Are You Closeted?
By: Shannon Ralph
According to a new study by The Center for Work-Life Policy, almost half of college-educated gay Americans hide their sexual orientation at work. The study found that 48 percent of gay workers are closeted.. About a third of those closeted at work are out in their personal lives, leading them to live a taxing “double life.” As a result, these workers are more likely to report job-related stress and isolation than their peers. Productivity and job satisfaction suffers. In addition, closeted workers are more likely to report that they want to leave their current job.
Most Fortune 500 companies prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and extend benefits to workers’ same-sex partners. However, many workers may remain in the closet as a response to their immediate work environments. Some straight co-workers (37 percent of women and 52 percent of men) say that they would prefer gay people to keep their personal lives private. Despite corporate policies moving in the right direction, only twenty-one states currently prohibit employers from discriminating against LGBT workers.
So what about you? Are out at work? Why or why not?