I’m a male college student prepared to enter the full-time workforce after I graduate in a few years. On my profile I listed my sexuality as “unspecified” because while I have never been in love with a man, I don’t feel comfortable saying with absolute certainty that this half of the population is immediately off the list of candidates.
I give a damn because of what the future might hold for me. I could get a job and lead a life that seems to be purely heterosexual to my peers. Surely my place of work would have no problem with this at all.
But what if one day, I meet the love of my life, the person I know I want to be with forever? And what if that individual happens to be a man? Suddenly, I’m at risk of losing my job because of who I love.
But why? I’m the exact same person the day before I meet “the one” as the day after (although I’m sure I would be considerably happier). Nothing about me has changed. I didn’t suddenly “become gay,” I just found the person I love.
I’ve always held the capacity to love this person, but discovering the person I love is what gets me fired? That doesn’t seem fair.
But they don’t give a damn.
My husband’s cousin had been harping on us to visit his church for years and in an effort to get him off our back, we finally went. In this large Baptist church in northern Kentucky I listened to the ministers’ wife proudly tell of how she had hounded this man who worked at the hospital with her to “renounce” his homosexuality and when he refused to become straight and come to church with her, she got him fired. She admitted that there was nothing wrong with his work, she just objected to his sexuality. She was praised by the others in the group.
I immediately excused myself. When my husband’s cousin asked if we would be returning I explained that not only was what she had done morally wrong, it was illegal and that that’s not my concept of loving worship.
I am the god-daughter of a dear gay man, the god-mother of a proud bi-sexual woman and I will not stand by while they are discriminated against.
Two months after coming out at work, I was terminated because I transitioned from male to female. I had no issues with the company prior to my disclosure and was the highest certified and qualified technician with the company.
While my immediate supervisor and the V/P of the company were very supportive, I soon found out the owner was not. He himself told me he did not like it and was very uncomfortable with it. The support I initially received quickly evaporated. The work environment became very hostile and then I was terminated.
After having to fight for unemployment benefits, the state of Georgia also agreed that I should not have been terminated for “such a minor offense.” Now, I am unable to find a job, where the issue did not exist before.
I am an ASE Master certified auto repair technician with L-1 Advanced Driveability certification and 37 years experience, yet no one will hire me due to my transition! Since when did gender determine whether you can repair a vehicle or not?
Now there is a very real possiblity that I will lose my home, my possessions, my credit and be homeless and a burden to society. Where is the sanity in all of that? I give a huge DAMN!
I give a damn, and why shouldn’t I? I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. My family, friends, and most of my co-workers have always been very supportive of me and my partner.
In the two jobs I’ve had in the last 6 years, I have had the support of my co-workers, for the most part (there’s always one rotten egg in the group). Both of my jobs have been in different areas of customer service, and the first time I experienced actual discrimination and hate from someone, was not from a co-worker, but from a customer.
Immediately, my co-workers came to my defense, and instead of being shamed as the woman thought I would be, she was kindly told by my manager that she would no longer be welcome in our store.
I may live in rural Pennsylvania, but I live and work around some amazing people. I’ve always been able to openly discuss my life and my partner, and I’m so grateful every day to be so lucky…I can’t wait for the day when everyone else can be as lucky as I have been…
I have to admit that I used to be one of the closed minded people that thought gays, lesbians and bisexuals were better ignored and avoided, kept out of sight and out of mind. And I was that way for a lot of years…till the day I found out that my best pal at work is a lesbian. I was taken aback, shocked, surprised. But after the surprise past, I realized that nothing had changed.
She was still my lively, happy, funny co-worker. Since then, she has moved on. She and her partner have opened a wonderful little bistro that I frequent ALL the time. They are beautiful people, concerned about justice in all walks of life, to include things like purchasing only fair trade coffees for their business, the environment, etc.
The biggest change came without my even realizing it. Recently, her partner’s employer, a large University, denied equal benefit coverage to domestic partners and same sex couples, and it dawned on me that I was upset by this; I saw it as an injustice, and that’s when I realized finally that their orientation meant little to me: they were my friends and they had been wronged.
I’m ashamed of the way I used to think, but I don’t dwell on it. I dwell on the road forward. Years ago, I saw Lita Ford in a t-shirt that said “As you are, I once was…as I am, you will be.” That is my mantra now, to try to change the minds of people that think the way I once thought.
Because my friends are so comfortable being themselves, and so open and honest with themselves and others, they are by far my truest friends, and I want to be here for them.
I am a straight mother of three. I have a thirteen year old straight son who plays tuba and guitar,and wants to work in the tech field when he grows up. I have a seventeen year old straight daughter who plays baritone, has a beautiful singing voice, and wants to go to college to become a psychologist. I have a nineteen year old gay son who is broadly musically gifted, attends college, and wants to be a teacher. While my younger son and daughter will very possibly achieve their dreams, my oldest son may not. So, I give a damn.
Where we live, and where my son wants to teach, being openly gay will likely cost him his job. While my two younger children’s teacher’s can share stories of their husbands, wives, children and lives, if my son does so, parents will complain to the school board that my son is teaching their children immorality. But he hasn’t given up on his dream. He’ll be attending his second year of college next year to become a teacher, in hopes that when he begins teaching, his sexuality won’t matter to his students and their parents as much as his qualifications do. So, I give a damn.
My oldest son is in a committed relaionship with a wonderful boy who spent years in R.O.T.C., in hopes of becoming a flight engineer. He felt it would be not only wrong, but incredibly difficult to keep their relaionship a secret due to D.A.D.T., so unfortunately he chose to leave the R.O.T.C. This young man should have NEVER had to make such a choice. His sexual orientation shouldn’t have had to play a part in what he wanted to do with his education, and his life. So, I give a damn.
My children talk of the day they will be parents. I have no doubt that all three will be excellent at parenting. My younger son and daughter will be able to do so with no trouble. While if my oldest son and his committed partner want to adopt, they will likely be denied that right. So, I give a damn.
I want the opportunities my two straight children have, to be available for my gay child. I want to not have to worry that my son might be a victim of a hate crime. When my son chooses to commit his life to someone, I want to know that he’ll have the same rights and protection as a straight couple would. Most of all, I want my children to see and believe what I have taught them their entire lives; that you can grow up to be anything and anyone you want to be.
So, I GIVE A DAMN!
I feel fortunate to have been brought up in a home where there was no “black and white” and no “gay and straight”…we were just people.
I have family members who are lesbian, friends who are gay, and students (I used to work at the local school) who felt comfortable coming to me to discuss their sexual identity issues above everyone else. I’m glad of that and so incredibly happy that I have these people in my life!
My family, friends, and yes, my former students, enrich my life and remind me every day that “people are people.” Now, I am a parent and my children are learning that there is no reason to shun someone for any reason. We’re not in control of the color of skin we’re born with, the sexuality we’re born with, or the color of the eyes we’re born with…we just are, and God doesn’t make mistakes…so no one is better than another.
People are people.
I give a DAMN about equality… ONE of my daughters is gay…
I have raised three daughters. I’ve taught them the fundamentals of life and living in this world, then went beyond this to teach tolerance, equality, independence, faith, compassion and love.
What a joy to watch three beautiful young children grow into the adults they now are! What a joy to nurture each as individuals while treating them equally. What a joy to teach them to be anything they wanted to be. What a joy to watch them learn to love and develop healthy relationships. What a joy to witness them embracing each day.
Each day brings new discoveries for all three. Along the way, my youngest daughter discovered her sexuality as a lesbian. Within our family, this discovery was recognized and acknowledged. We did not judge, and our family still lives with the values of respect and equality that we’ve always lived by.
But for me, the need for social equality outside of our family became more important than ever! I was to send my youngest daughter into the world–and she would learn that the teachings and equality in our home would not necessarily follow her.
I have raised three daughters… and as individual as they are, now they are not treated equally.
TWO of my daughters can…
- Walk safely down any street holding hands with their significant others
- Practice careers without fear of discrimination
- Marry legally (if they choose) in a courtroom – OR – in a religious environment of their choosing
- Have an open relationship with a member of our armed forces
- Practice their religious upbringing openly–not questioning their faith because of a lack of tolerance
- Reap the benefits of “joint” tax returns, health insurance, marriage law…
The list goes on and on.
I hope that someday, this will change to: “All THREE of my daughters can…”
I give a damn about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
I give a damn because no person should have to lie and hide at work because of who they are. I am talking about working for the greatest military in the world; and specifically the U.S. Army.
Each person chooses military service for different reasons, but it is a choice. Last time I checked, this is the “Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.” And being in the army is a job that should be available in the same manner to all individuals. Supporters of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) will tell you that they aren’t saying gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) folks can’t serve in the military; just that their private life – or rather – the person that they are – must be hidden. Asking an individual to act and live in a hetero-normative fashion to fit into a work place in the year 2010 is unacceptable.
I give a damn about equality because I used to hate going to work on Monday mornings. I would actually feel nauseous sometimes, and it wasn’t because I didn’t like work. It was because I was paralyzed with fear that someone would ask me about my weekend and I might happen to mention something personal that would give me away. How I stayed at my girlfriend’s apartment or saw a movie or had dinner with her – one lesbian slip of the tongue could result in me being terminated.
Get informed and get involved. Register to join the campaign and let us know you give a damn about equality.
Spread the word about equality. Watch our damn videos and share them with the people in your life!play
Share your story with us and the people in your life. Tell us why you give a damn about equality!play
According to the New York Daily News: "The National Football League has formally prohibited discrimination against players based on ...Author: Admin
According to the Human Rights Campaign: On Monday, Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law House Bill 546, which prohibits ...Author: Admin
Despite the strides we have made in this country to try to ensure equal opportunities, equal treatment and equal pay for all, “all” doesn’t necessarily include someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.