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We Are Family

Sep 21st, 2010 11:12 PM By Carla

I give a damn because two members of my family are gay. One is out, one is not totally out. He is afraid of being kicked out of his house. He is afraid that his family will disown him because of their anti-gay religious beliefs.

I want them BOTH to have everything in life they deserve, everything I already get because I’m a straight woman. I got to get married without hassle. I get to adopt children if I want. I get to go to work and talk about my husband without fear of being fired. I got to go to school without the fear of bullying or violence that the school does nothing about.

There are so many things we all take for granted that people in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning community have to fight for every single day.

Enough is enough. I give a damn. I want my family to be happy. I want equality for all, dammit.

Being Bisexual Doesn’t Make Me Easy

Sep 21st, 2010 11:01 PM By Becky

On August 4, 2010, I was riveted to the news, waiting to hear the resolution on Prop 8. One of my coworkers, a middle aged married man, noticed I was constantly refreshing CNN’s website and asked why. I said that I was waiting to see the Prop 8 decision. He gave me a weird look and asked why I care.

I explained that I care because it’s a human right and also a personal issue to me – I’m bisexual. He told me that I can’t be bisexual because I’m a woman married to a man. I shook my head and said that marrying a male does not in any way mean I’m not attracted to females.

A few minutes passed as he digested this information. Then he got up from his desk, came over to mine, and put his hands on my shoulders. I froze like a deer in headlights.

He leaned down and kissed my cheek. I started to pull away and he moved his lips towards mine, intent on kissing me. I jammed my hand between our faces, so he tried to kiss my neck. I was able at this point to push him off me, before his lips made contact.

After assaulting me, he got very hateful and started talking about how if the rest of our co-workers knew I was bisexual, I’d be hated. That everything I’d told him and what he’d done would be “our little secret and if you got my back, I got yours”. He then started telling me that he thought I’d wanted it, or I wouldn’t have told him I was bi.

I reported him for sexual assault. In my report, I also reported his attempted blackmail of me. When I was speaking to the HR rep about it, he was incredibly sympathetic until I mentioned how he’d tried to blackmail me because I’m bisexual. Then he got very terse and rude.

HR did not fire him. HR did not move him to a different department. HR’s decision was to leave him as one of my co-workers. And I work for the STATE that I live in.

I was assaulted because I was bisexual. HR overlooked my assault because I’m bisexual.

So yeah, I give a damn. I just wish others did.

Hard To Find Work!

Sep 21st, 2010 10:23 PM By Mason

My name is Mason, I live in Alabama. When I got my first job at 16, I was harassed for being gay by my co-workers mostly everyday, even by my manager.

I continue to work there because I needed the money to pay for gas and a cell phone bill. Shortly after working there for 2 years on and off, I went to work for the Waffle House. I never got harassed by my co-workers, but by the people I would wait on or just people eating there.

I usually worked the night shift. I even had cops that didn’t want me to wait on them. Once, they came in and sat down, then called the cook over to talk to him and then they left. When I asked the cook what they said, he said “They did want u to wait on them”. He even told them that he would wait on them and they still left.

I would bring home 10 to 20 dollars a night from working a 10 hour shift. I wasn’t even making up to minimal wage, so I quit. Now, I can’t even find anyone to hire me. I have been to 5 interviews in the past 2 months. But, still no job.

I currently live with my parents. I want to get out of here so bad. But, I have no where to go. My dad wants me out ASAP. He told my mom if he has to he will get a 30 day notice from the court house. I really don’t know what I’m going to do. Hopefully a job will come though.

Students Protest Against Dean’s Resignation

Sep 07th, 2010 06:33 PM By

We posted a story on Friday about Christine Judd, the dean and athletic director at Cathedral High School, a Catholic school in Massachusetts.  Judd says that she resigned after being pressured to leave for marrying her female partner this summer.

Well, students from Cathedral High School come out in support of Judd and protested her resignation in front of St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Here is a news report from WWLP 22News:

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High School Athletic Director Loses Job After Gay Marriage

Sep 03rd, 2010 01:20 PM By

The following is an excerpt from a story by The Republican:

“The athletic director at Cathedral High School lost her job this week, saying she was pressured to leave after marrying her female partner in August.

Christine Judd“Christine M. Judd, who served as athletic director and dean of students, said she is no longer an employee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield school system after a meeting Wednesday with administrators of the Catholic high school.

“The diocese listed her departure as a resignation, but Judd said she is still exploring her legal options.

“’I was given a choice of termination or resignation,’ Judd said. ‘I’m hurt, but I wish nothing but the best for Cathedral, its students, the parents, the athletic teams, administration and faculty. I bleed purple (the school’s color).’

“Judd, a Springfield resident, worked for the Catholic school for 12 years, beginning as a science teacher in 1998. She became dean of students six years ago and was given the added duties of athletic director three years ago.

“’I married my partner this summer,’ Judd said. ‘I was hoping that my loyalty, my professionalism the last 12 years would supersede the current hypocrisy that has already been shown with the Diocese of Springfield.’

“Asked to elaborate on her claim of hypocrisy, Judd said she questions if there are lay persons who work for the Catholic diocese who divorce and remarry without an annulment, or employees who use birth control, or men who have had vasectomies, or individuals who are pro-choice on abortion.

“Same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004.

“Mark E. Dupont, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, said Judd did resign, but declined to respond to Judd’s comments, or on the issue of her marriage in August.

“…She said state law gives her the right to same-sex marriage, but it is not allowed under diocesan policy, leading to her job loss.

“’Cathedral had nothing to do with this,’ Judd said. ‘This was a diocesan decision. In the end, the timing of this issue really affects the kids. That is where it has the most effect.’

“Cathedral’s website describes Judd as ‘one of the key members of the faculty and staff who serve as positive role models for the students.’

“…Judd said her decision to leave the school followed a meeting with the school principal, John Miller, and the business director.

‘Without being specific to this matter, it should be clear that all employees of our Catholic schools are made aware of our policies and regulations,’ Dupont said. ‘This includes language that clearly states that whenever by public example, an employee engages in or espouses conduct which contravenes the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church, that employee may be subject to disciplinary action. To do otherwise would be in contradiction to the values we believe in and are teaching in these same schools. So while we certainly want to be compassionate and understanding, we must be true to who we are.’

“’We are certainly thankful to Ms Judd for her past service at Cathedral High School and wish her the best in the future,’ Dupont said.”

Read the full The Republican story >>

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A Mother’s Love

Aug 20th, 2010 08:57 PM By teresa

I am just a mom who loves her daughter unconditionally and I will fight for her right to do and have everything that I do.

I believe that she has the right to…get married…have children…good employment…benefits and most of all she has the right to live her life proudly and without persecution.

The only form of prejudice that is still legal in this country is that against gay, lesbian and transgender people. I for one find this ludicrous.

Although my story isn’t long or flashy it is one of passion. No one will fight harder or longer than a mother for her child. This is for you Jess!

We Have Reason to Hope!

Aug 20th, 2010 08:46 PM By Jason

I won’t divulge my current employer (even though this story is presented in a positive light) but I work for a small, baptist-affiliated, southeastern institution that can sometimes be very old-fashioned and backward-thinking in its approach to doing business. When I first started working here, I didn’t feel comfortable being openly gay because of the roots of the place and the type of people who manage and support it. I knew of specific examples where former employees were fired because of their sexual orientations and while I hated being quiet, I still had to pay the bills.

During the first two years, I met others who were gay and we formed a support group among ourselves wherein we discussed the possibilities of living openly. We were concerned that the fear we held onto was contributing just as much to the problem as those who voiced opposition to our very existence. One day, I decided to tell those with whom I worked more closely that I am gay. Naturally, like many small communities, the news spread like wild fire and before long, I found myself pretty much outed in the entire place. This was the best thing that could have happened, believe it or not! There were a few people who showed some form of prejudice to varying degrees but for the most part, I have been completely accepted and now stand as the unofficial “gay ambassador” for the institution. People are all the time asking questions or trying to get insight on what the “gay culture” feels toward certain issues. While I don’t feel as though I can represent our entire population by any means, I am delighted that my coworkers are seeking relief from their ignorance in an extremely healthy way. It’s just one more step toward full acceptance!

Since then, I am now completely out at work, as well as in my personal life. I have been able to secure promotions and appointments to committees and more importantly, great friendships. My intentions for this post are not those of commiseration; they are quite the opposite. I want to let my lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters know that if things can turn around this much in a small, religious, southern institution, they can certainly improve anywhere. We have every reason to hope and further–we have every reason to stand up and make our voices heard! If we are afraid to talk about the issues, what makes us think our straight counterparts will be any more inclined to?

Don’t be discouraged–equality will be ours. And likely sooner than we think.

Double Whammy

Aug 10th, 2010 08:56 PM By Laura

I worked in the customer service department of a Michigan book printing company (privately owned). I utilized FMLA to care for my terminally ill father in another state and always gave as much advance notice as possible when I needed to be gone and tried to schedule trips during slower times of the month at work (NOT required by FMLA). I continued to receive positive performance reviews and excellent feedback from customers.

I was not openly out as a lesbian, nor was I closeted. I simply did not choose to advertise a label and related to others person-to-person… until my partner’s mother died and I was told that if I took time off to attend the funeral, I would be fired. Because this was my partner’s mother – my mother-in-law, if same-sex unions were acknowledged in Michigan – there was no choice in whether I would go or not. I received a phone call the day of the funeral, informing me to come in and sign termination papers upon my return.

My termination had nothing to do with my performance; no one came to my defense because the “good old boys” and their prejudices in the company hierarchy prevailed.

My own father out-lived his diagnosis by an “extra” year and just passed away on Easter Sunday. I am still looking for work. I would most certainly leave this biased state of Michigan if I could sell my house, and head for more accepting territory. In the interim, I still continue to look for work here in the hopes that the right door will open for me in a company where people are respected as people regardless of race, gender, labels (or lack thereof), and age. Yes, I am a lesbian, and yes, if I don’t color my hair it is mostly gray – much grayer now than even a year ago because of this double whammy!

I Have Been Lucky

Aug 10th, 2010 08:53 PM By Jennifer

I work for one of the largest employers. We all know who that is. I have been with them for 7 yrs. I started out as a sales floor associate and worked my way up to work for the home office. I travel for them re-doing the stores when it comes time to upgrade their appearances. Having said that, when I started with this company people either knew or suspected that I was a lesbian. They never treated me any different. It is not tolerated by the company if you decided that you don’t like someone because of their sexually orientation.

But, when I started traveling for the company, a team member made comments in front of other associates or other supervisors. I would play it off and make comments like “I just like to keep people guessing”. The only reason I did this was because I was not about to lose my job over somebody’s stupidity. Plus, I knew I would have my opportunity to do something about it. I didn’t talk to my boss on site, I waited until the boss who was off site came to the store that we were upgrading. She and I had a long talk about it and she told me about a story of her cousin. She told me she did not have a problem with me being a lesbian, as long as I was happy and was doing my job.

And, if I wanted her too that they could write the team member up. I told her not to due to the economy right now. I know everybody needs a job right now. But, I also know that I have that opportunity if the need arises again.

So, this year we have a new boss who is on site. The second day I asked to speak to him. He and I went to an office and I started telling him what one of my team members had done last year and that the boss off site knows about it. That I didn’t want him to be blindsided when I came to him and demanded that the boss off site come here ASAP. He told me if the team member does anything like that to come straight to him.

So, that is why I am here to support those who do not get the support from their jobs. I GIVE A DAMN.

The Flag in the Hall

Aug 10th, 2010 08:45 PM By Rick

I recently started out in a new job for a BIG computer company. I felt quite proud of myself for landing (on qualifications only) a job that at 23 and being a recent college drop-out still makes me earn almost as much as my father. But, on the first day on the job I found a reason to feel truly proud of the company I work for.

On that first day, still finding my way around the company, my superior took me to the nearest kitchen/coffee station, and while she was pouring herself a cup of coffee I wondered out into the hall and there I saw it: a bright rainbow flag right in front of the door.

My first impulse was to run over there and hide it for some reason. I’ve been “out” to my parents and all my friends for over 5 years now, but for some reason I felt horrified to see that flag on top of my co-worker’s cubicle. And, I just imagined how ostracized that guy would be.

I was intrigued, so later in the day I dared to ask my superior if anybody was opposed to that flag right in front of the coffee station everybody visits at least 3 times a day. I was eagerly informed that our company has quite an inclusive policy for people of any race, origin, gender, and quite specifically, sexual orientation.

A couple of days later I met the guy, a very friendly guy, I now have lunch with every day and found out that 2 other guys in my department are also openly gay. I was quite proud to know that now I work for a company where I don’t have to hide any aspect of my life, a company that gives health benefits to same-sex partners, supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender charities and is proud to have rainbow flags out in the open.

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  • Workplace Discrimination

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