Diversity Guides

Brian McNaught's Gay & Transgender Issues in the Workplace Blog

Archive for April, 2009

Things Change, Like It or Not

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Thirty-some years ago, the comedienne Lily Tomlin had a very popular character named Ernestine who was a bossy, snoopy, disrespectful, and cranky telephone operator. When dealing with unhappy customers, she would snort with derision and remind them that they were dealing with the phone company, an institution that didn’t care about the customer’s complaint because AT&T was "omnipotent." Though she pops up from time to time in Lily’s work today, Ernestine retired from her switchboard "duty desk," hopefully before her once powerful employer was no longer considered to be omnipotent. Today, it’s simply not the same AT&T. It’s been broken up, sold, changed, and must now compete with other communication giants. Things change, even those things like AT&T that we believed never would. That has certainly been true in my life. Read more…

Why We’re the “Frumpy” Angel’s Biggest Fans

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Why has Susan Boyle, the 47-year-old Scottish lass, so completely captured our attention and our hearts? Though Ray and I listened twice (through YouTube) to her extraordinarily beautiful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" the night it arrived in my e-mail, I want to listen to it again and again. Each time a reference to her pops up in my CNN.com news briefs, I check in to see what delightful tidbit is now being revealed about the unassuming, never-been-kissed, singing phenomenon.

But why are we all making such a big fuss over her? Read more…

Letting Go of the Monkey’s Hand

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

"Monkey Mind" is a term in meditative practice that refers to our tendencies to allow our mind to race from one issue to the next, like a monkey jumping from one tree to another, or from one window in the cage to the many others, getting very excited or agitated by what it sees.

My Monkey Mind races today from the window in which I see Out magazine’s inane listing of the 50 most powerful gay people in America Read more…

Please Don’t be Offended, but You’re a Hypocrite

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Did you hear the one about the Scientologist, the Mormon, and the Pakistani Shia, who stood with their Roman Catholic colleague at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) having "several friendly conversations with un-offended co-workers" regarding their beliefs? Read more…

Don’t Ask About the Sexual Immaturity of Retired Officers

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Over 1,000 retired military officers feel that the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, unlike those who serve in 20 of the 26 NATO member countries, are emotionally immature and sexually insecure. They also feel that the overwhelming majority of parents in the United States are homophobic.

In urging President Obama not to follow the lead of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Israel, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland—all of whom welcome the service of openly gay and lesbian citizens—the retired officers said repealing the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy "would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force."

Yikes! If gay people have that much power, wouldn’t it make sense for the U.S. to have an all gay army, such as the renowned Sacred Band of Thebes in Ancient Greece? Read more…