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Thread: Gay bashing in the workplace

  1. #1

    Default Gay bashing in the workplace

    Yesterday I experienced something I hoped I never would. Someone made a comment in the office about a Chinese (or Japanese) man who was willing to pay millions of dollars to anyone who could turn his lesbian daughter straight. This started a round of all but 1 person in the office making very hurtful comments about 'f*gs' 'queers' 'homos' and several other unkind words.

    Had it stopped there, I could just deal with it, but they decided to continue the conversation today, and although upper management was in the room, no one said a word. I left the office very upset this afternoon to go to a client's place, but it is really bothering me. We have one African-American guy in the office, and even he was in on it too. Most everyone at work knows I'm gay, but I don't make a huge deal of it.

    I'm curious how many of you have experienced the same type of thing, and how many have said something about it?

  2. #2


    Might I suggest that you join the conversation. Say nothing of gay people. If they know you're gay, your presence will probably remind them where they are. If this doesn't work join the debate and offer an alternate argument.

  3. #3


    Being in high school, this is my every day. Faggot, queer, homo, cock-sucker, etc. are all a part of every teenager's vocabulary it seems.

    My school has done a small bit to try and stop that kind of language, with many teachers having a sign in their classroom that says 'Gay is not a synonym for stupid, weak, or unpleasant.' It's a step, but little is being done other than that.

  4. #4


    I find this VERY common in the workplace. I have no idea what it is, but I hear it a lot. It is much more of a problem than racism. Our employment package is very open to same sex couples, with domestic partner benefits etc, and there are many gay and lesbian managers, yet these idiots will say stupid shit right in front of anybody. I have had to have a conversation with a few people a give them warnings, but there are managers that give warnings non stop and it still continues, it is overrun, because there is nothing really that we can do, unless someone feels that they are being harassed and wants to formally state the same. It is a shame. And it is something I've noticed more in the recent years. I don't understand what is wrong with these people and why they don't realize they are hurting others. And not just hurting others, it is completely wrong to even think that way. Sometimes I wonder how many of them really care if someone is gay, or just join the conversation to fit in?

    I'm sorry you have had to experience this Locutus2k

  5. #5

    Default Gay bashing in the workplace

    I would make a complaint to your human resources department. If that's not your style, I would let the person know how you felt. Maybe start with that. In either regard, it's not acceptable workplace behaviour and he can get punished for it, especially if there were a lot of witnesses to backup your story.

  6. #6


    Well I did have a very similar thing happen to me. I was new on a job and a coworker kept asking me if I was gay and finally I came out to him. The next day I heard some very drogatory comments made towards me. I confronted my coworker about it and somehow that news traveled quickly through out the plant. The coworker I came out to told my boss who called me into the office to discuss it with me. I thought at the time that my boss would not be ok with it but it turns out his brother is gay and he has no issue with it at all. I told my boss to let it go as I was simply going to ignore it and move forward. Well it happened again. Another coworker heard the comments and knew who had made the comments and told the coworker that I came out to about them who then told my boss who this time did not talk to me about it just went to the General Manager about it who called me into the office to discuss it. To make a long story short it all worked out very well in my favor as the General Manager, my boss, the plant manager, and many other coworkers were on my side. the General manager confronted the employee who made the comments and told him if there was even a hint of that ever surfacing again he would be terminated on the spot. I have to say that once I was out at work it sure made life a lot easier for me and even allowed me to have some fun with my boss and the plant manager with the gay & straight thing.

  7. #7


    If it continues I would tell the group of ass holes that you don't appreciate their comments as you have a family member who is gay. I would say that there's no place for it in the workplace, and if it continued, I'd go to Human Resources. It's interesting, but when we started our school year, we all had to watch the video on sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual comments. What they did would get us fired at school. I have a feeling it should get them fired. The laws that govern sexual harassment are universal and I think part of federal law.

  8. #8


    Being a high-schooler in a predominantly straight and southern raised community I have heard more then my fair share of anti-gay remarks tossed around. Last year, after the passing of my mother, it seemed to get worse, though I think it was just my tolerance going down, enough to wear I had to talk to one of the deans. He apparently talked to the students, though nothing really seemed to happen.

    The sad part is that my school prides itself on an honor code, yet doesn't uphold it as much as they lead all the parents to believe. You could say "f*ggot" ten times in one period, and given the teacher, not even get a slap on the wrists. There are a few teachers, however, who will do something.

    One of them yelled in a students face, then sent him, crying I might add, to the dean. Another, after hearing the derogatory f-word being used to describe another student (who wasn't gay, though he meant the word as stupid, but I digress) stopped the lecture, made him stand up, and read the honor code allowed with everyone else silent, then sent him to the dean.

    Overall, a lot of people don't see a problem with using derogatory terms or enforcing stereotypes about homosexuals. This sucks to over simplify it, but hopefully with the increasing amount of people for gay marriage and more tolerant, these intolerant people will be looked upon with the same negativity as racists. This is just what I hope with happen though.

  9. #9


    It's a shame that didn't happen at my work. That kind of bigotry would be a career ruiner. Not just simply fired, but word would get around and no one would ever hire people that throw around hateful words like faggot freely. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. Truth be told, management probably hates dealing with them as much as you and are just hoping it all blows over (Maybe, I have no idea what they are like) Saying that, if you are willing to wave the flag, I'd talk to your local gay rights group and see what kind of recourse you have, legal and otherwise.

  10. #10


    File, or threaten to file a harassment claim.

    This kind of stuff /IS/ sexual harassment, though, you would need to establish that it's routine and happening often for this type of harassment. (if someone were denying you a job or promotion then you'd only need the one incident.)

    At the very least, talk to HR.

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