Coming out to others
Coming out at work
Some of us prefer not to discuss our personal lives at work – it’s got nothing to do with why we’re there and it’s as straightforward as that. However, human nature being what it is, colleagues often guess or find out, particularly if you don’t talk about ‘her’ or get involved in the ‘who shagged who on Saturday night’ office gossip. For other guys, feeling able to be themselves and chat about what they did at the weekend – perhaps with a boyfriend – is an important part of who they are.
While it may be possible to gauge the kind of response you’ll get, the only way to find out for certain is to come out again – but, in this instance, to the people you work with. Furthermore, there are some circumstances where coming out can seriously affect your job security and promotion prospects. The bottom line is being careful and seeking advice first.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 protects lesbian, gay, bi and trans people from direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation at work. It applies to anyone who is perceived to be lesbian, gay, bi or trans, or anyone who experiences discrimination because they associate with LGBT people.
Discrimination at work | Stonewall
Harassment in the workplace inc. jokes and babnter | Stonewall
In a nutshell, trade unions represent people at work. They protect their members, making sure that workplaces are safe, and that pay is fair. For these reasons join one, but particularly if you experience discrimination, harassment or unfavourable treatment at work. There are many trade unions in the UK but here are a handful you may have heard of:
- Unite is Britain's biggest union with 1.42 million members in every type of workplace
- Unison represents public services staff, although they may be employed in both the public and private sectors
- National Union of Teachers (NUT) represents teachers in the UK
- National Union of Students (NUS) is a confederation of 600 students' unions, representing the interests of more than 7 million students
- Royal College of Nursing (RCN) represents nurses
- British Medical Association (BMA) is the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK
List of trade unions in the United Kingdom | Wikipedia
The challenge of being gay and an MI6 spy | BBC News | 28 Feb 2021
Earlier this month the chief of MI6 issued a public apology for the historic treatment of LGBT employees. Until 1991, there was a ban on openly gay staff serving inside the intelligence agencies, which Richard Moore called "wrong, unjust and discriminatory". One former member of MI6, who is gay and served before the ban was lifted, tells the BBC that the apology was welcome but overdue.
Owain Wyn Evans: 'I had to go back in the closet for first TV job' | BBC News | 22 Feb 2021
Challenges for LGBT people in the workplace and how to overcome them The Guardian | 28 Jul 2014
LGBT employees who feel unable to come out at work more likely to leave their jobs - and cost business millions The Independent 3 May 2015