. They ask your orientation because it is usually part of the equal opertunities delio but if you know your workmates are homophobic don't let it bother you.. i don't get what the problem is do you feel the need to announce your religion ? or your favorite pet at work? You are not forced to work in that environment you could leave. Do you think everyone should be forced to change how they think based on your feelings?
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 18, 2017 ---
    Just say on the form that you are straight ignore the crap and carry on with your day.. why does it outrage you so much what some random idiot you don't know thinks? does it change who you are?
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 18, 2017 ---
    I mean i wouldn't go to work when my workmates were Christian and demand they change the way they talk about athiests because of it. Because i can't change their minds they can be assholes if they like but it doesn't change who i am.
     
    #20 Valarmorghulis, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017

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