Why does homosexuality bother me?

Career brake homosexuality?

"I'm gay - and that's a good thing", this now legendary sentence by Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, which has been modified a dozen times, has contributed a lot to the public acceptance of gay politicians in recent years. In contrast to the art and culture scene, where experience has shown that dealing with homosexuality is the most open, the economy struggles with gay / lesbian specialists and executives.

Basically, we assign a heterosexual assumption to new colleagues in our day-to-day work, as long as they are on Workplace Behave in accordance with gender roles. However, gays and lesbians quickly find themselves in a quandary at work, because the concealment of sexual identity with a fictional partner or the like can on the one hand be extremely stressful, on the other hand, the refusal to tell private stories is often interpreted by colleagues as arrogance and may lead to the same Discrimination like the third way, namely to disclose same-sex identity without hesitation.

Prejudices against homosexuality persist
This is exactly what Dr. Christof Brauers, director of studies in a small town in northern Germany, had the best experience. "After my career change from television journalist to teacher, I actually had with me, especially in rural areas Acceptance problems expected. Now everyone from the caretaker to the high school graduate knows that I'm gay - and the reaction was nada, zero, niente. "

Nevertheless, Brauers also came across a classic one in his professional life as a journalist prejudice towards homosexuals, namely not being assertive in crucial situations. "Here is what women have known to sing a song about for generations: You just have to be better than possible (heterosexual) competitors." Incidentally, after his promotion, Brauers was allowed to listen to the "compliment" from the program director, saying that he was able to assert himself and that he would even be very sociable.

The business world is keeping a low profile
To this day, management levels are closed and rather conservatively isolated circles, an "old boys network" in which women and gay men are mostly excluded. Because the working day of Executives does not end at the office door, but also requires frequent business lunches and private invitations. And a same-sex partner is not welcome on such occasions. Former BP boss John Browne usually appeared at invitations with his mother until, after more than forty years with the company, he came out under the pressure of the merciless tabloid press.

Although society has been developing towards a more relaxed approach to homosexuality for years, according to a study by the University of Cologne, 52 percent of gay / lesbian employees still believe in it Private life secret. Although this number has decreased in the last ten years, one could assume a different value in 2008.

Keyword: tolerance
A possible justification can perhaps be found in the word "tolerance", which is used too lightly by society and which threatens to degenerate into a good-humane buzzword nowadays. Because real tolerance means to accept something that I don't like, but to tolerate it up to a certain limit despite this rejection. That is why the common attitude "homosexuals do not bother me" or "I have no opinion" is not tolerant, but simply indifferent. Only when this indifference also turns into real tolerance can the social Handling really normalize with homosexuality.

Gays and lesbians receive advice and support for their working life, for example, from the Völklinger Kreis, the Federal Association of Gay Executives, or the Wirtschaftsweibern, the association of lesbian specialists and executives.
By Manuel Boecker