45% of Americans Are Uncomfortable with LGBTQ+ Coworkers

This is the Finest Nerd Czarina, and I hate the news. I’d like to say, today, that I’m glad roughly half of the working adults in my country are “okay” with my existence …but only 55% glad.

It must be nice to belong to a group of people who are 100% accepted, no questions asked; it’s not even something that enters many of their minds. If someone as a problem with a cis-het, it is probably not because they are cis or heterosexual. I am lucky enough to never have had a problem in the workplace with being open about my identity and sexual orientation, but I live in Massachusetts. I could still get fired for being queer in my home state of Florida, which currently offers no discriminatory protection for a person based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Worse yet, I could live in a state that prohibits such protective laws from being enacted. I’m looking at you, Arkansas.

Despite the relatively low percentage of our peers who view us as people, this number is much higher now than it ever has been. Yet another reason why I’m waiting on these baby Millennials and Z-ple to grow up and kick our old asses out of power. I am counting on you, kids! The fact that discrimination is still a thing is very disappointing. People are still being targeted on the basis of their race and religious practices; it’s still legal to discriminate against a queer person. I feel like the progress we are making is painstakingly slow-going. But progress is progress, I suppose. I’d like to see this number somewhere around 75% within a decade.

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Time for a tangent: The poll this article references also overlooked bisexual (and likely pansexual) people, as well, which is just typical. Erase Bi-erasure! With nearly half of LGBTQ+ people identifying as bisexual (and again, I’m guessing pansexual falls into that group, as well), the omission of bisexual people is more than a minor nuisance.

Completely my opinion and based on my own personal experiences: Not falling into a category wherein a person is 100% into a certain gender can be a real pain in the ass. You are easily ignored or overlooked – when you’re in a same-sex relationship, you’re gay. When you’re in an opposite-sex relationship, you’re straight. (I’m not sure what people assume when you’re dating a non-binary or gender fluid person, but I promise you, assumptions are being made!) People also accuse you of all sorts of things, like lying or making it up for attention. Even other queer people can be dicks about bi/pansexuality.

I remember an angry divorcee of a bisexual man ranting about how bisexual men didn’t exist; they were all just gay and unwilling to be forthcoming about it. That’s just not true, and it’s also a really awful way to think. Unfortunately, it isn’t a unique point of view, either.

I firmly believe that this kind of negative perception is part of the reason why bisexual people are the least likely of the queer community to be open about their sexuality. Why bother, if people are going to be assholes about it? Our opinions don’t matter in LGBTQ+ polls, cishets either forget about us or don’t take us seriously, and the people who are supposed to be part of our “community” can be pretty cold about it. And let me not even get into any of the issues the trans community faces – we’d be here all night. That’ll be another post (and I’ll have to collaborate with members of the trans community, as I don’t want to fuck it up).

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