Friday, August 5, 2016

Workplace Discrimination And Intolerance

Discrimination can happen anywhere. Its less likely to be the blatant type nowadays though. Its usually more passive. Like comments and jeers or all types. When you call someone on it jokingly, to keep things lighthearted, they respond with "well, I didn't mean you, you different". You know how it goes.
I want to make something crystal clear. You shouldn't dread going to work. You should be happy to go. Some jackhole making rude comments should be the last thing on your mind. If you find yourself in this situation you have a few options.
You could quit, find a new job. Let them good ole boys keep that place. Or you could lodge a complaint. Demand change. Or you could take a more passive role and ignore them. But you have to make a choice for yourself for peace of mind.
I'm in a small city. We have everything; medical, food, chaplain, yard, gardens. Self sufficiency and it takes many employees to keep such a place running. With many employees comes many opinions and personalities. 
I have been verbally assaulted by these people repeatedly. The chaplain told me I can't love God because I say I'm gay and that all gay men were molested as children and that's how its spread. Many of the officers call me "it" and are rude, I've even been told by them "if we had it our way we'd put all you f*****s in one unit and never see you again" while another officer reminded a few guys what happened to gays in Wyoming in the late 70's (referencing an incident where a group of people would hunt gays and then hang their severed heads or something on their fence posts as trophies), then he said "I'm from Wyoming, I'm gonna leave the unit now, you know what to do". That was after he celled me in, he didn't know that the men he was propagating to were my friends because they had shaved heads and beards. 
This goes on and on guys. Heck, I was even offended just a few nights ago trying to go to yard. I was walking out and a breezeway officer held his hand out to me and waved me away (I was attempting to ignore him because he is seriously mean to me) then he said "I sure as hell ain't patting that c***sucker down". then he spit. Like a punctuation mark. 
I don't say all this to get sympathy, I say all this to let you know that this is real. Yes, this still happens. Yes, there are LGBT+ people working here and everywhere and I know that some of you are being verbally assaulted to. In my case I have to take it silently...if something would be said about them their jobs wouldn't be taken and they would still be here or they would transfer me, away from my visits and programs and friends. I'm the one who would get punished for their intolerance. So I have to stay silent for a little while longer, so I can accomplish what I need. Because I have to see a parole board I know for a fact that they look at complaints lodged against their peers as deciding factors. That certainly won't be me because id like to get out of prison safely someday.
The good news is, your not in prison. You don't have your freedom on the line. You can make it stop, you deserve better! You deserve a place that is happy. Only you can demand it. 

With Love

Jeff Utnage

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