Diversity Guides

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

Archive for February, 2011

Bad First Impressions

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Negative first impressions of a person different from ourselves can be frightening. They can easily reinforce our stereotypes of an entire group, unless we already have a wealth of personal experiences that tell us the individual is an exception to the rule, and not an example of it. Read more…

Why We Care

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Carol Jean Lucke and Jessica Cummins were married Friday afternoon in Decorah, Iowa. They met at a management retreat. Ms. Lucke, a divorcee, was attracted to Ms. Cummins from the start but was also seeing someone else. "I looked at her and thought she was adorable," she said. Ms. Lucke and her partner then invited Ms. Cummins and her partner to dinner, but it never occurred because Ms. Cummins and her partner broke up. Carol Jean and Jessica then became friends and after a few years, Ms. Cummins proposed to Ms. Lucke, who gave Ms. Cummins her mother’s diamond in a pendant. "I just want to spend the rest of my life making you happy," she said.

Barbara Burke and Robert Cullinane were married Thursday at a hotel in Rhinebeck, New York.┬áBut who cares? They’re a cute, older couple, and I hope they had a wonderful wedding. I want them to be very, very happy for the rest of their lives, but when I’m scanning the Weddings/Celebrations pages in the Lifestyle section of Sunday’s The New York Times, my eyes only settle on the faces of same sex couples, unless the heterosexual groom is very handsome. That leaves Barbara and Robert very low on my list of interests.

We care about what we know, and we want other people to care as much or as little as we do. Read more…

Life’s Memorable Experiences

Monday, February 7th, 2011

For some of us who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, it was the first time we kissed another man, or another woman. We will never forget the experience. For a transgender person, it might be the first time he or she presented themselves in public as the other gender. It also may have been the time in third grade when the teacher humiliated us in front of our classmates, or the time we saw our father cry, or our mother die. They are not always pleasant memories that we carry with us throughout our lives, but a handful of events leave lasting impressions on us all. They are in the scrapbooks of our souls.

I had such an experience last night. Read more…