We have been overwhelmed with the support shown already by the industry with Morgan Sindall coming along and bringing the Ivor Goodsite Mascot, hazard game and prizes. CITB also have 5 representatives coming with the giant tetrahedron, giant jigsaw and infamous BAM game. ISG, Space Architects and AECOM are all fielding representatives too.
We are aiming to show that while it’s true that the sector is lagging behind when it comes to challenging inappropriate behaviour towards the LGBT community, the important thing is that it is making efforts to move forward to become a more inclusive sector that understands the challenges presented to the LGBT community.
Because, like it or not, the challenges are there. What’s more, they could be adversely affecting your business.
It goes a little something like this – people are most productive when they are happy; positive relationships with people significantly affect how happy we are in the workplace. We build relationships by talking about home, family, sports, interests, etc. – if someone is gay and they perceive the workplace to be unwelcoming of that information they are likely to hide detail and either create a second life, or simply not discuss things at all. This in turn can make an individual unhappy in the workplace and consequently less productive.
People often make the mistake of thinking the LGBT community is about what happens in the bedroom, but as with the rest of us, that’s only part of any relationship; and often not the most important part.
Our sexual orientation can impact: – on what we did at the weekend (if we went out with our partner, or went out looking for one); the places we visit (if they are gay-friendly); the hobbies we enjoy (if these can be prejudged against stereotypes).
How much of the time you spend with your significant other is spent in a sexy way? How much more involves trust, love, caring – not to mention the more mundane shopping, finance or DIY?
I like to think people are mostly lovely, if a bit confused at times. A lot of the time I don’t think most of us mean to hurt when we use gay slurs – they have become common place and almost ingrained in language.
BUT we must appreciate that the LGBT community is discriminated against – I personally know more than two members of the LGBT community who have been physically assaulted for their sexual orientation; not because they flaunted it (not that that is remotely justifiable in anyway whatsoever), but simply because someone else did not accept it.
So I ask two things of you: –
- Watch the language that you use, even if your intention is not to offend – because if someone feels that their environment might not be welcoming to their circumstances, they are likely to closet themselves
- Support the gay community where you can – it doesn’t have to be anything big, just calling someone out if they make a derogatory remark will be huge. But, if you happen to be in Liverpool next Saturday (2nd August) come on down to Pier Head, find our tent and help us show the gay community that construction is ready for a change.