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Homophobia in the Workplace & Schools


Leslie Tuchman, MFT


Topic: Homophobia in the Workplace and Schools

It's tough entering the world of work. The obstacles that confront young people as they make the transition from school/university to employment are many. For gay and lesbian young people, there are the added obstacles of homophobia and heterosexism in the workplace - something that heterosexual youth never experience, and about which most managers, human resource professionals and job counselors know little. And the reason that they know little is because gay and lesbian people, as well as most forms of discrimination against them, are invisible. It is this invisibility which is at the heart of the problem, and which causes most managers to assume that sexual orientation is not an issue in their organization.

But the odds are it is. And it is expensive. Gay and lesbian workers often experience a sense of separation from their colleagues, a need to lie, change pronouns and pretend to be heterosexual, increased conflict at home over the invisibility of their partners, fear of exposure and its consequences, a tendency to retreat from social involvement and participation in organizational life, depression and stress, and less energy available for productive work. On the other hand, the organization itself misses out on valuable information about its employees, limits sales, alienates staff and clients, reduces productivity, and decreases retention of valuable employees as well as the pool of available talent.

Guest: Leslie Tuchman, MFT


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