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One of the Few… but One of the Strongest

Nov 29th, 2010 10:25 PM By samuel

Ok, let me start off by saying that I found out I was gay when I was 16. I did not accept it myself until I reached the age of 19. I did not know what to think or even say as my family does not believe in homosexuality.

So, I have a job that not many gay guys, or at least guys that are out have. I am a Firefighter/Medic, I have been for the last 4 years, also started when I was 16, I am 20 now. I have worked at several stations where there are some people that are okay with it, but when someone finds out that I am a gay firefighter, I am looked down upon. Made fun of, and thought less of. I have had my stressful situations where I have had to make quick decisions, but that doesn’t matter. I am still the gay firefighter.

I have given my life for my job, which only my boss knows about. I was diagnosed with HIV in 2009 after running a motor vehicle accident that resulted in a traumatic cardiac arrest. (For those of you that are wondering, this was prior to being sexually active.) I know that I made mistakes that day, but I can not teach my co-workers about what to do and not to do when it comes to personnel protection, due to fear of what would happen when they find out I am poz, as well as gay.

It doesn’t matter that I gave my life for others, I still get made fun of at work. It has been going on for years and something needs to happen. I am working to find a way. It is a slow process but progress is being made.

We need to stand up for what is right or we won’t have a right.

Retaliated, Discriminated, Fired Because I’m Lesbian

Nov 29th, 2010 10:21 PM By doreen

My employer retaliated against me, took away my livelihood because I am lesbian. A female co-worker was going around and calling me the big dyke, labeling me as the big dyke to everyone in the workplace. Co-workers would approach me and tell me what this female was saying behind my back, and co-workers would question me and say “are you lesbian?” I reported it to my manager and he said “do not report this to Human Resources, I will take care of it.” I gave him a couple of weeks and no action was taken. I finally then reported it to Human Resources, and 2 weeks later I was terminated. I was terminated due to false accusations reported by the female who was calling me a big dyke. I was exiting out of my work and I came to a stop, and the girl that was labeling me as the big dyke was outside and shouted out “DYKE”.

I called Human Resources to report what just happened and I was told to call the next day to report it because HR was gone for the day. The next day I went into work, I was suspended. My manager said he is suspending me because the girl said I called her a bitch, and I threatened her and I created a hostile work environment for her. I walked out that office in tears, literally went into an anxiety attack, and breakdown. I couldn’t believe this was happening. When I first started this job I was so excited looking forward to advancing in the company. I was doing security.

Being that I want to pursue a career in the criminal justice field I was proud to have the job I did. I am going through arbitration right now, but my lawyer tells me he doesn’t think we will win because its arbitration. I pray that I will win, and they are held accountable for what they did to me. I almost got evicted from my apartment after all this, without work, I got my car repossessed, with no help from nobody, no family because they are ashamed of me because I am gay. Be proud of who you are, and do not be ashamed. Self worth is key=)

It Does Get Better

Nov 29th, 2010 10:17 PM By Sarah

I worked in Texas, and came out to coworkers and friends. Most were very supportive of me and my partner, but unfortunately supervisors made it fairly obvious that they were uncomfortable with me. Even worse, I had problems on campus, and was not given the support that I felt I should have. A student placed a swastika on a teaching evaluation, and made indirect threats, but I was told that their rights to make an evaluation of my teaching superseded my rights to safety and security on campus. I was verbally harassed on some occasions, but was told that because the campus policy did not specifically address student comments toward faculty, I had no route through which I could complain. Even when a student told me that people were making inaccurate comments about me in the student cafeteria, I was still told that I had no means by which I could address that behavior. It was only at the end of my employment there that some of my colleagues said they had no idea how hard it had been for me.

In spite of those problems, I felt that I should do what I could to contribute to campus affairs, so volunteered often for service work, and I had very good evaluations of my work. Many students approached me to come out, or to talk about problems that they were having, and I was an advocate for them. They said they appreciated having someone they could go to, and felt that I was approachable and proactive. Still, when it came time for achieving tenure and promotion, when my department offered its unanimous approval for my becoming a permanent part of their department, supervisors overturned that unanimous recommendation and I was discontinued (basically, fired).
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Never Give Up

Nov 29th, 2010 10:14 PM By Anthony

I am a transgender FTM, and I know what it is like to be harassed, and judged, just for being me. I have always been a very caring individual and would be the first to help anyone. I have been fighting a battle of my own on my job, and it has taken a great toll on my health, and my self being. I will not give in to the childish ways of my co-workers.

I got my job the same as they did, and I deserve the right to work it in peace. I will stand up for my rights, and the rights of the ones coming up behind me. I can’t allow them to act as though I have no rights. The thing they need to stop and realize is, God created me the same as he did them, and do they ever stop to think what their punishment is going to be for judging others. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Italy and LGBT discrimination

Nov 26th, 2010 07:59 PM By Gianni

As an out and proud Italian homosexual I am constantly confronted, not only with the total loss of civil LGBT rights about discrimination and same sex relationships, but also in work as well.

Since the beginning of my career I have always been harassed in some way, and have always felt the urge to fight this horrible, heavy way of acting and sustain the hetero-sexist Italian culture.

As an unemployed LGBT person in today’s Italian economical crisis and rising bigotry, I have one chance less left to find a work than any other people around.

And, even after years of following the LGBT movement, and some years of direct participation and involvement too, one chance more to have to keep my mouth shut every single day.

That’s why I am giving a damn today.

Bullying Then and Now!

Nov 26th, 2010 06:58 PM By robert

My bullying started in junior high school, like most kids. I would imagine. It started out by classmates calling me names, Robbie Gay, Robbie Bent, Robbie’s not straight, (Strait) being my last name. Pansy, of course fag. At this time I was not aware of my future sexuality. My gym teacher knew something, because he told me, one day when you’re in high school they’ll make a man out of you. I hated gym class. I made often visits to the nurse to get out of gym. Yet at 13, not aware of my sexuality. Once in high school, the teasing of name calling grew worse. As classmates got older, so did the words they used. Faggot, queer, gay, name calling was often. Then started the physical treatment, of getting pushed while walking in the hallways, spit at, being pushed into lockers. I had friends, many. It was just those few bullies that effected my school life.

I started to visit the school nurse to get out of classes; gym class was the main class. I’d skipped classes I knew I would be harassed in. Most of the times teachers stood by and wouldn’t say anything. My fellow students knew I was gay before I did, which is strange. One of the biggest bullies I faced everyday, while in school, was Scott. Well years later, I ended up having a relationship with Scott’s gay brother. Small world, right! BUT…
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The Fear

Oct 28th, 2010 02:54 AM By Christian

I wish I could come out at work, but I’m so afraid that people will judge me. I really want to but I don’t know how they will act. I know from other people who had co-workers make fake rumors about them. Just so that they can make them get fired or quit. Which many have, but I can’t.

I Give a Damn

Oct 28th, 2010 02:40 AM By mikayla

I do give a damn wholeheartedly. I spoke 2 years ago to the legislature trying to add sexual identity to state law and was disappointed with the intolerance that I saw when the senate voted 26-0 against the bill.

Not one senator in New Hampshire felt that transgender people should have equal rights. I have had this issue hit close to home when my older brother committed suicide because he felt he had no one he could talk too. Imagine my horror to find out he was going through the same thing as I was and we never talked about it because of the deep shame we each share due to society.

We all label people and put them in little roles and as a transgender we break that role. A girl wearing pants is acceptable now when before they would be teased as a tomboy, a boy wearing a dress is teased as a sissy or worst. I care so I share.

Coming Out

Oct 26th, 2010 11:43 AM By james

When I came out it was very hard. I had to leave my home because my dad said he would not have a gay son. I actually tried to take my own life on six occasions.

It is not easy, but I learned the hard way life does get better. There are people that care.

I was called ungodly names when I was a manager at a local Taco Bell, that was the last time I tried to take my life. I remember waking up to my dad telling me he loved me know matter who I was.

Please think before you try anything. Call someone, do anything but that. The world is a better place because we are in it.

God loves us all know matter what. It took me a long time, all I got out of the bad things I tried was loads of health issues, but mostly still being around for those that do love me.

Lastly, there is a tomorrow because people like me give a damn.

My Stand Against Discrimination

Oct 26th, 2010 11:38 AM By Jordan

I am a 24 year old business owner in Toledo, Ohio. Ohio is one of the many states where it is legal for an employer to terminate an employee because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Right now though, Ohio is in the process of adding sexual orientation and gender identity into its housing and employment laws, which would make it illegal for that to happen. I am not going to wait for the politicians in Columbus to make this a reality though. I have written into my employment practices that no one based on race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, income level, etc. will be discriminated against.

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  • Workplace Discrimination

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