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Study: One in seven UK employees harassed over perceived sexuality in the last year

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  1. Is anyone actually surprised. This is directly attributable to a nurtured culture of homophobia, the social acceptance of it, the comfort with which people can stand up and publicly denigrate us with no censure.

    Voices of power and authority could stand up for us and change this culture. But they don’t, which makes them collaborators.

    I am so sick of this world. The only difference between me and everyone else is so bloody minor – and not of their concern if they are not invited in to my relationships – and yet they think it entitles them to treat me like a lesser human being while telling themselves they are somehow more “moral” or whatever self-serving bull they feed themselves.

    Religion is at the heart of it. The political expediency of having an “other” to blame, target and exploit as distraction is another. Our lives are poker chips and the outcome is direct personal harm.

    Stop the bloody world, I want to get off….

    1. That There Other David 22 Jun 2012, 6:02pm

      I know it sometimes feels that way, but we’re actually slowly winning this. Try and remember that.

      Chin up.

      1. Lady Tanya 30 Jun 2012, 6:50am

        three steps Forward, 4 steps back, and 1 to the side to doge the bullets’
        i know that may sound like a cop out statment , but i know WE ARE WINNING its just that we lose so many to death that sometimes i just want to get off this world

    2. “Religion is at the heart of it.” – – I have to step in there. I have not found that to be the case in my 20ish years of full time gainful employ with several companies. [CAVEAT: I work in Media, so my experience is skewed]

      Some of my strongest defenders when someone decides to make a remark which can be seen to cross the line from ‘banter’ into ‘tasteless/offensive’ have themselves encountered jibes because they ask for shift swaps onto Nightshift during Ramadan and book ‘flexible’ leave to cover when Eid Al-Fitr is declared.

      One of the people I worked with was devoutly christian. She told me she didn’t *like* the fact I had taken a ‘husband’, but respected my right to do so as I wasn’t hurting anyone by doing it.

      I think it is the PERSON, not always the flag under which they march, who has the problem. Some religions preach that certain things are wrong, but it is down to the individual to interpret that according to their own moral code.

      1. Anti-gay animus does not exist in vacuum. And I would consider someone having the gall to tell me that she didn’t “like” an aspect of my life to be an act of harassment.

        1. That there other David 23 Jun 2012, 12:06pm

          Harrasment to me is when it’s many against one, or the individual in question has the ability to act on their animus to damage the victim’s potential. Two people effectively agreeing to disagree whilst respecting that disagreement isn’t in the same league. It’s still not pleasant, but hardly worth an HR complaint. You can’t expect to get on with everyone you work with, you can expect them to be professional.

          All IMHO, of course.

          1. My life is not a subject for disagreement. Imagine if the person in that anecdote had expressed disapproval because Dionysian had married someone who was Asian or Jewish. Do you think HR would fail to act? Well, the gender of his partner is NO bloody different.

    3. This needs to be seen in the context of all other workplace harassment of the “different”. In my experience harassment of women is far more common than LGB harassment, and is part of the same problem.

  2. Dangermouse 22 Jun 2012, 2:31pm

    the results depend on alot of things, what was the sample numbers, in what demographic, what percentage in each country. This meaningless unless taken in context with the figures behind it.

  3. Now they need to do a study of how many of the people who harassed these people over their perceived sexuality were anti-gay Christians and what religion they were members of and if they also who else they harassed and why. Then make a list of all of these names of these people who harass other for real or imagined differences so we know who these anti-gay Christians are. For starters here is a list of anti-gay Christian hate groups to look out for.

    1. I think that would be an interesting study, but, just anecdotally, my own experience has been that overt and repeated harassment tends to come from the non-religious. Believers have often voiced hostility at the outset, appealing to their beliefs, of course, and then never raised the matter again. It could be that the ‘pious’ homophobes regard such behaviour as crude and improper, while the others don’t care. Religiously motivated homophobia is much better organised and determined at the political level, of course.

  4. I haven’t been working since I came out due to being a full tiem carer. But I think that, much like telling people I am Pagan i would not necessarly tell people I was gay. I would bide my time and see what people are like first.

    When I was working with kids only a few people knew I was pagan. I think you can get a good idea, after a while, on who you can tell. at the end of the day if and who you tell is down to the individual and sometimes it’s just best to say nothing.

    1. I know what you mean but still, being ‘pagan’ is a choice, being gay is not.

  5. Has anybody found any of the survey results for Canada online? I haven’t.

  6. Jock S. Trap 23 Jun 2012, 10:18am

    Appalling state of affairs but put this survey with the one about more men in same sex couple out of work that those living with females and we have one answering the other.

    It’s time more countries recognised the problems we face, many on a daily basis and once and for all made equality for all therefore not giving any justifying reasons to any bigots.

  7. Just a little positive anecdote in the gloom. A (very rough and macho) gay guy I know who has his own building company one day interviewed a young brick-layer who, unprompted, came out with a lot of homophobia on the assumption that it was that sort of environment. He was firmly slapped down, but given the job on notice of good behaviour. He cleaned up his act sharpish and found that he was working with lots of gay guys with no problem.

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