Being an LGBT Ally at Work
As discussed earlier in this booklet there are many ways to show support. At work you can be an LGBT ally by:
- Using appropriate LGBT positive language.
- Attend or help start a gay/straight alliance (“GSA”) at school.
- Attend the city’s gay pride parade.
- Having a rainbow flag or LGBT publication in your office.
- Speak out against policies that do not support LGBT people.
- Do not out your LGBT colleagues.
- Examine the policies at work to make sure they are inclusive of LGBT people.
- Do not make it the responsibility of your LGBT colleagues to speak out for LGBT rights.
All of these actions indicate to other staff that you support equality for all people.
All youth need mentorship in their work relationships. This is often the first time that they are involved in a professional relationship outside of their family, school, or friends. Often getting a job means working for people that you would otherwise have little interaction with. An employer will likely be unfamiliar with the youth’s family or friends and therefore have no emotional ties to that youth. While employers are bound by employment standards and human rights legislation, violations in these areas can easily happen in a youth population, which has little power or knowledge of their rights. Young people are vulnerable to abuse at work because of their lack of experience. Unless they have an adult who monitors the employment relationship, they are dependent upon the employer’s ability and willingness to uphold the law.