Tag Archives: Gay Lesbian and Bisexual

The Internet of Peeps

 IoP = Internet of People

Your car may be the future cockpit of the Internet of Things (IoT), and your house will be largely managed by apps in a few years, but the big change coming down the road is the Internet of People. (IoP).  Actually, it’s just about here now.

I just used an app called Map My Walk to….map my morning walk around the lake.

The Internet for Peeps is here

Check it:

 

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I don’t talk about my sex life at work

Sexuality and Work

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women'...

In light of all the Chik fil A uproar, I’m reprinting one of the most thought provoking pieces I have ever read on sexuality in the workplace. It was written by Eric Peterson from SHRM.

A closet with a view

“I just don’t understand why anyone has to talk about their sex lives at work,” she said. “I don’t talk about my sex life at work.”

She was a participant in a diversity class, and the topic of sexual orientation in the workplace had just been raised. As a workplace diversity educator, her statement was one that I’d heard many times before. She didn’t have anything against gay people, she said, but why did they have to bring such a private thing into the workspace? Isn’t it possible, she wondered, to show up, do the job, and wait until quitting time to be gay?

It was tempting for me, someone who has been openly gay in the workplace for over a decade now, to respond with, “well, I don’t know … couldn’t you just show up, do your job, and wait until quitting time to be straight?” But she wouldn’t have understood. To her, and to most of America, being straight isn’t sexual; it’s normal. Being gay, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. And it is different, I suppose. But not entirely.

And so, in situations like this, I tend to take a couple of steps back and approach the situation with a little more gentleness. While it might be oddly comforting and infinitely more satisfying to simply tell this woman off, my goal in teaching these courses is not to emerge victorious, but to create real change.

So, a different approach is necessary. “Let’s say that it’s your first day on the job,” I propose. “And let’s say that it’s very important to you that no one at your new workplace knows for a fact that you are heterosexual.”

And she looks a little confused. Why on earth, she must be wondering, would she want to do that? And her reaction is telling. Some of her colleagues in class give her a knowing smile – pointed, but not condescending.

“Just play along for a minute or two,” I suggest. “You don’t want anyone at your new office to know, for a fact, that you’re straight.” There’s a slight pause, to let the concept sink in. “What do you have to do differently?” I ask. “What steps must you take to ensure that your secret is safe?” And now, she suspects where I’m headed with this, but is still silent. So I make a gesture, opening the question to the entire class.

And the answers come quickly. “You couldn’t discuss your husband or wife,” one participant offers. “If anyone asks what you did over the weekend,” another replies, “you’d have to talk around the fact that your spouse even exists.”

“You couldn’t even talk about your kids,” a young woman in front offers. There’s actually some resistance to this point, as many in the class correctly point out that lots of people, straight and gay, are raising children these days. “Yes,” she offers, “but as soon as you open that door and start talking about your family, it would be really hard not to acknowledge your co-parent at some point. I think it would be better to just leave all that stuff at the door, so you’re a professional and nothing more.”

“What else,” I ask. You couldn’t take personal calls at work. You’d have to take your wedding ring off. (“And how does your spouse feel about that?” I ask. And the class acknowledges that, even knowing the reasons why, that would be a particularly painful negotiation to conduct.)

One gentleman in the back of the class offers, “you’d have to ‘gay it up’ a little.” People chuckle, but I pursue the comment. I ask the man what he means. “Well,” he says, “if I didn’t want people to know I was straight, I’d want to throw them off track a little, you know … act sort of gay.” Even if that’s not who you really are, I ask. Yes, he replies, even then.

Finally, the young woman in front speaks up again. “You’d have to find one or two people at work that you really trust,” she says. “That way, you could tell them and at least feel like someone at work has your back.”

“But this is a big secret,” I note, “and once it’s out, it’s out. I mean, that’s some pretty good gossip right there. So first of all, how could you be sure that these one or two people are absolutely trustworthy? And even if they are, is it really fair to them, burdening them with this secret of yours?”

“Well,” she says, “I mean … well … it wouldn’t be easy, I guess.”

“So,” I say, “this is now your life at work; this is your reality. Are you happy? Do you like your job?” There are no words, but several people are shaking their heads from side to side. “Do you like the people you work with?” Again, no one speaks, but there are more than one shrugging of the shoulders, as if to say that there’s no liking or disliking anyone that you never really get to know. “Now let’s say you’ve been at this job for a year, and your first performance review is happening. Your boss likes your work, but tells you that you’re going to need to do a better job of networking. ‘Building relationships,’ she’ll say, ‘is really important at this company, and people don’t really feel like they know you. Just open up a little,’ she says. What do you say?” And again, there is silence.

“I quit,” says the gentleman in the back. “Like, now.” And again, the sound of chuckling fills the room. But my attention has now turned back to the woman who raised this issue to begin with. She’s not laughing. And I think, maybe, that now she’s beginning to get it.

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Your company may be homophobic

Chick-Fil-A's signature chicken sandwich
Image via Wikipedia

Associate Resource Groups at Walmart Home Office

I didn’t know that Walmart had Associate Resource Groups like these, devoted to creating diversity and minority communties inside their company.

I don’t know how effective they are, or anything more than that they have them, but it was kind of a pleasant discovery.  I found out about them while looking at this story in which unions and other groups in New York City that are trying to keep Walmart from opening stores there are charging that Walmart is a homophobic company.  This would seem to indicate that at least in some ways they are not, which is a good thing.

From the New York Daily News:

Walmart’s values are not our values and they are certainly not New York’s. Stonewall Democratic Club is committed to building a city that is free from intolerance towards all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people – a city that remains Walmart free.”

Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo says that’s not the case: In fact, he says, the big-box chain — which a Doug Schoen poll shows New Yorkers would welcome to the city — is supportive of its LGBT employees.

“Diversity and inclusion are enduring values that are fundamental to our culture, which includes a focus on having respect for our colleagues and customers.  As part of our internal commitment to inclusion, we have Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Associate Resource Groups aimed at building a sense of community among associates sharing similar backgrounds and interests. New Yorkers recognize this broader commitment and that’s just one of the reasons more than 70% support Walmart coming to New York City.”

In fact, there seems to have been a sudden outbreak of homophobic companies across the United States.  I saw another story today charging that Chick-Fil-A is an anti-gay company.    The response from Chick-FiL-A doesn’t seem to indicate that they sponsor any sort of groups similar to the Associate resource Groups at Walmart.   It did cause them to face some heat on their Facebook page though.

The gay chicken row: Chick-Fil-A’s anti-gay stance sparks protest as loyal customers turn on chain

The company’s president Dan Cathy said in a statement: ‘Chick-Fil-A’s corporate purpose is ‘To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-Fil-A.’

Facebook
Debate: The chain’s Facebook page has been choked with messages – both for an against homosexuality

‘As a result, we will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family. This decision has been made, and we understand the importance of it.’

He did however add that the company would ‘continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families’.

‘To do anything different would be inconsistent with our purpose and belief in Biblical principles’.

Tips for dealing with accusations agaisnt your company

Charges that your company is homophobic, or has designs against any group can be brought up by anyone at any time.  In today’s social media environment, these things can quickly become the focus of discussion on official company web portals like a Facebook page.   Here are three things HR people should be thinking about as you read this.

  1. What strategies do you have, or need to put in place to avoid these kinds of charges?
  2. As part of your social media strategy, doyou have a plan in place to deal with communciating on such topics?
  3. If you have social media discussion portals, do you have a contingency plan ready to go in the event your site becomes a discussion forum for a topic that may be harming your brand, or uncomfortable for your fans and followers to see?
 

Sunday screamout: FCKH8.com Straight Talk on Gay Marriage (NSFW x 1000!)

A third proposed version of the map showing th...
Image via Wikipedia

Gay Marriage video gone wild!

This is a touchy topic for many.  I think anyone should be able to anyone they love.   Not everyone will agree with me, and that is okay.

This is a new kind of viral video using the hashtag #FCKH8 to spread the message that supporting a gay marriage ban is wrong.  The first video posted is a broadcast media safe version that bleeps all the F bombs.   The more effective, yet NSFW (x 1000, per a  friend) can be viewed in the second video screen.

#FCKH8 (the bleeped version)

#FCKH8 (the un-bleeped version)

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A Closet with a View

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Rainbow fla...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

This is a guest post provided for the Carnival by Eric Peterson from SHRM.   I’ll be linking to it there as well.  Thanks for sharing, Eric!

“I just don’t understand why anyone has to talk about their sex lives at work,” she said. “I don’t talk about my sex life at work.”

She was a participant in a diversity class, and the topic of sexual orientation in the workplace had just been raised. As a workplace diversity educator, her statement was one that I’d heard many times before. She didn’t have anything against gay people, she said, but why did they have to bring such a private thing into the workspace? Isn’t it possible, she wondered, to show up, do the job, and wait until quitting time to be gay?

It was tempting for me, someone who has been openly gay in the workplace for over a decade now, to respond with, “well, I don’t know … couldn’t you just show up, do your job, and wait until quitting time to be straight?” But she wouldn’t have understood. To her, and to most of America, being straight isn’t sexual; it’s normal. Being gay, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. And it is different, I suppose. But not entirely.

And so, in situations like this, I tend to take a couple of steps back and approach the situation with a little more gentleness. While it might be oddly comforting and infinitely more satisfying to simply tell this woman off, my goal in teaching these courses is not to emerge victorious, but to create real change.

So, a different approach is necessary. “Let’s say that it’s your first day on the job,” I propose. “And let’s say that it’s very important to you that no one at your new workplace knows for a fact that you are heterosexual.”

And she looks a little confused. Why on earth, she must be wondering, would she want to do that? And her reaction is telling. Some of her colleagues in class give her a knowing smile – pointed, but not condescending.

“Just play along for a minute or two,” I suggest. “You don’t want anyone at your new office to know, for a fact, that you’re straight.” There’s a slight pause, to let the concept sink in. “What do you have to do differently?” I ask. “What steps must you take to ensure that your secret is safe?” And now, she suspects where I’m headed with this, but is still silent. So I make a gesture, opening the question to the entire class.

And the answers come quickly. “You couldn’t discuss your husband or wife,” one participant offers. “If anyone asks what you did over the weekend,” another replies, “you’d have to talk around the fact that your spouse even exists.”

“You couldn’t even talk about your kids,” a young woman in front offers. There’s actually some resistance to this point, as many in the class correctly point out that lots of people, straight and gay, are raising children these days. “Yes,” she offers, “but as soon as you open that door and start talking about your family, it would be really hard not to acknowledge your co-parent at some point. I think it would be better to just leave all that stuff at the door, so you’re a professional and nothing more.”

“What else,” I ask. You couldn’t take personal calls at work. You’d have to take your wedding ring off. (“And how does your spouse feel about that?” I ask. And the class acknowledges that, even knowing the reasons why, that would be a particularly painful negotiation to conduct.)

One gentleman in the back of the class offers, “you’d have to ‘gay it up’ a little.” People chuckle, but I pursue the comment. I ask the man what he means. “Well,” he says, “if I didn’t want people to know I was straight, I’d want to throw them off track a little, you know … act sort of gay.” Even if that’s not who you really are, I ask. Yes, he replies, even then.

Finally, the young woman in front speaks up again. “You’d have to find one or two people at work that you really trust,” she says. “That way, you could tell them and at least feel like someone at work has your back.”

“But this is a big secret,” I note, “and once it’s out, it’s out. I mean, that’s some pretty good gossip right there. So first of all, how could you be sure that these one or two people are absolutely trustworthy? And even if they are, is it really fair to them, burdening them with this secret of yours?”

“Well,” she says, “I mean … well … it wouldn’t be easy, I guess.”

“So,” I say, “this is now your life at work; this is your reality. Are you happy? Do you like your job?” There are no words, but several people are shaking their heads from side to side. “Do you like the people you work with?” Again, no one speaks, but there are more than one shrugging of the shoulders, as if to say that there’s no liking or disliking anyone that you never really get to know. “Now let’s say you’ve been at this job for a year, and your first performance review is happening. Your boss likes your work, but tells you that you’re going to need to do a better job of networking. ‘Building relationships,’ she’ll say, ‘is really important at this company, and people don’t really feel like they know you. Just open up a little,’ she says. What do you say?” And again, there is silence.

“I quit,” says the gentleman in the back. “Like, now.” And again, the sound of chuckling fills the room. But my attention has now turned back to the woman who raised this issue to begin with. She’s not laughing. And I think, maybe, that now she’s beginning to get it.

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