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LGBTHM and (lack of) lesbian/bi women

(28 Posts)
CherrySphinx Tue 23-Feb-21 19:44:19

The organisation I work for has had a full month of events for LGBT history month, a mixture of training, links to external events and talks organised internally. We also have all the flags and noticeboards with people profiles. In the internal material I've seen there are no women. At all. Profiles on noticeboards are men or transwomen. Talks we have organised about lived LGBT experience are men and transwomen (one of whom is a speaker from the US and has a career talking about trans rights). Organisation has about 5000 employees, 70% female. Has anyone else found the same or is it just where I am?

OP’s posts: |
CherrySphinx Tue 23-Feb-21 19:48:51

I will admit that I'm not on the any of the LGBT groups in work, when we got Yammer they were closed or only open to people who had been on ally training so there could be conversations that I'm not aware off but I was so tempted to post "Where is the lesbian/bi womens' lived experience?" on the general company page.

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persistentwoman Tue 23-Feb-21 20:05:43

You have my (and no doubt our) sympathy OP. They will have no clue and of course if you raise any objections you'll be the homophobe.

One useful thing to do is to ask which months are being devoted to the other protected characteristics (sex, race, disability, age etc) and to check that the budgets / staff time allocated are similar. Just so that people from other groups don't feel excluded and so you can get the commitments in your calendar

Significantown Tue 23-Feb-21 20:44:00

I was thinking about this kind of thing earlier. Its so easy to do the “right thing” when the people being helped are loud and the people being pushed down are too scared of losing their jobs to say anything.

CherrySphinx Tue 23-Feb-21 22:06:09

I think the resource question is particularly pertinent and I think was mentioned on another thread about equality not being a pie, but at the end of the day someone has paid time and money for Stonewall and external speakers when it could have been spent elsewhere. The organisation is going through a reflective process regarding equality, diversity and inclusion with overhauling training, recruitment and inacting cultural change so it's tempting to ask how the resource will be split between different groups and if monthly diversity awareness on each protected characteristic will be equally well resourced.

I need to find out more about the LGBT group, last time I checked it was all men which raises the question why aren't women engaging in LGBT activism in my workplace?

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Wrongsideofhistorymyarse Tue 23-Feb-21 22:37:15

It's similar at my work OP. Our organisation has been stonewalled and our diversity focus has been almost exclusively on T.

I'm getting involved in a small way and am going to push back.

ValancyRedfern Tue 23-Feb-21 22:37:43

I can't bear the whole 'it's not pie' argument. Time is pie, money is pie, attention is pie, energy is pie, news headlines are pie, the top jobs are pie, everything is fucking pie! That's why the people who have the pie are so desperate to convince the rest of us it isn't pie.

dumpling23 Tue 23-Feb-21 22:45:38

Yes - exactly the same. Next week a man hosts another man to talk about his experiences of being a gay man in the 1990s. It's nearly thirty years ago for goodness sake. The man says he's never experienced homophobia in our workplace. Meanwhile we have a gender pay gap of 20%. I just don't see why this is being branded as an equalities issue when it just simply is not. Worse still it detracts from the real issues.

unwashedanddazed Tue 23-Feb-21 22:48:33

So the workforce is 70% female but the lgbt group is all men. How can they be so blind to the optics? They really don't care how it looks I suppose.

Busydoingnowt Tue 23-Feb-21 23:10:56

Gay men are harking back to the 90s with some nostalgia because they know they’re not really oppressed now. They want their bit of the pie!

applepineapple Tue 23-Feb-21 23:20:37

Yep, our LGBT+ group leader puts up all sorts of blog posts for international so and so day and during Feb for LGBT month. Always mentions men and male experiences. Not a peep from him for international lesbian day.

applepineapple Tue 23-Feb-21 23:23:00

And we now have transgender policies which I'm pretty sure he wrote and we're going down the Stonewall accreditation route. FFS

BuntingEllacott Tue 23-Feb-21 23:28:39

People who tell you rights aren't pie do tend to have rather a large slice of pie, I find.

Dalyesque Tue 23-Feb-21 23:33:21

International Women’s Day is coming up soon.... I bet other women will join you to do something, and a good opportunity to see if resources match

Defaultname Tue 23-Feb-21 23:52:49

They've certainly got some crust!

Kyniska Wed 24-Feb-21 15:40:16

Hi, pretty sure I joined the club three weeks ago. Don't put a label on myself yet and was/am attracted to a very beautiful woman 😍 so I guess I should have. Refreshing after an eight year boyfriend fiance thing. (Who I in no way wish bad things upon) 😆 Love being feminine. I find it strange in so many films these days women are portrayed in way that sends the message you can only be an amazing woman if act more like a man. Everyone thats ever been born knows a female superhero and I can prove it in a one syllable word. Mum. To the OP's post, surely if you try desperately to treat two groups of people with inherent differences equally the inevitable outcome is to create an unfairness? Debate point!!

FindTheTruth Wed 24-Feb-21 16:35:57

OP - maybe post a question first, get them to confirm fats like

"Can you tell us which speakers are booked for events for LGBT history month?"

wait for a reply and play back the facts

"just so I've understood this. There are X number of speakers and Zero females?. and none of the materials show females. Is that correct?"

Wait for a reply, and say how it makes you feel

I don't feel included in this and would like to see at least some females included.

Wait for a reply and play equality card

It doesn't feel inclusive in a company of 5000 staff, 70% of whom are female. "

FindTheTruth Wed 24-Feb-21 16:36:22

*facts not fats blush

PotholeParadies Wed 24-Feb-21 23:49:31

Happening everywhere. Once I started looking, I realised how much more invisible women are becoming. There's always been a perception that diversity means having 1 woman, 1 black man and 2 different ages/types of white man (like with different personalities or something.)

But now having a transwoman instead of the boring old adult female human kind is subconscious seen as providing more diversity value for your buck. You can tick off two categories with one person! But they still won't go for reducing their 'bloke' quota and having a woman and a transwoman on that quiz show panel, because that would be perceived as too many women.

I read a sampling of coming out stories earlier in the week here. There are 27 people in the full book, but these are the four chosen for the programme and this article.

Notice anything? www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/43S4fylSmwjwpr0L8Kr30d7/coming-out-four-personal-stories

CherrySphinx Tue 02-Mar-21 21:29:51

Quick update - I've spoken to a few people about this. Every team meeting now has an equality/inclusion agenda item and at our last one I came out and said lesbians and bi women are missing from the talks organised by us, it's not inclusive, women face different challenges etc (I wasn't going to say anything so it ended up a bit of a ramble). I've now brought it up via 'freedom to speak up' as an informal point to raise with the LGBT network. The small number of people I've spoken to haven't noticed the lack of women (!) but once it's pointed out there's a proper penny drop moment. I still wish I was braver and posted on Yammer though!

OP’s posts: |
CherrySphinx Tue 02-Mar-21 21:34:45

I also looked up the LGBT network and it's more mixed than I thought and there is a womens representative. Hopefully I'll get some feed back on how the speakers were chosen.

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FindTheTruth Wed 03-Mar-21 06:55:54

The small number of people I've spoken to haven't noticed the lack of women (!) but once it's pointed out there's a proper penny drop moment

Cherry be really interested to hear what happens next and hope you let us know.

Speaking to others, Lesbian/Bi women out at work 5 years ago are now back in the closet or at least consciously not joining 'LBGT' groups as they believe they will be called bigots for stating that they are same-sex attracted females.

Email signature - <hears reverse beeping sound>:

I am a sponsor of the LGBTQ+ and allies group
My pronouns are She/Her

= alarm to keep away. Warning! they will call you hateful for stating what you are. They will ask you the purity question 'do you believe TWAW?'

Eowynthewarrior Wed 03-Mar-21 07:05:22

Very good point re the other protected characteristics many of which are far more relevant to supporting colleagues than someone’s sexuality. I can’t see why any of us need to know what colleagues sexual preferences are it is just not relevant to how someone does their job. On the other hand it’s important to understand disability as it could impact how you communicate snd work with people and race/religion to understand particular times of year when colleagues have celebrations and need time off. I can’t understand this bring your whole self to work: it’s unhealthy in many ways you should have a distinction between professional and personal life

joystir59 Wed 03-Mar-21 07:08:53

Lesbians are being erased. Even the word lesbian has become meaningless...but I will still use it every chance I get to describe what I AM. So sad for young lesbians.

joystir59 Wed 03-Mar-21 07:10:19

I do not believe TWAW.

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