Workplace Discrimination and LGBTQ Rights
The declaration of independence states “All men are created equal” I am gay. I follow the same laws as a straight person. I work equally as hard as a straight person. Yet, why am I treated so differently? Being gay is a part of my identity which I am extremely prideful of, however, it does not define me as a human. My homosexuality does not give you the right to brutally assault me, to declare me an unfit parent, or pay me any lesser than a straight man. Not only gays, other members of the LGBTQ+ community including lesbians, transgenders, and non- binary, too tackle issues related to unacceptance on a daily basis.
According to a survey conducted by Pews Research Centre in the April of 2016, approximately 60% LGBTQ+ people have been physically assaulted, 29% have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship, and 80% have been called an offensive slur at least once in their life. Looking at these statistics enraged is an understatement to describe how I feel. I have fought in this battle for acceptance for a while now, and I think it’s about time I along with others like me get some long overdue justice.
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A few years ago, I had newly joined this huge firm in the placement of an editor and the faculty there did not question my hire until my identity was revealed which is that of a gay. All of sudden my employees distanced themselves from me and my salary too was cut for no particular reason. The same night when I was leaving late from work, a group of my employees, who turns out were homophobes came up to me and began to bash me with baseball bats. I was badly bruised on the verge of unconsciousness.
Workplace discrimination along with workplace violence is yet another common issue we homosexuals are exposed to, even though we work equally as hard as any other heterosexual, if not more. This tells us how even in widely renowned firms one’s qualifications and human nature are not nearly as important as their sexuality, which demonstrates the huge law present in our system, that even in a professional work environment any differing identity or sexuality will be treated inferiorly, due to outdated mindsets and sheer unacceptance. A report by The Guardian states that last year 10 out of every 25 complaints made about workplace violence came from LGBTQ+ employees, another alarming fact is that more than 20% of the transgender population have quit a job because of an unwelcoming work environment.
The term family refers to acceptance but sadly enough for us homosexuals even that is not in our fortune because social norms have taken over and manipulated the mindsets of majority of the population which is why it’s always ‘unconventional’ or ‘abnormal’ for people to see any other combination besides that of a man and a woman, or see any other gender besides a male or a female. Due to these narrow mindsets, 39% of the homosexual and transgender population have been rejected by their family.
“I had to flee my country. I had to leave my home behind. I had to leave my parents. Only because my country did not accept my ‘kind’. Oh, how terribly do I miss them. My little sister just got married recently, but I was too afraid to head back home for her wedding because in my country homosexuality sentences you to 15-years of imprisonment.” – Anonymous, 36- year- old, Lesbian.
A report shared by Amnesty International states 72 countries criminalize sexual acts between adults of the same sex. Out of these 72 countries, same-sex relations are punishable by death in 8. The countries condoning this penalty including Saudi Arabia and Sudan all happen to obey the Sharia Law. This is simply appalling and these laws must be reformed, for the prevalent ideologies they consist of are only looked upon to be outdated, mainly because they suggest death as a result of identifying differently or having any individuality, which is simply preposterous.
People need to stop controlling our lives. Because first and foremost we are all human. And it is human decency to accept diverse identities without making any clouded judgments on the first go. And it is our human right to be treated the same as anyone else. I being an activist and member of the LGBTQ+ community think that in order to restore equality within our nation it is of utmost importance to eradicate the discriminating social norms that manipulate human minds into deeming what is right as what is conventional, and what is wrong as what is unconventional.
Absurd laws in countries enforcing imprisonment or death as a penalty for identifying as a homosexual or the opposite gender must be abolished. It’s crucial for the leaders of these countries to gain some empathy and imagine themselves in their homosexual citizens’ shoes bound by these absurd laws, they happen to reinforce in complete oblivion of their impact on the countries citizens. More protests need to be held to spread awareness upon this growing marginalized community of the LGBTQ+ so topics as important as sexuality are not shoved aside by social norms, and people can see out in the open that there is nothing unconventional about a man and a man walking hand in hand together.