Diversity Guides

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

Archive for November, 2011

Can the Mailbox be Emptied?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

You could say that you wrote me a loving greeting over the holiday, and I wouldn’t know if it was true. My mailbox was full, and for two days everything sent to me by e-mail bounced back to the sender.┬áIt wasn’t until I became aware of the problem, and disposed of the junk mail and the old, unnecessary information, that was I able to receive new correspondence. Making the decision as to what was spam and what was important provided another opportunity to observe and learn.

I wonder if the storage space in our brains is also limited and needs to be emptied periodically. The heart has unlimited seating, but with our brain, does too much data close down our ability to think clearly or learn new things? Some older people complain of "senior moments" when they can’t easily recall a name. Perhaps it’s because our mental file folders are stuffed to capacity. It’s easy to see why. Read more…

Gay & Grey: “It Gets Bitter”?

Monday, November 21st, 2011

It’s raining on this lazy day. I’m making a big pot of spaghetti sauce, called "gravy" by Italian friends. As I chop and stir, I’m thinking about the spate of recent deaths of cherished lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement leaders, and I’m reflecting on being grey and gay myself. Should I expect that "It Gets Bitter"?

If you’re looking for money today, the focus of foundation grants is teenage bullying. If you tell people that you’re focused on our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth, it’s much easier to get money than if you say you’re focused on the needs of our community’s seniors. I think a lot about both, but because of what I see in the mirror, in the faces of most of my friends, and in the obits, questions are arising on what my life will be like when I’m completely invisible to the gay community. Read more…

Giving to Nice People

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

There are two sets of cousins who play on our beach in Provincetown each summer. The two brothers are very polite, attentive, and grateful. Their cousins, a boy and a girl, never say, "Hello," "Please," or "Thank you," even when prodded by their embarrassed parents. It’s easy for me to give popsicles and Fudgesicles to the young brothers, to take them out on the boat, and to have splash fights with them. It’s a lot less easy for me to do the same for their cousins. I do it so that they don’t feel left out, but I don’t enjoy it.

The other day, as I was waiting in traffic, a young man with the Homeless Voice in his hands was walking between cars with a nervous smile on his face. It was apparent from his face how uncomfortable he was asking for money.

"That’s hard work," I said to him as I handed him a dollar. "It can’t be easy for you to do."

"Thanks," he smiled with relief. "Believe me, I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have to."

Some people, regardless of their age or circumstance, are easy and fun to give to. They stop and pay attention to what is being offered to them. They show pleasure and express gratitude for the gift or kind gesture. And they seem to care how you feel. Grumpy, self-centered, impolite, and ungrateful people are much less fun or easy to show kindness to. Read more…

Are You Still a Catholic?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A columnist who just left the employ of the U.S. Catholic Bishops recently wrote in The Pilot, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, that homosexuality is the work of Satan. The Archdiocese has since apologized, saying the piece was based on faulty theology. The piece was actually based in faulty "love of the sinner" gibberish, better known as homophobia. The hatred of the bishops’ man, and the Church politics he represents, is as evil as one can find. The institutional Catholic Church has lost the cultural war, and they know it. Their own people in the United States, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and throughout Central America are thumbing their noses at the Church’s anti-gay rhetoric and marriage-inequality lobbying. So now, the Catholic hierarchy is focusing its attention on Africa, where it knows homophobia has squeezed the heart out of Uganda, Nigeria, and nearly all other countries in the "Dark Continent," save South Africa.

The question is often asked of me, "Are you still a Catholic?" Read more…