The laws protecting the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) associates vary widely by country, state, county and province around the world. GLBT rights in the United States have evolved over time and vary on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis. Depending where you live, you may not be protected from possible termination, a hostile work environment or an unsympathetic boss or co-worker. While no country in Europe has a law against homosexuality, there are at least seventy-eight other countries where homosexuality is a crime. So there is no easy answer except to say that your romantic and personal lives are, and always should be, first and foremost private, no matter your orientation.
If you are wrestling with the decision of coming out or not, first find out what laws related to your status apply to you in the workplace. Then find out what your brand’s policy is on non-discrimination. Does it include sexual orientation? Consider the pros and cons before coming out at work. The pros are great; you no longer have to use gender neutral terms regarding your personal relationships and what you did last weekend and with whom. Since you will no longer have to hide a really important part of yourself, that’s one gigantic stress eliminated. Your job performance and confidence levels may actually improve. You may become happier in general.
The downside is considerable. Not everyone is receptive. Look at your work environment. Is there anyone with authority over you who might not look kindly on your lifestyle? What about your organization in general, and your teammates. Only you know if coming out to your boss and co-workers is necessary, and only you know if you are ready.
My view is simple. People have enough trouble dealing with their own issues. You have integrity and are a proven professional and dependable team member. I have always found hospitality management associates to be a diverse group of warm, caring and accepting individuals. Assess both your need to come out and your own comfort level. Will your brand stand by you? Business is business. Certainly, your brand caters to a straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender world. Connect with others who have already come out. Think positively. If the water is fine and you want to dive in, you may find that this big dive amounts only to a small splash.
Excerpts of blog taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Pont, PhD
“Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”
— Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
See the book at: www.HospitalityManners.com
Visit Lyn at: www.MannersForBusiness.com
Lyn Pont, Ph.D. – World’s Top 30 Hospitality Professionals, 2016 – Global Gurus