Another Reason Why Not Everyone Is Safe to Come Out On US National Coming Out Day

Another Reason Why Not Everyone Is Safe to Come Out On US National Coming Out Day

A perspective on how discrimination against LGBTQ persons in the workplace still occurs in the US, and the need for a ruling or legislation to prevent it.

Image by Julien Tromeur from Pixabay
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Side-note: The plot and the characters of this story are entirely fictional, however the law, or lack of it, about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace is truthful.

"You're fired, I need you to pack up your things and go. I'll email you later this afternoon for my reasons" my boss said to me as she stood by the door in my office.

"What?" I repeated.

"You heard me, pack up your things and go. No resignation letter is necessary" she said, then she closed the doors to my office, and left.

I didn't understand, and as I glanced at my phone, I saw an Instagram notification saying "Chris tagged you in his post".

I clicked and opened it.

"Happy National Coming Out Day! My hubby Nick said yes!" the caption stated, and showed a picture of him proposing to me, and another of us kissing.

I slowly put down the phone, and after I looked at the new silver ring around my finger, I wiped a tear from my eye, and started to pack up my things.

About 30 minutes later, I had put all my personal belongings in a brown box. The last thing I had on my desk was an old ticket to the local baseball team's game.

That's where I first met Chris.

"Darn it! Come on, strike him out!" I yelled while waiting in line at the hot dog stand.

My local team's pitcher struck out two of the opposing team's batters, and he just needed to strike out one more for the 3rd inning to end.

"Hi sir, what would you like to order?" the cashier said.

"I'll have 1 hot dog, 1 coke, and a bag of popcorn"

"Yes sir, just wait right here while I get that for ya" she replied, and walked away.

"Strike him out! Strike him out!" I yelled soon after the pitcher gave the batter his first strike.

This man started laughing at me, and when I started to look at him, he exclaimed "Sorry, but I just love your enthusiasm. It's so funny"

"You're not excited by this game?" I asked.

"I mean I am, but I just don't know that much about baseball. I'm here with a friend, she and a couple of my co-workers are here watching the game" he explained. I noticed that he had placed an emphasis on the word "she".

"Well, do you understand what is happening now?" I asked.

"Sort of?" he responded.

"Here is your food, that'll be $12" the cashier said.

"Thanks" I replied, and "let's sit down over there, I'll catch you up" I told him as I gestured to a tall table by the booth.

"My name's Nick by the way" I said, introducing myself.

"Chris, nice to meet you"

I placed the 3-year-old ticket in my box, then was walking out of the office with my box when my boss stopped me.

"I just want to give you some future advice, tell your 'new husband' to not be so revealing on social media. Some people like me don't want to know about people like you in the workplace" she said.

"First of all, don't even talk about Chris. Secondly, what you are doing right now, is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You can't discriminate or fire me because of my sexual orientation" (Vogue) I replied.

"Actually, under Texas law, I can, and I have. Sure, there may be some 21 states that have passed laws against this discrimination, but not in Texas. Bye now (Wikipedia)"

"Not if the Supreme Court has anything to say about it. I heard that they are presenting their arguments in front of the Supreme Court today (Vogue)" I said.

"And you know what, I don't get why my identity matters to you. I have done great work for you and this company, and my identity has nothing to do with that" I added.

"And? It is simply wrong for a man to lie with man, for that is sin. Marriage is between a man and a woman only. I don't want your sinfulness in this office, and neither does anyone else. So, goodbye" she said, and walked back into her office, slamming the door.

All my coworkers watched this happen, and stared at me with their sorrowful eyes in the hallway. One even ran up to me and gave me a hug.

"I'm so sorry you have to experience this Nick. You know what, here, take my card, when you get home, email me your resume, and I'll see what I can do" she said, then went back to her office.

I then walked outside to my car, placed my box in the trunk, drove home, then sat on the couch. "Chris wouldn't be back for a few more hours" I told myself.

I turned on the TV, took out my computer and updated my resume.

As I wrote the email to my friend in the office, the news announced the Supreme Court was hearing the announcements for the court case today regarding LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace.

I sent in my resume, then turned the volume up on the TV.

References

Vogue, Ariane de. "Historic Supreme Court Arguments Tuesday in LGBTQ Workplace Rights Dispute." CNN, Cable News Network, 8 Oct. 2019, www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/politics/supreme-court-lgbtq-arguments/index.html.

Wikipedia. "LGBT Employment Discrimination in the United States." Wikipedia, Wikipedia, 26 Sept. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_employment_discrimination_in_the_United_States.


Further Reading

Asmelash "National Coming Out Day: What it is, and what people are saying about it"

Liptak and Peters "Supreme Court Considers Whether Civil Rights Act Protects L.G.B.T. Workers"


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