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December 01, 2010

Comments

Greg

Powerful and inspiring. Thanks again.

Bernie

The argument that you can't be out in corporate America is bullshit. The for-profit corporate world is more accepting than it has ever been and the ranks of companies that have equal employment opportunities for LGBT workers is growing every day. Here is the list of Best Places to Work 2011 as compiled by HRC. http://www.hrc.org/issues/best-places-to-work-2011.htm

What keeps black gay men in the closet at work is fear, plain and simple.

Nathan James

I respectfully beg t differ with youn this, Bernie. The corporate world might be a little more "accepting" of openly gay employees than it was 20 years ago, but based on my own personal experience and those of many close friends, I can say unequivocally, that Corporate America still has a long way to go. Our society still demands heterosexuality, and that extends to the workplace, where executives bring their homophobia into their offices. It's still legal in 29 states to deny employment or fire someone, solely for being LGBT. Consider that the "glass ceiling" Taylor writes about exists in the hiring office, too. Corporations today will check the Facebook or MYSpace profiles of every applicant. One of the things they're looking for is evidence of sexual orientation. If they can determine (through things like the preponderance of your friends, events you attend, or groups you beling to) that you are LGBT, you might not get hired--and you'll never know why.

Georgia banker Defarra Gaymon, IMHO, knew exactly what he was about when he chose to stay in the closet. He was protecting his social status, wealth, marriage, positioon, and all the other rewards commensurate a financial executive who participates in our society's table of "acceptable values", including heterosexuality. There are more openly gay men of color reachinmg new levels of success today, that's true, but they are still just a handful in total, when you consider the numbers of us in the world today. Just my $0.02.

Taylor Siluwé

I'd hate to disparage anyone's choices; I never walked in Defarra's shoes. But he cheated on his hetero life (and family) by cruising in the park for dick (allegedly).

But you're right about the fact that we've got a long way to go, in all areas. And since it all starts with authenticity, that's the only way we're going to change perceptions for all of us. Things WILL change and we'll all benefit; still it pisses me off that some won't have earned it. Gays who, like Defarra (allegedly), feast at "society's table of 'acceptable values'" while the rest of us scratch at the door for scraps - I have no empathy for them.

Bernie

What I meant by referencing the HRC list is that employees have options. If you live an authentic life and are out in your job search, then you only look for companies that have written non-discrimination policies and you ask tough, direct questions during the job interview. If you never look for companies where you will be valued for your whole self and never raise the issue in the interview or on the job, then yeah, you probably will face discrimination because you didn't look carefully enough. Supportive corporations do exist, in abundance as the list shows. Deny your labor services to companies that are not on that list.

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