Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Employees Fear Disclosure of Sexual Orientation in the Workplace

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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Employees Fear Disclosure of Sexual Orientation in the Workplace

Vernessa F. Ducre
Liberty University
In partial fulfillment of the requirements of COUN502
Prof Gho
August 20, 2010

The expectation of coming out in the workplace causes great fear of workplace bigotry, anxiety, loss of advancement opportunities; and a reduced amount of positive consideration by coworkers for lesbian, gay, or bisexual folks. Studies show that many lesbians and gay men expect discrimination. Researchers note that, in some cases, gay men and lesbians must pass as heterosexuals in order to gain access to the job market. In contrast, researchers argue that in the early stages of disclosure, struggle is common; however the impact of coming out on overall quality of life over the longer-term is consistently reported as positive and that not all heterosexual co-workers are homophobic. Research concludes, since federal legislation eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation is inadequate fear of disclosure and discrimination based on sexual orientation does exist. Studies note that one third of all gay males surveyed reported discrimination. Seventeen percent had lost jobs or were denied employment because of their homosexuality. Similarly, nearly 25% of lesbians’ respondents reported having been discriminated against in the workplace.

Fear of Disclosure of Sexual Orientation among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Employees in the Workplace

Many gay, lesbians and bisexual’s fear disclosure of sexual orientation may cause workplace bigotry and loss of advancement opportunities. Gay, lesbian and bisexuals employees say, “inappropriate assumptions that all employees in the workplace are heterosexual contributed to fear and anxiety symptoms.” Awareness of spoken discrimination in hostility to gays and lesbians on the job was said to be associated unfavorably to life...
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