Diversity Guides

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

Archive for October, 2012

A Digitalized Life

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

There was a time when I would watch a movie and be so taken by the beauty of the setting that I would want to visit it with Ray. Today, I’m suspicious that almost every perfect setting I see in a movie is digitalized. A computer program has created a make-believe world which can never be physically visited.

The same is true with the gardens in movies. The flowers they show in full bloom all around a house are generally fake. Perennial summer plants can’t all bloom at the same time. The perfect gardens shown in movies are make-believe flowers in a make-believe world. Knowing that has made me a gardener with more realistic expectations, and greater appreciation for what blooms for me, and when.

Gay guesthouses create unrealistic expectations, as do gay cruises. Their ads or promotional brochures never show older, slightly overweight, pale white men lounging around the pool, which is often the reality. Instead, we are led to believe that if we stay or travel with them, we’ll be in the company of smiling, young, muscled, handsome guys who can’t wait for us to arrive.

And it’s not just movie directors and gay male merchandisers who create fantasy worlds. The recruiting brochures of private schools show students of mixed races fraternizing happily, something that recent news stories tell us isn’t quite true. Minority students are often shocked and disappointed to find out how isolated they are. The same is true for corporate ads that highlight the diversity of their workforce. Prospective employees need to remember that while gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people work at the company without blatant discrimination, the picture they’re getting of daily life is airbrushed. Read more…

Don’t Know Much About History

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

A ponytailed, baby-boomer hippie, wearing a Beatles cap, rescued me in the Home Depot parking lot. My car wouldn’t start. Not only did I need a jump to my battery, but also help in opening the front hood. It’s okay to laugh. When someone asks me what kind of car just went by, I say, "a blue one."

We shook hands, exchanged names, and began talking at length about the impact the Beatles had on our generation. Coincidentally, I’d been thinking recently about how much my views on life had been guided by the words of the Beatles’ songs, and lamented that today’s youth don’t have the same consistent inspiration in the music they play. Read more…

I Know Something About Love

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

It will probably be only others like me, who danced at sock hops in the 1960s, who will remember the hit song, I Know Something About Love, also known as Tell Him. The refrain was, "Tell him that you’re never gonna leave him. Tell him that you’re always gonna love him. Tell him. Tell him. Tell him. Tell him, right now."

That’s very good advice, especially if expressed to your life partner. But, I’ve found that loving actions are more important than loving words. And when I say, "loving actions," I’m not talking about ordering flowers for birthdays and St. Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about looking up and smiling each and every time your beloved walks into the room. If you find that you have to fake the smile, both of you will know, and maybe it’s time to go in separate directions so that each of you may find someone who can’t help but smile when they see you.