Showing posts with label Closeted. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Closeted. Show all posts

March 19, 2019

"Is Donald Trump Lindsey Graham’s personal Vladimir Putin?"





 The faces will tell you who gives it, who gets it and likes it and who does it because there is no choice







Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Is Donald Trump Lindsey Graham’s personal Vladimir Putin?
Although there might not be a pee tape, many have wondered how John McCain’s best friend, who often acted like a maverick by regularly eschewing the Republican ethos, did a complete 180 and became Donald Trump’s mouthpiece.
MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle speculated without proof that President Trump could be holding “something pretty extreme” on South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) and she may be right.
Before Trump took office Graham had been one of the most vocal Republican leaders against his presidency. In fact, in 2015, Graham called Trump a “xenophobic, race-baiting bigot.” While Trump has done nothing to change Graham’s 2015 feelings, somehow Graham has done a complete 180-degree turn and become Trump’s lap dog.
On MSNBC’s Velshi & Ruhle on Tuesday morning, former GOP congressman David Jolly (I-Fla.), who left the Republican Party in 2018, had this to say about Trump and Graham’s relationship.
“Before Don got elected, Lindsey Graham called Donald Trump a racist, xenophobic bigot. Those are Lindsey Graham’s words,” Jolly said, according to the Hill.
“I doubt Lindsey Graham could tell you Donald Trump has had a change of heart in the last 24 months, I bet the change of heart has been with Lindsey Graham, not the president,” he said.
Then Ruhle added before going to commercial break: “Or it could be that Donald Trump or somebody knows something pretty extreme about Lindsey Graham.”
 Was it irresponsible journalism? Maybe. It’s probably not the best move to speculate wildly as to why a Senator has a had a huge change of heart towards a man whom he once believed was a racist, anti-immigrant bigot. But I don’t think she’s wrong.
Trump moves more like a member of the mafia than the senior most member of American politics, so it wouldn’t be shocking if Trump pulled Graham into the Oval Office to show him footage of himself in his teens stealing from a Piggly Wiggly.
From the Hill:
Graham has been one of Trump’s more vocal defenders since he took office, particularly during the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the fall.
But the former 2016 presidential rival has also recently criticized the president on big issues, including over Trump’s abrupt declaration last month about a U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
Graham vehemently opposed the move, calling it a “disaster” and a “stain on the honor of the United States.” He maintained that despite Trump’s initial declaration, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had not been defeated in Syria.
“To say they’re defeated is an overstatement and is fake news,” Graham said on the Senate floor Dec. 19. “It is not true. They have been severely damaged but they will come back unless we’re there to stop them.”
So now we wait to see if the Graham dossier is exposed. Is it called the “Graham Dossier?” Where does one hide a dossier? Is it in a vault? And where can I get a dossier vault? Probably from the secret white hardware retailer, Wypipo Depot.
I bet it’s a tape of Lindsey Graham that will ruin his career with his Republican base. It’s probably footage of him doing something very liberal like solving an algebra equation or treating a Mexican like a human being.
God help us all

February 19, 2019

'He Kept His Gay past Secret Before we Married, What Now?’








 


Appeared in Slate


Dear How to Do It,

I adore my husband of 12 years. We have two kids, a great house, and are very close. The big catch: When we met I was very inexperienced and he failed to disclose a lot of information about his own sexual history, which included a boatload of gay sex and orgies and humiliation play. He lied to me for years before finally telling me he was bi. Over the last two years, we have tried a lot of new things to make him happy: We had an open marriage, used toys on each other, watched gay porn, and talked a lot about his fantasies. He stopped talking to his extended family during this time frame and told me one night that he probably would have identified as gay rather than bi if he had a more accepting family.


He insists that he only loves me and doesn’t want to end our relationship, but he also calls me vanilla all the time and insists I find him disgusting. When I make a move, he will often flinch. He gets extremely upset if I express concern that he is going to opt out of our relationship, which I feel is a legit concern. Now he says he is just going to repress that side of himself. I don’t want him to lie to himself, or me, and I don’t care if he is bisexual. I don’t even care if he has someone on the side as long as he is super careful with protection. I love my husband and I don’t want to break up our life, but I don’t know how to move past the unhealthy sexual dynamic in our relationship. Sexually, he has made me feel like I will always be second best.
I don’t think that I should have to feel bad for enjoying heterosexual sex and not needing a lot of the extra bells and whistles, especially since I am ready and willing to play along with the things that interest him. What should I do?



—Blast From the Past

Dear Blast From the Past,

I think you should focus on yourself because you’ve spent way too long focusing on and accommodating your husband. A partner—especially one who failed to disclose so much about himself—should be so lucky to receive a quarter of your effort and acceptance. I almost feel like typing an itemized list based on your question to reflect back to you how much you have done, because I’m not sure that you’re aware of the extraordinary degree of your generosity.

It breaks my heart a little that your husband makes you feel that you will always be second best, and yet you’re still with him and actively pursuing a sex life. I have to wonder why you keep at it. Has the sex, when it’s actually happened, been that good? Until he gets therapy to work through issues around his sexuality, self-hate, and upbringing—which seem clear in your letter—I don’t think either of you will be satisfied, nor will the emotionally abusive ways he’s lashing out at you stop.


But you asked me what you should do, not him. You didn’t mention much about your own sexuality, only as it implicitly relates to your husband’s. To write a proper prescription, I’d need to know more about you. But taking you at your word that your everything else is dandy at home, have you considered seeking some action of your own on the side? I totally understand not wanting to give up the domestic bliss you have with your partner, but it sounds like sex with him is a dead end for now. If you’re really after good old vanilla heterosexual gratification, I agree you shouldn’t feel bad, but I think you’re going to have to look elsewhere. Inquire how he would feel about both of you having someone on the side—maintain your life partnership and compartmentalize your sex as something you have only with others. It’s possible it will make him feel worse, or maybe a sense of relief, but you don’t know until you broach it, possibly with a counselor.

It’s not ideal, but what relationship is? If you set off to find one as an example right now we’d all die before you returned back to your computer to finish reading my answer to your question. So don’t bother. If you’re getting some (which is to say enough) from someone else, the issue of sex will cast a much shorter shadow over your partnership, and it may make your happy home even happier. Or maybe it’ll make him jealous enough to snap him out of simultaneously shaming you and imposing his cockeyed interpretations of your sexual feelings for him. I’m not sure exactly what you need from a short letter, but I’m certain that you deserve better than what you’re getting.



Dear How to Do It,

I’m a woman in my early 20s. I grew up imagining sex was going to be amazing, but so far, it’s never quite worked. I get off fine on my own while reading or watching kinky porn or using my imagination, but I get stuck in my head when I’m with another person. I’m not sure if it’s because the sex I’ve been having has been too vanilla, or I’m just finding bad sexual partners, or if there’s something wrong with me. I’ve hooked up with both men and women. I just got out of a serious relationship, and it was some of the worst sex of my life. I definitely don’t think I’m asexual because the desire is still there. I just can’t seem to master the execution.

I’ve been open with partners in the past about not having had an orgasm with another person. They always take it as a challenge, and when whatever they’re doing doesn’t work immediately, they take it personally. Or they just totally give up because they assume I’m not going to come anyway, so why bother? A lot of articles tell you not to worry if you aren’t having orgasms, but I’m not having fun either. It’s almost like because it’s been so bad in the past, I’m too jaded to be present with whoever I’m with. I’ve gotten really good at faking it. I think I used to see being good at sex as being really good at getting the other person off, but now I’m realizing that I’ve spent next to no time trying to figure out how to enjoy myself in my own body. I am interested in exploring kink, but I haven’t even mastered the basics yet. I feel like most people my age have figured out what works for them by now. All the advice I’ve read about this kind of thing tells you to get better at masturbating, but I have that part down! I’ve had so much sex, but I feel like a virgin.


—Forever Virgin

Dear Forever Virgin,

It sounds to me like your problem may be as simple as you’re innately kinkier than the sex you’re having. Please do not feel self-conscious about realizing this in your early 20s. In your early 20s, your brain is still developing—there’s no way you are who you will come to be. As we live, we learn more about ourselves, and as we learn more about ourselves, the sex we have changes. Most people do not have this all figured by your age.

So you are by any reasonable measure very young, and you’ll likely find plenty of people happy to show you the ropes of whatever kink you’re interested in trying out. In fact, a lot of people find the combination of eagerness and inexperience in a partner to be a particular turn-on—you likely won’t merely be taught, you’ll be taught by a teacher who cares, like Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds, but for kink. I don’t know which kink zests your lemon, so I can’t provide advice beyond that. But the internet is a big place with very specific connections, so I’m going to assume you can Google your path to an orgasm attended by at least one partner of your choice.

Dear How to Do It,

My husband and I have been together for 10 years. Our sex life is mutually satisfying except for one small (big?) problem. My husband is a big guy: 6-foot-2, 250 pounds. I am smaller at 5-foot-2, 130 pounds. Our size mismatch is further complicated by the fact that his penis is smaller than average, and his belly can get in the way of deep penetration during sex. The result is that there are exactly three positions that allow us satisfying friction: missionary, cowgirl, and doggy style. After 10 years, I’m fairly bored with these same three positions and long (ha!) for something more. Am I doomed to forever repeat the same old routine? Is there some kind of workaround that I haven’t thought of?

—Mismatched

Dear Mismatched, 

You’re going to have to think beyond positions here. When a dick doesn’t expand your hole of choice, you’re just going to have to expand your mind. By now, the two of you are road-tested enough that you can tick off exactly what positions work for you. I could bust out some old action figures (say, a He-Man and Princess Leia) to strategize how to further negotiate your size difference, but I think you’re good there. Luckily for both of you, there are several sexual avenues you can explore that don’t involve penetrative sex (like say, oh, oral), or that dress it up to the point of making penetration function more like a side dish—or at least like a co-main (like, say, bondage).


But really, your multiple Freudian pratfalls (those were not slips!) suggest that you’re jonesing for a bigger dick, at least sometimes. So get one. Recruit a living one if your husband is down for a threesome, or get yourself a nice fat dildo and play with it with him. Buy an extender he can put on his penis during sex, or a vibrating cock ring that will add some zing to your bang. By now, through the sheer positioning trial and error that your letter alludes to, he must know that his dick is not huge. It’s OK for you to want some variation, especially if your sex life with him is active, and a toy is a completely reasonable negotiation if he’s not willing to explore group sex. I trust you know the best way to broach this with your husband, and I’d wager he wouldn’t mind mixing it up too.

Dear How to Do It,


I’m a 61-year-old man—active, fit, and married for 25 years. My wife, whom I love and would never want to hurt, is 66, post-menopausal, and has completely lost interest in sex.
I haven’t had intercourse in two years or experienced any real physical passion, and I’m starting to lose my mind. I’ve considered using a hookup app or going to a prostitute, but both options aren’t very attractive to me so I’ve been reluctant to pull the trigger. What else can I do?

—Still in It

Dear Still in It,

You don’t give any indication that you’ve discussed this in any detail with your wife, so that’s what you should do first. I don’t recommend seeking outside sex without her blessing or at least her knowledge. It’s perfectly reasonable for you to want to find another target for your sexual energy. While getting there is likely to be an emotional process that requires compassion and reassurance, this is a purely pragmatic issue. You want sex, she doesn’t, so you’re going to have to get it outside your home. If she’s truly not interested anymore, it’s a fair ask, though it may take her some getting used to, and it may come with a list of requests and rules to make this process as painless for her as possible.
Honor all of them.


Please, though, make sure that you confirm in words that she’s completely lost interest in sex. I’ve only been writing this column for a month, but I’m already acutely aware that a lot of people are living unsatisfying sex lives in (and because of) silence and uncertainty. Maybe she does still have desires and needs your help to realize them.

If you’ve discussed all this and still, for unspecified reasons, aren’t interested in a hookup app or paying for sex, you have more options. Make a sexy friend. Dabble with guys and visit a glory hole or a gym sauna—less work than an app. Or resign yourself to a life wherein your primary sexual activity is masturbation. If you don’t do anything about this situation, you’re going to have to.

—Rich 

February 7, 2019

Some Members of the LGBT Community Prefer Their Life’s in The Closet



Public opinion over same-sex relationships is deeply divided in Singapore, where gay sex is still technically illegal under a colonial-era law and government policies promote the formation of two-parent, heterosexual families.
 So Joanna, a 38-year-old who works in sales and is married to a woman, was worried the landmark ruling could fuel a backlash from conservative Singaporeans.
“We feel that the louder you are, the more attention you’re drawing to [LGBT rights] and that actually prompts the public to be a little more aggressive in shooting it down,” she said.
Joanna, whose wife Casey is a 33-year-old civil servant, said she was not convinced “shining the spotlight” on LGBT issues was the best way to ensure equal rights. She referred to last year’s debate on repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men but is not actively enforced. She said she believed the government, which is now conducting a review of the Penal Code, would have found it easier to scrap the law if activists had not drawn the attention of conservatives and religious groups to it. How Singapore’s red-light district became a playground for mainland Chinese
The couple – who asked that their names be changed and personal details kept to a minimum for this article – know their view is not likely to be shared by many among Singapore’s LGBT community.
In the last decade, LGBT issues have had a bigger airing as countries around the world move to legalise gay marriages and local gay pride rally Pink Dot attracts more people each year. In 2007 and last year, there were calls to repeal Section 377A but each time such nationwide discussions happen, the government says it is neutral and will only move forward when society is ready for it.
The government has also reinforced its pro-family stance. Since the adoption ruling, which the court explained as a bid to prioritise the child’s welfare and increase his prospects of acquiring Singapore citizenship, the Ministry of Social and Family Development has announced its desire to tighten adoption and surrogacy rules. 

 Casey, who holds a foreign passport and an employment permit in Singapore, said she doesn’t “feel trapped” there.
“I can choose to move, I can leave and go to a different place so I don’t feel so oppressed,” she said.
She said neither her nor Joanna had encountered mean comments about their sexuality like they had when they travelled overseas. While they are not legally recognised as a married couple in Singapore, they had circumvented this by drafting wills and registering lasting powers of attorney, to grant each other the right to make medical and financial decisions for the other party. According to former teacher Joseph Chong, public attitudes have changed to the point where “you can hold hands in Singapore and nobody would care or be bothered by it”.
But when it comes to equal rights for LGBT individuals, a culture of “don’t ask, don’t tell” still prevails. The 44-year-old said that while he never hid his sexuality from his colleagues at the elite school where he worked, he also never felt comfortable advertising it publicly, such as by attending the Pink Dot rally that has been allowed to take place in the city since 2009.
“I did not want to put my school in any sort of position where they will be questioned. I think I’ve to respect certain boundaries,” he said.
For Kerry Sieh, a leading geologist who was wooed to the Lion City from the United States in 2008 to set up and head the Earth Observatory of Singapore, “Singapore has gotten worse”. 


A decade ago, his employers helped his partner secure a job and residency in the country. He cited the barring of foreigners from 2017’s Pink Dot rally as evidence of changing attitudes.
“They had barricades put around the park and all the foreigners had to stay out,” he said.
Sieh has said that he only took the job initially because Lee Kuan Yew, known as the founding father of modern Singapore, had said publicly in 2007 that the government would not interfere in homosexual people’s private lives.
In September, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said that when it came to “work, housing [and] education” there is no discrimination against the LGBT community in Singapore.
While that might be true, there is still public opinion to worry about, according to Thomas, an educator in his 40s who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions.
“If you’re asking if we want to stand up and be counted, we really cannot,” he said.
“Let’s say a student or parent files a complaint, will that be used against us? There’s no clear stand [from the education ministry] on what happens if a complaint was made against you because you’re LGBT.”
Chong, the former teacher, shared similar concerns: “the general public will question, ‘Oh what’s the school’s stand? Do you allow teachers like that in the school? What is the education ministry’s stand?”

This pressure to present a public persona in spite of who you are in private is something that Amanda Wee, a transgender Singaporean now living in New Zealand, knows all too well.
As a Catholic, the 34-year-old said she feels the weight of both societal and religious expectations. Yet her LGBT friends will still pressure her to support “everything in every way”.
“I do feel torn in that while I want to support my gay friends, from a religious perspective I am constrained in how much I can support gay activism, and frankly I have not yet found a good middle ground,” she said.
Social worker and executive director of LGBT counselling group Oogachaga, Leow Yangfa, said that given the “pragmatic reality of Singapore’s situation”, a “subtle combination” of action and inaction was probably the best approach.
“What is more important is that as a community, we do not descend into having divisive views about what is right and best,” the 43-year-old said.

December 1, 2018

Closeted man Kills His Lover to Keep The Secret



 BROCKTON, Mass. —Kian Willis,21
A Brockton murder defendant’s desire to keep his gay relationship on the down low may have motivated him to kill his former lover, according to the prosecution.
Kian Willis, 21, of Brockton, was arraigned on a charge of murder late Wednesday afternoon at Brockton District Court following his arrest by Brockton police at 2 p.m. Willis is being accused of pulling the trigger, or at least being part of a joint venture, in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Patrick Sequeira-Ferreira on Nov. 12 on Keith Avenue in Brockton, the Enterprise reported. 
Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Kenny told the court that text messages show how Willis lured Sequira-Ferreira outside right before the shooting, falsely telling the murder victim that he arranged him an Uber ride. Willis was the last person to have contact with the victim by phone, Kenny said. Then, there were three gunshots, recorded by the city’s ShotSpotter system, Kenny said.
Willis was later interviewed by police, and he expressed concerns about people finding out about the nature of his sexual relationship with Sequira-Ferreira, Kenny said. On top of that, the prosecutor said, Willis was worried that he could lose his job, working at the Office of Community Corrections, a subset of the state’s probation department. That’s where Willis originally met the murder victim, who was a client of the agency, Kenny said.
"They struck up a friendship, which was against the policies and rules of the OCC,” said Kenny, as Willis hid himself from view, standing behind a partition on the side of the court room. “The defendant also told police that he had sexual relations with the victim previous to that. It appears that no one in the defendant’s family may have been aware that he was homosexual and bisexual. It appears that the defendant before you may have been concerned that the victim was going to tell people about their relationship.”
Judge Julie Bernard ordered Willis to be held without bail. Willis, who pleaded not guilty, is now due back in court on Jan. 2 for a probable cause hearing.
Willis was represented by Boston-based defense attorney Christopher Belezos, who was granted requests to defer his argument for bail and to preserve notes made during the course of the murder investigation.
During the arraignment, family members of Sequira-Ferreira consoled each other and looked on quietly. They walked in together, and his mother wore a button with the 27-year-old’s picture on it, but they declined to comment about Tuesday’s arrest in the murder case.
Sequeira-Ferreira was walking down Keith Avenue, adjacent to the CVS Pharmacy parking lot, when sources told The Enterprise he was ambushed from behind and shot in the head on the night of Nov. 12. The 27-year-old was rushed by ambulance to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, then flown by medical helicopter to Boston Medical Center, where he died shortly before midnight.
Kenny said surveillance video shows Sequira-Ferreira being followed by another man, but there’s no footage of the shots being fired. Other surveillance footage then shows the suspect running down Keith Avenue toward Warren Avenue, in the direction of where Willis was picked up by another friend immediately after the shooting, based on his phone records, according to Kenny.


August 15, 2018

There Are Out Gay Men In All Aspects of Australian Society Except Sports





By Corbin Middlemas


Australian rules football has always been a big part of my life, but from an early age, I knew I had a conflict with the game.
Corbin Middlemas at the AFL grand final at the MCG in 2017.My earliest childhood memories revolve around footy, from playing in the backyard or going to Subiaco Oval with my family.

I'm privileged enough to broadcast the AFL for ABC Grandstand each week, something I've done since I was a teenager. I work closely with current and former players, as well as other stakeholders in the game.

I'm a big guy with a deep voice that wears a lot of sports tees. I like rap music and having a beer with my mates.
In the most part, I'm your typical sports junkie in their mid-20s.
Except I'm gay
'I never wanted my sexuality to be the first thing people knew'

I have a close group of friends, dating back through high school, work or even our fantasy football league. We share a lot of common interests, except this.
I always dreamed of being a sports broadcaster. As long as I can remember I wanted
 to call play-by-play.

As a high school student, I volunteered my weekends at my local community radio 
station and by 19, I was working full-time with the ABC in my home city.
Interviewing Essendon's Zac Merrett last year … Corbin says he always dreamed of being a sports broadcaster. 

I never wanted my sexuality to be the first thing people knew about me. Having moved cities twice in as many years, the same applied wherever I went.
It's a confusing weight to carry around. It affected my mood and relationships significantly.
I'd regularly go through moments wanting to tell friends, but not wanting to take an awkward detour in conversation.

It took me 24 years to tell my best friend, and less than a year to tell a dozen more people after that, including my family.

By that point, I think most of them suspected as much and were just waiting for me to tell them.
I'm incredibly fortunate to have such a support network.
It's because of that I feel a sense of obligation to tell my story.
'Being gay doesn't make you any less masculine' 

I have a platform to tell young men who don't fit into the norm that's perfectly normal.
Being gay doesn't make you any less masculine.

The discourse around our game matters and it has been unwelcoming to gay people for generations.
Homophobic slurs are commonplace at many sporting clubs around the country. It's a hangover from a bygone era. These slurs are no longer tolerated at workplaces or heard in most social settings.
The suicide rate for gay youths is astronomically high. LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide than the broader population.
Dampening the hysteria

Today we see openly gay men in every aspect of Australian life, except on the sporting field.
In 2014, American journalist Jason Whitlock penned a column about the NFL's first openly gay draftee, Michael Sam.

Michael Sam, the first publicly gay player drafted into the NFL, signs autographs.
Michael Sam (right) is "riding a wave, not creating one", American journalist Jason Whitlock said in 2014. 

He wrote: "The sports world no longer promotes change; it reflects it.
"Sam is riding a wave, not creating one."
The premise of Whitlock's article was not to soften the importance of Sam's announcement, but to "dampen the hysteria".

Most people have gay friends, colleagues or family members. Just last year, the country settled its debate on marriage equality.
There has never been a better time for gay people in Australia than today.
But the sports world is playing catch-up to the real world. The trail has already been blazed in other areas of Australian life.

The idea of a gay footballer isn't that big a deal to many people detached from the sports world.
A retired AFL footballer told me last year he suspects those in the locker room don't have an issue with openly gay players, but it's the circus outside that stops players from coming out.
What does that say about us, as the sports media, and as footy fans more broadly?
Corbin Middlemas is a broadcaster for ABC Grandstand.



June 27, 2018

Nearly 50% of the LGBTQ Labor Force Remains Closeted in The US





Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision granting marriage equality, but despite signs of progress, almost half of LGBTQ employees remain closeted at work, according to a new study released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.
This figure has barely changed in a decade even as many employers have attempted to create more inclusive workplaces.
“We’ve learned that simply having the right policy in place isn’t enough,” said study author Deena Fidas, director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program. “You’ve got evidence over a decade that despite really significant progress, including marriage equality, challenges remain in terms of the everyday workplace experience for LGBTQ Americans.”
The report, A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide, found that 46% of LGBT employees are not open about their sexuality at work for fear of being stereotyped, making people feel uncomfortable or losing connections with coworkers.
When the survey was first conducted in 2008, 51 percent of LGBTQ employees reported that they hadn’t come out to their coworkers. Fidas said she’s not surprised the number has hardly budged in the past decade.
“On one hand there’s been significant progress, but on the other we still don’t have basic federal protections in this country for the LGBTQ community,” she said.
Although many companies have invested in creating non-discrimination policies and inclusive benefit packages, 31 states still don’t have fully-inclusive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. Fidas said many LGBTQ folks are still grappling with an isolating double standard when it comes to socializing in the office. While your spouse or your dating life might come up in casual workplace chit chat for straight employees, when an LGBTQ employee brings up their personal life it becomes taboo, Fidas explained. But if LGBTQ employees don’t share, they can face social isolation and miss out on networking opportunities.
“Every workplace actually demands some level of sharing,” said Fidas. “LGBTQ people really consistently get chilled out of social networks in the workplace. Their contributions, their level of sharing and simply bringing their full self to the workplace in the same way their straight and cisgender colleagues do is decidedly not welcome.” The responses to the survey present a conflicting picture:
  • 80% of non-LGBTQ employees believe no one should have to hide who they are at work,
  • 59% of non-LGBTQ employees said they think it’s unprofessional to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace
  • 36% of non-LGBTQ employees said they would feel uncomfortable hearing an LGBTQ colleague talk about dating.
  • 20% of LGBTQ workers report having been told that they should dress in a more feminine or masculine manner (compared to 1 in 24 non-LGBTQ workers)
  • 53% of LGBTQ workers report hearing jokes about lesbian or gay people at least once in a while
These conditions have a negative effect not only on the employee, but on business as well. The study found 1 in 5 LGBTQ employees had considered leaving a job and engagement in the workplace can drop as much as 30 percent because of an unwelcoming environment.
Fidas said while instituting inclusive policies is fundamentally necessary, managers and leaders must also communicate consistently and clearly about LGBTQ inclusion.
Developing an appropriate vocabulary, in both formal and informal communication, and equipping teams with a protocol around unconscious bias are two good steps, Fidas said. Allies play a huge role in transforming workplace culture.
"We find this over and over again," Fidas said. "It's simply a matter of mastering the vocabulary, many LGBTQ workers do not hear specific messages aimed at them."
These dynamics don't operate in a vacuum either, Fidas pointed out. She said typically if a workplace tolerates jokes at the expense of LGBTQ folks, the same is true for people of other races or ability levels.
“A problem with the LGBTQ climate is a miner's canary for other aspects of inclusion,” she said.
While Fidas said she hopes this study will jumpstart the conversation about the work we still have to do, she also plans to do more research the way race, region and other factors affect the LGBTQ experience.
"It is so critical to understand the diversity of experiences across the LGBTQ community," she said. 
USA TODAY NETWORK

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