According to a new survey of LGBTI attitudes in the US workplace, nearly half of all LGBTI employees fear being out will hurt their careers.
Glassdoor, a website specializing in workplace reviews, published the survey on Thursday (30 May).
The Harris Poll conducted the survey from 26 April – 6 May on behalf of Glassdoor, speaking to 6,104 US adults. A total of 515 identified themselves as LGBTI and employed in the survey.
Ultimately, respondents reported witnessing anti-LGBTI attitudes in the workplace, which affects their own anxieties about being out.
Bad attitudes lead to bad workplaces for LGBTI employees
Attitudes are different between LGBTI and non-LGBTI employees, which affect perceptions and feelings.
Over half (53%) of all LGBTI respondents said they’ve experienced or heard anti-LGBTI comments, while only 30% of non-LGBTI respondents reported the same.
Jesus Suarez, Glassdoor’s LGBTQ and Ally Employee Group Leader, stated: ‘Any employer that chooses to ignore implementing supportive working environments and policies risk missing out on hiring quality talent.’
Similarly, 70% of LGBTI employees said they would not apply to a company that doesn’t support its LGBTI staff. 46% of all employed adults (both LGBTI and non-LGBTI) said the same.
These environments — hearing negative comments and stress about company policies — affect LGBTI workers.
Nearly half (47%) said they believe being out would hurt their careers. The makeup of LGBTI employees who are out and not are close — 57% say they feel ‘fully’ out, while 43% said they are not.
What can be done
Naturally, LGBTI employees are more likely (68%) than non-LGBTI employees (48%) to believe their companies can do better. There is evidence to suggest this is true.
‘Still today, 26 states do not protect LGBTQ employees at work,’ said Suarez.
‘Many employers have an opportunity to build or strengthen the foundation for an inclusive culture that encourages employees to bring their full selves to work.’
This reality further highlights the importance of things like the Equality Act, which, if passed, would provide federal protections for people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in numerous locations, including the workplace.
A new study revealed transgender, non-binary and genderqueer students are at higher risk for sexual assault if they attend a school with bathroom restrictions.
Researchers looked at data from the LGBTQ Teen Study, an anonymous web survey of US kids ages 13 to 17. The survey contains information from 3,673 teenagers in the country. They published their findings in the journal Pediatrics on Monday (6 May).
When looking at the respondents as a whole, 1 in 4 (25.9%) described themselves as victims of sexual assault in the last 12 months.
For non-cisgender LGBTI students, this rate was significantly higher. Nearly 4 in 10 (36%) of these students who attend schools with bathroom restrictions said they were sexually assaulted.
Researchers defined bathroom restrictions as an environment where teachers or staff have informed students they cannot use the restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity.
When politics turn violent
The debate about bathroom access became a nationwide conversation in 2016.
That year, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education released guidance together that institutions must treat a person’s gender identity as their sex, thereby protecting it under Title IX.
That same year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student suing a Virginia school district after his school refused to let him use the bathroom corresponding to his gender identity.
Unfortunately, while the Obama administration officially supported Grimm, the Trump administration revoked support for transgender students. The Supreme Court then reversed its decision to hear the case.
North Carolina then continued the debate in a big way when they passed House Bill 2 in 2016. Though it was then replaced with another restrictive bill in 2017, a federal judge last year ruled this second law does not prohibit trans people from using the restroom corresponding to their gender identity.
An ‘indicator’ of dangerous environments
‘Unfortunately, kids’ access to restrooms and locker rooms has become very politicized in some communities,’ said Gabriel Murchison.
Murchison is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of this new study.
The study, Murchison clarified, does not state the restrictive bathroom rules are the reason for the increase in sexual assault cases, but that there is a connection.
‘They are certainly a strong indicator of environments where kids are at risk,’ he said.
He also explained that the discussion becoming a nationwide debate has put non-cisgender students in the spotlight. This could also partly explain the increase.
Richard Green, a lawyer and psychiatrist who made a name for himself fighting for LGBTI rights, has died at 82.
He died of esophageal cancer at his home in London. His son, Adam Hines-Green, survives him.
Green spent decades of his life battling against LGBTI discrimination and oppression. Both his work as a lawyer and psychiatrist reflect the passion and resilience he possessed for this endeavor.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936, he went on to study medicine at Johns Hopkins under John Money, a well-known sex and gender psychologist. When training as a psychiatrist at UCLA, he worked with gender identity expert Robert Stoller.
Two of his most well-known accomplishments happened a decade apart in 1962 and 1972.
In the first instance, Green successfully challenged Chester Morales’ deportation from the US. Morales, originally from Nicaragua, was being deported due to his homosexual identity.
Ten years later, he published a paper appealing to the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. According to LGBTI activist Peter Tatchell, people advised him this course of action would ruin his career.
One year later, he appealed again, and the APA removed homosexuality from the list.
Pioneering LGBTI paths
Green’s commitment to LGBTI rights was broad and far-reaching.
In his medical career, he also advocated for gender confirmation surgery. In the 1960s, he began seeing transgender patients with Harry Benjamin.
Beyond medicine, he also fought for marriage equality and the rights of LGBTI parents.
In 1974, he appeared on the US television show The Advocates, participarting in a debate on marriage equality. He also testified in numerous court cases as an expert witness for LGBTI parents look to adopt or get custody rights to children from previous relationships.
In court, he also a witness and champion in several discrimination cases.
As Tatchell writes, Green’s work risked his ‘reputation and career to advance the understanding and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities’. Because of his contributions, several crucial strides towards equality were made.
In an exchange on Capitol Hill, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos admitted in a hearing she knew about the potential dangers to transgender students before she implemented various policies.
DeVos appeared before the House Education Committee during a hearing on Wednesday (10 April).
During the hearing, civil rights subcommittee Chairwoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) brought up the Education Department’s decision to rollback guidance meant to protect transgender students under DeVos’ leadership.
Bonamici brought up the negative consequences for transgender students with this rollback. These consequences include poor academic performance and higher rates of depression.
She asked DeVos if she knew about these consequences, which the Education Secretary first avoided answering: ‘[The U.S. Office for Civil Rights] OCR is committed to ensuring all students have equal access to education free from discrimination — ‘
Bonamici then cut her off and demanded an answer, stating that ‘students and families need to know this’.
‘Did you know, when you rolled back the guidance, that the stress of harassment and discrimination can lead to lower attendance and grades as well as depression for transgender students?’ Bonamici repeated.
‘I do know that,’ DeVos said in response. ‘But I will say again that OCR is committed to ensuring all students have access to their education free from discrimination.’
Later on in the exchange, Bonamici also asked DeVos if she knew about data showing how suicide ideation is higher among trans youth, to which DeVos responded affirmatively.
.@RepBonamici to Sec. DeVos: When you rolled back guidance protecting rights of transgender students, did you know that the stress of harassment and discrimination can lead to lower attendance/grades as well as depression for transgender students?
Following the hearing, Bonamici released a statement.
‘The Department of Education has a responsibility to protect all students, but she acknowledged that she moved forward with a plan to rollback protections for transgender students despite knowing that it would put them at risk,’ she said.
Department of Education spokesperson Liz Hill, meanwhile, told The Hill that DeVos is ‘committed to protecting the civil rights of all students and ensuring each and every student has the ability to go to school in a safe and nurturing learning environment’.
This, however, is not the first time that Donald Trump’s Education Department has come under fire for its handling of LGBTI issues.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted on Tuesday (2 April) for the releaseof whistleblower and activist Chelsea Manning.
A federal judge jailed Manning in March for refusing to testify in a federal investigation. While details of the investigation remain under seal, Manning confirmed authorities asked her about WikiLeaks.
‘These secret proceedings tend to favor the government,’ she told reporters outside the courthouse before the hearing. ‘I’m always willing to explain things publicly. I’ve given voluminous testimony; I’ve given voluminous information.’
In her tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote authorities ‘trapped’ Manning in solitary confinement and described it as ‘torture’. She also wrote the authorities should release Manning on bail.
Solitary confinement as ‘torture’
According to Chelsea Resists, a support committee for Manning, she has been held in solitary confinement for 16 days as of 23 March.
They provided a screenshot of a statement describing ‘Administrative Segregation’, in which inmates are in their cells ‘for a maximum of 22 hours a day’.
The committee also states Manning can make phone calls and move outside of her cell during the hours between 1 and 3 am.
Further in the statement, they quote Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and a professor on human rights at American University.
‘I have defined prolonged solitary confinement as any period in excess of 15 days,’ he wrote.
In his research, he has come to define solitary confinement as a form of punishment that can constitute torture.
He continued, describing the negative effects of solitary confinement: ‘This definition reflects the fact that most of the scientific literature shows that, after 15 days, certain changes in brain functions occur and the harmful psychological effects of isolation can become irreversible. Prolonged solitary confinement must be absolutely prohibited, because it always amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and may even constitute torture.’
The statement concludes with various health problems Manning has faced while in confinement.
Disputes from the sheriff
Dana Lawhorne, the sheriff of Alexandria, Virginia, where Manning is being held, disputed these claims to CNN. She claimed the reports were ‘not accurate or fair’.
‘Our facility does not have “solitary confinement” and inmates housed in administrative segregation for safety and security reasons still have access to social visits, books, recreation, and break time outside their cells,’ she said.
Lawthorne also added ‘(the) federal government has never suggested to us how to treat any inmate and it is unfair to imply that there is a “conspiracy” of any kind’.
In 2013, the government convicted Manning in a court-martial trial for violations of the Espionage Act when she was an analyst in the United States Army. She disclosed over 700,000 military and diplomatic documents, both classified and unclassified, to WikiLeaks.
Initiated in 2006, WikiLeaks operates in publishing news leaks and secret information from anonymous sources.
Manning received a 35-year prison sentence before President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.
Authorities also charged WikiLeaks’ founder, Julia Assange, in a separate case that remains under seal. He currently has asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
For the first time, doctorstransplanted an organ from an HIV positive donor to an HIV positive recipient.
Surgeons at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a research university in Baltimore, Maryland, undertook the medical breakthrough. They transplanted a kidney from Nina Martinez, 35, to an anonymous recipient.
With the successful operation on Monday (25 March), from which both patients are recovering, the recipient is free of kidney dialysis for the first time in a year.
‘Society perceives me and people like me as people who bring death,’ Martinez, who acquired an HIV positive status due to a blood transfusion as an infant, told The Washington Post before the surgery.
‘And I can’t figure out any better way to show that people like me can bring life.’
This could combat stigmas agains the disease the more than 1.1 million people who live with it in the US.
Both Martinez and the recipient will remain on antiretroviral treatment indefinitely. Martinez is in ‘excellent’ health according to Christine Durand, an associate professor of medicine at Hopkins, and her viral load is undetectable.
How did we get here?
In 2016, a law was passed allowing organ transplants from deceased HIV positive people to HIV positive recipients.
This, however, was the first known transplant from a living HIV positive person.
Doctors previously believed leaving HIV positive people with only one kidney was too dangerous for a transplant due to the disease. A 2017 study of 42,000 people by researchers at Hopkins, though, discovered that the risk of developing kidney disease for healthy HIV positive people is not significantly greater than HIV negative people.
‘People with HIV today can’t donate blood. But now they’re able to donate a kidney,’ said Dorry Segev, a professor of surgery at the Hopkins School of Medicine. He also led the research team and removed Martinez’s left kidney.
Currently, more than 113,000 people are on the waiting list for organ transplants in the US. Most of them need kidneys.
Segev added of his breakthrough and HIV positive people: ‘They have a disease that 30 years ago was a death sentence. Today they’re so healthy they can give someone else life.’
Friday April 5 @ 7:30 pm. Occidental Center for the Arts. First Friday Live: Crystel Collaboration. Jazzvocalist extraordinaire Julie (Crystel) Lester, who ‘daylights’ as an RN/Educator with our own West County Health Services in Occidental, joins forces with the most excellent musicians of The Collaboration Jazz Band (David Scott, Randy Quan, Tim Haggerty and Geoff Whyte ) for some high energy, danceable ‘Crystel Collaboration’ that will knock your socks off!$15 at the door. Wine, beer and refreshments available. Wheelchair Accessible. www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org. 707-874-9392. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct. Occidental, CA. 95465
The U.S. House voted Thursday morning to rebuke President Trump’s transgender military ban by approving a non-binding resolution with bipartisan support.
The resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.), was approved by a vote of 238-185 after an hour of debate on the House floor in which lawmakers denounced the Trump administration’s policy as discriminatory.
On the House floor, Kennedy said his resolution reinforces the American idea that “equal has always been our nation’s North Star” despite a history that has included slavery and racial segregation.
“Today, this House has a chance to not repeat the mistakes of our past, to move one step closer to that sacred promise, by telling brave trans men and women in uniform that they cannot be banned from military service because of who they are,” Kennedy said.
Five Republicans voted for the resolution against the transgender military ban: Reps. Will Hurd (Texas), John Katko (N.Y.), Trey Hollingsworth (Indiana), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa) and Tom Reed (N.Y.). Another Republican — Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) — voted present.
(Initially, as the vote was being tallied, a total of six Republicans were recorded as having voted in favor of the resolution. But, just before the vote was made final, that number dropped to five. It’s unclear which Republican switched his or her vote before it was recorded.)
The House approves the resolution shortly after the Defense Department unveiled its plan to begin the transgender military ban on April 12. Although federal courts had initially blocked the administration from enacting the policy, the orders were lifted in the accordance with guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court effectively green-lighting the ban as litigation proceeds against it.
Also speaking out in favor of the resolution was House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who last week announced he would bring the measure to a House floor vote.
“The Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in our military is discriminatory, that it denigrates the service of patriotic Americans,” Hoyer said. “That is the facet of their character, they are patriotic and they want to serve, and the service judges them able to do so. The resolution, millions of Americans understand, undermines our national defense at a time of serious global threats, and the this resolution rightfully calls on the Trump administration not to implement such a ban on April 12.”
A significant source of ire for the lawmakers speaking out against the measure was President Trump’s tweets in 2017 declaring he’d seek to ban transgender people from military service “in any capacity.”
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said before that tweet “there was no problem” allowing openly transgender people in the military — a practice that started during the final year of the Obama administration.
“He sent out a tweet saying we should ban transgender people from the military, and the military has had to backfill that tweet with a policy, and I feel bad for members of the military who have had to do that, who have to waste their time for the last year trying to accommodate the ignorance and bigotry of this presidential policy,” Smith said.
The number of lawmakers — all Democrats — who spoke out on the House floor in favor of the resolution by far exceeded the two lawmakers — both Republicans — who spoke out against against it.
Among them was Rep. Vicky Hartlzer (R-Mo.), who has a notoriously anti-LGBT record and two years ago introduced an amendment to the House floor seeking to ban the U.S. military from paying for transition-related care, including gender reassignment surgery. Even though Republicans at the time controlled the House, lawmakers voted down the amendment.
On the House floor, Hartzler said the transgender ban is justified because the military has broad exclusions on service based on a variety of medical conditions. (That ignores the conclusions from the American Medical Association that being transgender isn’t an impediment to military service.)
“Our all voluntary military is the greatest military force in the world and we must allow it…to make the best medical and military judgment about what medical conditions should qualify or disqualify an individual from serving,” Hartlzer said. “We should not carve out exceptions for an entire population. Military service is a privilege, not a right.”
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said lawmakers were “rather consumed by presidential tweets” and urged fellow House members to remember the six-month long study that began at the time of Trump’s tweets and resulted in the transgender military policy.
“Well before any presidential tweet, Secretary of Defense Mattis had put a delay on implementation of the policy that had previously been announced so there could be a six-month review,” Thornberry said. “And there was a six-month review with experts, with uniform, civilian people, from all the services, with medical experts, a whole variety of folks, and it is serious and thoughtful despite some of the characterizations that have been made from time to time.”
The vote in resolution comes in the same week that top defense officials spoke out on the transgender policy before Congress. During a House hearing on the annual defense Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the policy “applies standards uniformly.”
Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford — who said on transgender service anyone who meets the standards of service should be able to serve — spoke about the process that led to the current policy.
“The secretary included the leadership and medical experts, then based on the definition of physically, mentally, psychologically capable of deploying, performing in our occupational fields, with the caveat, without special accommodations, he proposed a revision to the 2017 policy,” Dunford said. “That was the process that was used to be able to do that.”
According to numbers first reported by USA Today and verified by the Pentagon, the U.S. military since 2016 has spent nearly $8 million for transition-related care for 1,500 transgender troops, which includes 161 surgical procedures. That’s a small fraction of the Pentagon’s annual budget of around $600 billion.
During testimony last month before Congress, five transgender service members said the time they needed to transition during service was minimal and took as little as a few weeks. Many said they transitioned on vacation or personal time.
The non-binding resolution approved the by the House doesn’t have the force for legislation. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have introduced bills in their respective chambers of Congress that would bar the U.S. military from discharging qualified individuals on the basis of transgender status. Speier has said she’d seek to amend the annual defense authorization bill with her measure.
A political cartoonist whose cartoons are syndicated by The Washington Post Writers Group published his most recent cartooon, and it’s drawing criticism for being transphobic.
Mike Lester is a conservative illustrator and his drawings appear on The Washington Post’s website. His most recent political cartoon is about the newly completed Mueller Report.
Robert Mueller conducted an investigation looking into possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. He recently published the report of his findings.
In the cartoon, a group of men sit at a table celebrating in front of a large, three-tiered cake. The cake reads ‘The Mueller Report’ in red frosting and a woman in a bikini bursts out of it.
Behind the table are two waiters. One of them states: ‘Wait till they find out that’s a dude…’
The cartoon, which can be see on the Post’s website and in tweets below, suggests the Mueller report, like trans women, are deceptive.
This isn’t the first time a political cartoon has come under fire for discrimination.
Last July, a New York Times cartoon about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was widely criticized as homophobic.
What is syndication?
The Washington Post Writers Group is a division of The Washington Post News Service & Syndicate.
A press syndicate is an agency that offers content such as columns, cartoons, articles, and more to newspapers and magazines. It grants the newspapers and magazines the right to republish.
The Washington Post operates their own syndicate.
When reached for comment by GSN, a Washington Post spokesperson clarified the cartoon ‘did not appear’ in the paper, but was syndicated.
‘We give cartoonists wide latitude in what they present,’ they further explained. ‘While we may not agree with some perspectives, cartoons serve a role in generating conversation and debate.’
The Post’s embedded audience editor Gene Park also responded to criticism of this cartoon on Reddit.
‘Thanks to everyone for sounding off on this offensive piece,’ he wrote. ‘Mike Lester is not technically an employee of ours, although we do run and administer The Washington Post Writers Group, a group of syndicated outside (and inside) columnists and editorial cartoonists.’
Park reiterated that Lester’s cartoons do not appear in the paper itself. He also confirmed the Post only employs two full-time cartoonists, Ann Telnaes and Tom Toles.
In another comment, he said he is ‘not at all acquainted with how the syndication side of the business operates’.
‘I’m trying to navigate what to do and I intend to speak up. Thanks all for your patience in light of this,’ he concluded.
A new report from FiveThirtyEight reveals fewer and fewer Americans believe LGBTI discrimination is a major issue.
Compared to other groups in the United States, people’s impression of discrimination has changed most dramatically in regards to the LGBTI community.
While perceived discrimination of Muslims and Jewish people have largely remained the same (with some minor drops and spikes), people see an increase in perceived discrimination of black people.
LGBTI people, meanwhile, have seen the biggest drop in perceived discrimination, from 68% in 2013 to 55% last year.
Perceived discrimination in the US | Photo: FiveThirtyEight
These views are reflected in other recently conducted surveys.
A 2019 survey from Gallup found more people are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘somewhat satisified’ with the country’s acceptance of gay and lesbian people.
Further, when asked if additional civil rights laws are needed to protect LGBTI people, such as the re-introduced Equality Act, the answers were close. 51% said yes, 46% said no, and 3% had no opinion.
This is also similar to past positions on political issues.
This is also consistent with Republican voters, who believe there is less discrimination in the US today.
Not the reality
For LGBTI people, however, this perception is not accurate to their experiences.
A survey from November 2018 found that a majority of LGBTI people living in the South experience discrimination and harassment, such as hearing slurs, in their lifetime. Nearly half also said they felt unwelcome at places of worship.
Among LGBTI youth, discrimination is a major problem.