Diversity Guides

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

Archive for December, 2010

Christmas without Christ, but Goosebumps in the Stable

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

As Ray and I sat in the darkened All Saints Episcopal Church in Ft. Lauderdale, listening to Seraphic Fire sing Silent Night, I had Goosebumps. With my eyes closed, I was transported back to my adolescence in Birmingham, Michigan, and felt the same excitement about Christmas as I did then. At that time, I was a very holy kid who took the Nativity story quite seriously. I used to read St. Luke’s Gospel on my own, and I would remind my siblings of the importance of the upcoming birth of Our Lord. How, I wondered, as I read the Christmas story, did the inn keeper feel when he later learned that the people who he turned away, and sent to the stable, were the Mother of God, and the Savior of the World?

When I opened my eyes at the end of Silent Night, I was quickly aware that I was not at home, but in a Christian church in which I didn’t feel completely comfortable, despite the large number of gay congregants, and the liberal theology of both the local and national Episcopal leadership. Many years ago, I had come to feel as if I didn’t belong in the Christian faith. I felt as if I had been told by management that there was no room in the inn for me. I subsequently created my own world, and my own faith in the stable, as have many other gay and lesbian people. Read more…

The Face of the American Gay Male

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

When advertisers brainstorm on how to depict gay men for corporate accounts, what image of us should they conjure? Should the "typical" gay male American be portrayed as being young, muscled, tattooed, HIV-positive, well-dressed, athletic, and handsome, or not? Are we masculine or effeminate, politically savvy or ditsy, Renaissance men or sex-obsessed clones? This question matters to the advertising agency because if it misrepresents us, and we subsequently don’t buy the product, it loses money, as does the corporation that hired them to find us. It matters to us gay men too, because like every other minority, we often end up seeing ourselves as we are presented to others. Read more…