Diversity Guides

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

Archive for May, 2009

Unaware of Gay Awareness or the “Agenda”

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

"Does anyone know why June is the month during which your company celebrates Gay Awareness?" I asked an audience of corporate executives. Most people looked uncomfortably at the floor, and not one hand went up. After my explanation, they all seemed very pleased to understand the significance of the month, and also the reason why the rainbow flag and the pink triangle are used in promoting gay events. Read more…

Fishing Fearlessly & Generously

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

My friend Noreen jumped right into her kayak upon her arrival in Provincetown, paddled out into the choppy waves of the harbor where the sea birds were congregating, and caught a 35-inch striped bass. It was one of 12 (keeping three) such fish that she hauled into her small boat over a day and a half, somehow managing not to tip over into the icy waters of Cape Cod Bay. She’s fearless and she’s generous. She shared filets of the bass, our favorite fish, with Ray and me.

Noreen is an openly gay FBI agent who is also fearlessly and generously creating change in attitudes and behaviors toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in her agency. Read more…

D – My Name is Diversity

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

When I was a youngster living in Flint, Michigan, I was very good at jump rope. I was also good at hopscotch, and jacks, but that’s another story. When we played jump rope, my girl friends and I would keep rhythm for ourselves by singing through the alphabet. I would sing, "A – My name is Alan and my wife’s name is Alice. We come from Alabama with a carload of apples. B – My name is Brian and my wife’s name is Betty. We come from Buffalo with a carload of bananas. C – My name…." You get the picture.

Our little group of children didn’t learn much about each other through the words of that song, other than that we could be creative coming up with appropriate words, especially when we reached the Q and the X.

In many workplaces today, the adults don’t know much more about each other than the contents of the song. Read more…

Teachable Moments, Attitudes on Diversity & Transgender Rights

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Three Internet items grabbed my attention in the past few days. They speak to us about how we can continue our diversity initiatives during this economic meltdown, how employees view diversity and inclusion today, and what advances we are making despite the roadblocks. Read more…