By Alex Temblador
LGBT discrimination occurs in many areas of life. With the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S., the LGBT rights movement is looking in a new direction: laws that protect the LGBT community from discrimination in the workplace, medical, housing, and in public spaes. We’ve all heard a story about LGBT discrimination occurring in the workplace. However, how many of us have seen LGBT discrimination occur in the workforce? Well, now you can, thanks to a hidden video that captured blatant LGBT discrimination at a job interview.
Konrad and Olle are a Scandinavian YouTube duo that make social experiment videos. For this particular YouTube video called, “Gay Vs. Hetero Job Interview,” the men received a message from one of their followers stating that he got fired when his boss was gay. Keep in mind that this video takes place in Sweden, a country who outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1999 and gender identity in 2009. Only 22 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia have protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The two men decided to investigate and ask, “Does sexual orientation matter in the workplace in 2015?”
They began by sending in two applications for the job and both were accepted for interviews. After setting up hidden cameras, the two men headed off for their prospective interviews with the boss of the company. During the interview, Konrad plays the “lazy” guy with little to no work experience and lacks a truck license. Olle, on the other hand, has relatable work experience, has a truck license, and plays the “responsible” candidate. He’s also the “gay” candidate for the purpose of the experiment.
It’s obvious that the interviewer wasn’t impressed with Konrad and the interview ends early. However, with Olle he seemed excited to hire him. The interviewer said, “When can you start working, Olle?” He even asked what Olle was thinking in terms of salary, which is the point in the video that Olle “comes out.”
Olle responded to the salary question with: “I was hoping to get similar pay as my last job… Me and my boyfriend just moved into a new apartment.” At which point the interviewer says, “Excuse me?” Olle repeated the bit about his boyfriend. Immediately, the interviewer’s attitude changed and he said, “Yeah, well, there’s a lot of people who applied for this job.” The interview is basically over and when Olle tried to repeatedly shake his hand, the interviewer ignored it.
Later, one of the two men got contacted with a job offer. I’m sure you can guess which one. Well, it wasn’t Olle. At the end of the video Konrad returns to the company to “accept the job” but when he was given the contract he said, “I don’t believe I would like it here,” rips the contract, and leaves.
We’re not surprised by the contents of this video. It shows what we’ve been saying for so long: sexual orientation and gender identity need to be protected under the law from discrimination in any environment in the United States and under the laws of every country in the world. This video shows the importance of the Equality Act in the United States, an act that would make sexual orientation and gender identity protected by the federal government. If LGBT discrimination in the workplace can occur in even the most progressive of countries, what do you think is happening every day here in the U.S.?