Homophobic comments at work – HR bees help me out

posted 4 months ago in Career
Post # 32
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

missmollybee :  Pay no attention to keyboard warriors who call you a coward for not escalating this to your nonexistent HR dept (seriously, reading comprehension people!!) the second it happened. I think you handled it really well. In the real world, it’s not always as black and white as SPEAK UP IMMEDIATELY…you could have faced serous repercussions to your own employment by doing that, and I for one am not about to judge you for taking a more cautious approach. At the end of the day, you confronted both the asshole who made the comment as well as your superiors, and did it in a way that didn’t jeopardize your own career there. So, win/win. There are a lot of people who wouldn’t have said anything at all.

Post # 33
Member
871 posts
Busy bee

tiffanybruiser :  IA,  personally I’m one of those momma tiger speak up immediately/ confront the person people- and sometimes this is good, but other times it’s not the best approach and in some situations could even be dangerous. So agreed, it’s not that black and white, one-size-fits-all approach. I think the main thing is- OP cared enough for this to keep bothering her and to want to do something about it. Speaking up is harder for some than it is for others including, as OP says, even speaking up for herself. If more people were like OP it would go a long way to making a bigger difference, so many would have done nothing at all. 

missmollybee :  Thank you for caring enough to do something about this, even knowing iit’s hard for you to speak up in general, even for yourself.  I must say, your boss reacted better than I’d hoped. And congrats on the positive review and pay raise too. 

Post # 34
Member
1114 posts
Bumble bee

I’m so glad this worked out for you! You know your office and situation best, but I really encourage you to learn how to say something in the moment. What you say doesn’t have to be aggressive or personal – a simple “wow” with a look of disgust can be enough. You don’t know what your coworkers are facing, and if someone was telling discriminatory stories or jokes and no one said anything in the moment, I would think everyone agreed with the storyteller. If I was a trans or considering it, I would feel like I had no allies in the office. 

Post # 35
Member
871 posts
Busy bee

strawberrysakura : This is very true. I was trying to be gentle with my posts to OP, because I do sincerely think she’s trying- but I agree with everything you’ve said and how heartbreaking for someone this affects directly to think that no-one is in their corner. 

Post # 36
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

 I think she did say something to the asshole coworker in the moment unless I’m misreading the updates? strawberrysakura :  

Post # 39
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

missmollybee :  Ah gotcha. Well I agree with pp that it would have been good to say something right in the moment so everyone else who witnessed it knew where you stood. But I don’t blame you for not doing it…I know I sometimes struggle when something shocking happens to respond the way I would have wanted right in the moment. I think pp’s suggestion to just say something like “WOW, did you really just say that??” would be a good way to go in the future with this individual.

Post # 41
Member
13590 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Didn’t read all of the comments.  My company puts a huge emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and this person’s comments would be so out of line that it would be a formal reprimand if not being released from employment.  Defintely bring it up.  Hate speech, hate crimes, and hate have NO place in this world, and definitely not in a professional environment. 

Post # 42
Member
6444 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

missmollybee :  You handled this EXACTLY right. In other words, there is no “right” way to handle bigotry; you did what you could when you could. And while I and other posters are keen to say you need to speak out in the moment, that is always a lot easier said than done. No one knows how they will react in the moment, and none of us can say with certainty that we could have been “better” or “worse” than OP  when this happened. But kudos to you for saying something at all – many people wouldn’t even do that, and would suffer a coworker’s bigotry in silence. 

Congratulations both on your raise and on speaking your mind. You have done a service both for yourself and for every other employee there.

Post # 43
Member
1114 posts
Bumble bee

Oh, I definitely understand that it can be difficult to say something in the moment, and it really depends on your environment – there ARE times when speaking up, while noble, can cause issues.
I think it was really great that you said something about your coworker’s hair. A lot of times when people ‘joke’ about something like that, they are sort of serious and testing the waters. 

Personally, I tend to get really frustrated because I do try to speak out, and usually I’m alone. Later people will be like, “Oh I’m glad you said something because I was thinking what she said was awful,” and I’m like…well I could have used some support! I think a lot of people just try not to rock the boat, and there are times when that’s probably the best thing to do…but I tend to think that if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem. If one person says something terrible, that’s ONE PERSON who sucks. If no one says anything about it, then suddenly EVERYONE sucks. Even if internally they don’t agree, that’s not what it looks like to a casual observer. It can make people feel very alone. 

Post # 44
Member
6444 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

This isn’t the same as the OP’s situation, but I teach, and we had a first-year science teacher who was challenged by an aide in the lunch room. The aide said her daughter had come home talking about evolution, and she wondered whether she (the science teacher) believed in evolution; the science teacher deflected and said that it was curriculum and she must teach it. The aide continued and said that she should tell the class that she was a Christian at the start of the lesson. I couldn’t hold back any longer, and I interjected that if she did, then the atheist or science-minded parents and students would have grounds to complain and that she couldn’t “win” regardless of what she did. I said that it was best to teach the information in as straight-forward a way possible and leave it at that. The aide went on to say that she had just never met an atheist and found the whole idea to be very “exotic.”

The teacher came to me later and thanked me for my support. I smiled and told her, “We’re not as ‘exotic’ as people think!” She laughed and went on her way. I still don’t know where she stands, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. She shouldn’t be on trial for what she teaches and for what the science says is true, no matter how small or how conservative the community.

Oh, and FWIW, our location has fewer than 2K people… and NINE churches in town. There are two religious schools (one was started because the first one, being on-denominational, wasn’t strict enough) in town in addition to the public school. It is a VERY difficult place to be an atheist.

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors