Diversity Guides

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

Archive for September, 2010

Why Companies Support Gay Relationships

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

In 1990, when Lehman Brothers asked my spouse, Ray Struble, to take over their Atlanta office, he told the firm they would need to pay my relocation expenses. There was no policy that covered such a benefit at his firm, or any other at the time, but Lehman said, "Yes." It later became official policy at his firm, and at most others.

In the upcoming Out and Equal Workplace Summit in Los Angeles, I’ll be on a panel that’s discussing "The Business Case for Marriage Equality." The thrust of the discussion will be that corporations need to be aware of the significance of gay marriage to their economic success, and that they should be actively participating as public advocates for marriage equality in upcoming Supreme Court cases. My feeling is that they already have advocated for gay relationships, long before even national gay organizations had it on their radar. Read more…

Captain Bible & Your Safety

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

You are on a plane heading home after a tiring business trip. You have buckled your seat belt in 9C as directed, turned off all of your electronic equipment, and stored your belongings beneath your seat. You smiled at the flight attendant as you listened to the safety instructions you have heard dozens of times before. You have even glanced at the safety instruction card in the seat pocket. What more can you do?

Unbeknownst to you, up on the flight deck, the pilot is heavily distracted as he goes through his safety check. He has just asked his female co-pilot if she is married and she has replied, "Yes, her name is Sharon." He assumes that the male flight attendants are homosexuals but he does not have to have any contact with them. They can’t stay for long in his sacred workspace. But the person sitting close to him for the next three hours is a lesbian. He looks at her and asks, "Have you found Jesus?" This makes the co-pilot feel very unsafe and unwanted. She knew that it was always a possibility, but she hoped she would not ever have to fly with a vocal fundamentalist Christian. Read more…

Cleaning Up Your Calling Card

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Many of us have had the experience of seeing a dog leave its calling card on the sidewalk and its owner thoughtlessly fail to clean it up. Then we watch people step into it, knowing that for the rest of the day the ill effects will be endured by others.

Sometimes the pile is small but nevertheless a nuisance, such as the one left this week by American Express, Booze Allen Hamilton, Chartis, and The New York Times in their 2,000 word promotion of "Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion" in this past Sunday’s The New York Times Magazine. Not once did the author, Jason Forsythe, use the word "gay" in the very expensive advertising supplement. He used the acronym "LGBT" a couple of times, but most international readers of The New York Times do not know that LGBT means "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender". I am not an "LGBT". I am gay, and the impression given by the ad suggests that AE, BAH, C, and TNYT are too uncomfortable or embarrassed to say my name even in a piece touting their successful efforts at diversity and inclusion. They left a small pile, but lots of people will step in it, and track it home. Read more…