Study says half of LGBTQ+ members fear coming out at work

Kaitlyn Bowers, Video Director

The support for members of the LGBTQ+ community seems to have grown exponentially over the years, but a new study shows that some members still might not feel very accepted when it comes to the workplace.

A study conducted by the employment website Glassdoor revealed that about four out of 10 LGBTQ+ workers have not fully “come out” to their workplaces. Additionally, half of the workers surveyed said that they feared coming out would cause them to be looked over for a promotion or even lose their job.

The study also shows that over half of the people surveyed have either experienced or witnessed workplace discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community. This alleged discrimination has come from both management and customers alike, according to participants.

“I personally have been called a faggot by the people who have been in charge of my schedule and money, and then when I reported that, I was basically told to get over it,” said Cameron Visconti, a UNF student and member of the LGBTQ+ community. “When customers realize that you’re not straight, there is a very good chance that they will treat you different and not tip as much, especially older customers.”

Out of all the survey respondents, around 68 percent agreed that employers need to offer more support for LGBTQ+ members in the workplace. As it stands today, only 24 states have laws against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

“With patchwork protections from discrimination that vary by state and the lack of federal protections, coming out in the workplace can be daunting and scary. Recently, 52 percent of Gen Z [people who are between 18-34 years old] identify as LGBT,” LGBT Resource Center Coordinator, Dwan Love-Dinkens said. “As more Millennials and Gen Zs enter the workforce, employers must adapt and provide that level of security to their workers that local and federal governments have not provided.”

A separate study, done by Harvard Business Review, also shows that LGBTQ members who are open about their sexuality in their workplace are generally happier and more productive. This study suggests that companies can be more inclusive by having gender neutral bathrooms and making sure that company policies include and support people who are transitioning.


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