14 Ways to Support LGBT Employees - Dennis Velco - OutBuro - Employee Engagement Satisfaction Talent Acquisition Recriuting Recruitment Marketing Job Seeker Canidate Attraction Profressional Community

14 Ways to Support LGBT Employees (2020)

Over the past 15 years or so, companies and organizations in all industries have moved towards embracing, supporting, and championing workplace equality. Focusing on creating a safe and welcoming workplace for LGBTQ employees had many benefits beyond just being the right thing to do. Many studies have clearly demonstrated that companies that truly support diversity and inclusion as part of their corporate DNA thrive in many areas such as but limited to:

  • Innovation
  • Employee satisfaction and engagement
  • Increased employee retention
  • Higher qualified talent acquisition pool
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved team collaboration
  • Improved employee mental health
  • Reduction of absentee/sick days
  • Increased brand positive LGBTQ and ally perception
  • Client/customer satisfaction
  • Increase in financial performance
  • Shareholder value

So, supporting LGBT employees is not just the right thing to do, it is good for business too. Here are some steps toward supporting your LGBT employees and attracting great talent candidates. Your LGBTQ employees and your clients/customers tightly linked check out the LGBTQ Consumer and Employer Branding are Commingled article for more on that.

US Supreme Court Decision: Great Step But Still Work Remains

In July 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity are now covered under the US Equal Opportunity Employment Act for Non-Discrimination. That is cause for celebration, yet does not automatically transform all employers into workplaces that respect diversity, embrace inclusion, or have a work culture that is welcoming. In just the United States, based on other issues such as gender equality, racial equality, and sexual harassment, one can without much effort extrapolate that it may be decades before LGBT employees are fully and openly accepted in all workplaces in all industries in all locations – if ever. We believe firmly in being the change and benefiting from it. Also, please keep in mind that in over 50% of the states in the US it is still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ persons in housing, finance, hate crime against LGBT persons is not criminalized, and many other issues that devalue and dehumanize the LGBT citizens. There is much work to do in the United States and countries around the world.

Your efforts to create a safe and welcoming workplace where all are treated equalilly with the same opportunities to contribute, grow and thrive are greatly appreciated.

Diversity, Inclusion & Welcoming

Diversity is about ensuring you have people of different backgrounds and experiences represented in the workplace. Inclusiveness takes it a step further by creating an environment where people’s differences of thought and experience are actually appreciated. Welcoming enables employees to be their authentic selves where their uniqueness may shine adding perspectives that are respected and potentially individually or collectively a business advantage.

A simple analogy is:

  • Diversity is being invited to a party.
  • Inclusive is while at the party, a cute person asks you to dance.
  • Welcoming is dancing like you have no cares in the world and no one is watching. Dang, check out those moves!
  • World-class is you inspire everyone to jump up to dance just as openly and boldly.
  • Everyone raves what an amazing party it is. Selfies are snapped and shared. It goes viral on social media. Your brand becomes the hottest epic party.

Ok, in this example eventually the neighbors may call the cops to shut the party down, but in business, it attracts top talent, employee satisfaction is high, employee retention is high, customer attraction and retention are high. You and your amazing team are crushing it.

So, how to get there?

1. Authenticity and Clear Mission

Being authentic in all aspects is critical. All too often we have heard of reports by employees that their employer launched a drive to obtain an LGBT Corporate Equality rating and once obtained management support nearly vanished and previous funding dissipated to a fraction. It makes the employees feel disenfranchised and like used pawns in the corporate goal to receive external publicity. Understand that true D&I can lead to great financial rewards, but if not deeply rooted in respect, value, and authenticity, you can do harm to your brand, employee morale, and customer perception. If issues arise it can leave a damaging scare that can take years to recover from, if ever. Don’t be that kind of organization. It is not necessary. As linked above, being authentic in supporting diversity and inclusion is proven to improve the company’s financial performance for many reasons. But why is a mission necessary? Because diversity alone does not necessarily mean there is the inclusion or welcoming work culture. A clear mission will outline the objective and measurements. The LGBT community is very savvy so if striving to attract the LGBT customer market, they care about how you treat your LGBT employees and your authentic engagement in the community.

2. Top-level support

Ensure that LGBT employee support is a priority at top senior management level. Have a top management staff person take the lead on LGBT employee inclusion. That person may not be LGBT themself, but an ally. This senior manager should be as sponsors of employee network groups. This person may be from any department. Indicate who your most senior level employee who identifies as LGBT is on your OutBüro employer listing.

3. Take LGBT Reports Discrimination and Harassment Seriously

Yes, in the United States is now illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Is that enough? Do you feel that now covers you so there is no need for a company/organization non-discrimination policy based on sexual orientation or gender identity? If so, I bet your company/organization has policies covering gender, race, and religion. This is the same. I am also 99.9% sure you have a sexual harassment policy too, along with required annual training. This is no different. Your organization should have a strong non-discrimination policy in place, ensure it clearly states that it covers your recruitment and promotions. Create a communication plan to be sure all employees know what is not tolerated in the workplace. Not if, but when, homophobic bullying, discrimination, or harassment happens to acknowledge the validity of the concern raised, promptly follow procedures to investigate and take appropriate action. Ensure employees feel safe in making reports.

Have all reports reviewed by a team to reduce biases from even the HR staff. Do not assume that all human resources staff lack biases. Research and court case prove otherwise. Many discrimination lawsuits are based on the lack of action by the HR department. So be take extra steps in training all HR staff and put teams in place with checks and balances instead of relying on just one gatekeeper. On your OutBüro employer listing link to your sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policy. Make it easy for candidates to find it when researching you as a potential employer.

4. LGBT Employee Resource Group

Having an organized formal Employee Resource Group can go a long way in fostering an inclusive and welcoming work culture. It provides an opportunity to network and builds a sense of camaraderie. Many ERGs meet up during normal work hours to discuss work-related topics as well as off-hours social events to further the personal bonds that will translate into great working relationships. It is a great way to foster career development through mentoring. If you have support employee volunteering, the LGBT ERG could expand the organization’s community involvement by using their corporate volunteer hours in helping local LGBTQ charity nonprofit community organizations and events. Encourage senior employees to mentor junior employees. Encourage and support LGBT employees to participate in seminars and conferences. Encourage and support employees to participate in industry networking groups, LGBT professional associations, and to participate in content and groups on www.OutBuro.com – the LGBT professional and entrepreneur platform.

Having open and consistent dialogue with your LGBTQ resource group will improve employee engagement, company culture, and provide valuable information on ways to further innovate in the workplace. Create a company/Organization group on OutBüro. Be an open group where prospective candidates may also join to connect with current employees, ask question, and get a great sense of you as an employer. Ask key ERG members to join the ERG Connections group on OutBüro. This is meant to be a Super Group where ideas and best practices for staring, managing, and growing an LGBTQ ERG.

5. Support the Local LGBT Community

Show your support to the local LGBT community where you operate by providing information to employees about local events, groups, and resources. Sponsor a Pride Party, or even sponsor your LGBT ERG to participate in local Gay Pride events, have a corporate booth, use it for customer leads, and talent recruiting. Celebrate National Coming Out Day. Create a video series of employees sharing their stories of coming out personally and yet again professionally. Encourage volunteering at LGBT events throughout the year. Sponsor local organizations, from general support agencies, to those that provide needed services to the homeless, youth, seniors, persons living with compromised immune systems, students, and more. Sponsor local or national sporting leagues or teams. Sponsor the local gay men’s chorus or other cultural groups/events. Invite LGBT speakers to share their experiences with your team. There are also national and international organizations that support equality and human rights. The LGBT nonprofit sector operates on shoestring budgets and desperately could use your unkind and financial support.

List and link to all the organizations you support of LGBTQ non-profits in whatever manner on your OutBüro Employer listing. So many companies do great things yet no one other than the benefiting organization has any clue. Show it. Tout it. It makes LGBT employees proud to work for you and it demonstrates to LGBT candidates that you are involved in the community and therefore likely a super fantastic place to go to work.

6. Support LGBT Entrepreneurs

Sponsor the local LGBT chamber of commerce. Encourage LGBTQ employees to get involved to represent the compact in the LGBTQ Chamber. If and where possible allow the employee to mentor small business owners. Sponsor LGBT founded startups – with funds, product/services discount or for a few as in-kind sponsorship to help the small business grow, mentorship, etc. Add LGBT friendly procurement policies and actively seek products and services by LGBTQ owned businesses. Consider providing a workshop on how to do business with your company, the steps to becoming an approved small business vendor, if NGLCC certification is required or what other factors may help them secure a vendor agreement with you. The NGLCC has an LGBT certified business accreditation. That is great, but it is far from representing all LGBTQ business due to many factors. In your supplier diversity program certainly include accredited LGBTQ suppliers, but be open to non-accredited ones too.

List and link to all the organizations you support of LGBTQ owned business in whatever manner on your OutBüro Employer listing. So many companies do great things yet no one other than the benefiting organization has any clue. Show it. Tout it. It makes LGBT employees proud to work for you and it demonstrates to LGBT candidates that you are involved in the community and therefore likely a super fantastic place to go to work.

7. LGBT Inclusive Employee Surveys

On your periodic employee surveys allow the option for employees to anonymously identify as LGBTQ and ask specific questions regarding for their experiences and feedback. Do not assume everyone will be open. Did you know that a recent study found that a whopping 29% of Americans under 30 years old are “heteroflexible”? So how you treat you open full out loud and proud LGBTQ employees has a much larger base than most assume and more than you will like ever truly exactly know.

8. LGBT Employer Rating/Reviews

Just like the employer reviews on Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com, and others, OutBüro (https://www.OutBuro.com) offers LGBTQ employees the ability to anonymously rate/review the current and recent past employers. Employers are strongly advised to claim their listing if already present or proactively add your employer listing. It is important to engage with reviews as you would on any other platform. It is advised to make all employees aware that you are participating in OutBüro. You may use the opportunity to reinforce your open and safe reporting policy yet welcome rating/reviews on OutBüro. Such ratings/reviews can be a great source of insights as potential candidates seek information about you as an employer before applying. Check this article out: Company Reviews – Good for Companies and Their LGBTQ Employees

OutBüro site member may leave comments or questions on your OutBüro Employer listing. It is an opportunity to engage with potential candidates and customer. It should not be left ignored.

9. LGBTQ Competency Training

Having ongoing LGBTQ awareness training is important to fostering an inclusive and welcoming work environment. The content should be progressive and continual. If you don’t already consider adding corporate notable figures and society historical figures to company communications regularly. It may feature persons who helped shape the company, or recent notable activities in the company today and those who were/are instrumental in successful projects. Feature diverse employees. The thing about LGBTQ employees is that unlike age, race, or gender, all, for the most part, are typically apparent. Being LGBTQ is not always as apparent and therefore if your culture is welcoming and the employee is okay with it, clearly state the employee’s LGBTQ identity along with all the great stuff they are doing within and for the company/organization.

This creates awareness as well as clearly demonstrates to all employees that the company/organization values the contributions of its LGBTQ employees. This is a morale booster for other LGBTQ employees as well as a clear message that discrimination and/or harassment is not tolerated here. I couple this with training even though it is not traditional training. It is a message however that reinforces the training provided and I consider it to be a micro lesson. If desired, throughout the year feature notable historical events and persons. Foster employee engagement activity where you can use an online quiz/survey tool to create a trivia knowledge game. Be creative and make it your own. Invite all staff to submit questions to be included. Heck, you might grow it into being quarter Family Feud like shows. Live Stream it to all offices, post on social media. Show what an inclusive, wicked smart team and fun culture you have. The point here is that LGBT biases, like others, are learned from a Young age and deeply engrained. Creating new habits, and un-programing those deeply held biases take effort, energy, and but it can be fun and engaging.

Do you need help? We are happy to assist you. www. OutBuro.com

10. Offer LGBT-Friendly Benefits

For job seekers, today, inclusive benefits packages and non-discrimination clauses are some of the most important considerations when researching potential employers. In studies, it was found that having LGBTQ benefits also is important to young heterosexual job seekers. Overall job seekers want to feel they are working for an employer who is fair, socially, and environmentally responsible. Not being so can cost you in by reducing your chances of attracting top talent. Be sure not to unintentionally exclude LGBTQ families and transgender individuals. Offer equal benefits to all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation, including parental leave, adoption leave, and time off to take care of dependants. Gendered language can cause parental benefits to unintentionally exclude LGBTQ families. Make your benefits inclusive of all employees by being conscious of what words you use in your coverage and favoring gender-neutral terms. it is the right thing to do for all employees as it is gender equality focused too. Today, in opposite-gender relationships, it is not uncommon for the male to be the child care provider while the female works.

  • Sexual orientation non-discrimination
  • Gender Identity non-discrimination
  • Domestic partner benefits
  • Transgender inclusive health benefits

11. Foster a Gender-Neutral Environment

Create a gender-neutral environment by making some simple changes such as establishing unisex toilets and using gender-neutral language, like ‘partner’ instead of husband or wife, and asking all employees to list their preferred pronouns on email sinatur blocks and employee directory listings.

12. Keep Track, Evaluate, & Improve

Celebrate your successes and monitor your progress by tracking things such as the number of employee grievances naturally with details of the type, persons involved, location, department, and such. No matter how small or outcome, track it. This could lead to identifying trends over time that need to be addressed. Of course, as in all employee training, track D&I training by course completed inclusive of LGBT competency training. If legally able track who is an out self-identified LGBTQ employee and when they publically came out. The more that comes out is a direct relation to the success of the organization in creating a safe and welcoming space. Tract ERG involvement likewise. If active participation falls or doesn’t attract employees to participate, why? Do they not feel safe? Is the ERG doing things that are attractive to employees? How does it compare with other company ERGs? Have you networked with other company LGBT ERG leaders with strong employee participation to gain insights on how to be effective?

13. Support Transgender Employees

As transgender visibility within the LGBTQ community has increased over the past few years, it has become clear that transgender people face a unique set of experiences and challenges. Learn what steps to take after an employee comes out as transgender to create a supportive and encouraging environment. Human Resource is an important player in assisting transgender employees during the complex and lengthy process of transitioning. We recommend special training from trainers who are themselves, transgender. We are happy to connect your organization with outstanding transgender coaches.

14. Post your own LGBT focused company and employee content

Increase your employer brand awareness with LGBTQ professionals. With an OutBüro Employer Listing subscription, the organization may post content directly to our blog as an author. We’d strongly recommend the content be LGBT professional life-related in some way. Perhaps it’s articles about what local, regional or national LGBT related events the organization has sponsored. Or maybe articles and videos featuring LGBT employees or customers. The article will list the authorized person/person as the author in an author bio box that will link all other past submissions posted.

If there have been negative reviews/ratings, an article might address what the organization is doing or has done to improve. It’s also a great way to feature what activities and such the organization’s LGBTQ employee resource group is doing on a monthly or quarterly basis. So many possibilities for your organization to be proactive. Some of this may be in the form of press releases. All submissions will be reviewed for approval before going live to ensure it’s appropriate for our audience and in line with the goals of OutBüro.

Conclusion

OutBüro is a growing valuable tool for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer professionals for networking and as passive or active job seekers. OutBüro is here to help you to demonstrate all the great things you do to support your LGBTQ employees and attract LGBT talent as candidates to join your team.

Letters to a Gay Black Boy by LGBTQ Autor Terry Dyer LGBT Professional OutBuro Out Voices Podcast Interview Video Series online community

Letters to a Gay Black Boy – Terry Dyer – LGBT Author Chat

Terry Dyer is an African American gay male author. His first book titled “Letters to a Gay Black Boy” is released in a critical time of public dialog about racial disparity, inequality, tensions, ignorance, biases, and more throughout the United States and around the world. Similar issues are still faced at this time within the LGBTQ community. Dyer takes a head-on approach to authentically personalize the issues, struggles, trials, and tribulations of growing up in the United States as both an African American black male and an intersection with also being gay. This is a book that transcends race and sexuality. It is about self-appreciation, self-acceptance, and self-love.

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Be a Guest or Recommend a Guest

The book is a compilation of letters written from an adult self to his younger self. It is chock-full of heartfelt, honest, raw, funny, sad, personal, practical, truthful, and wisdom laden advice from his years of life lessons learned and experiences had. It is an, “I wish I had known then what I know now” passing of the torch so that others today may identify with, connect with, and perhaps take away some knowledge to help them feel they are not alone. They too may rise above. They too may find their true self no matter their current situation. They too have the strength, right, and power to be happy, authentic in self-love, and true unconditional love from others.

Connect with Terry on OutBüro: https://www.outburo.com/profile/terrydyer/

Get your copy of “Letters to a Gay Black Boy” here: https://amzn.to/3goZurj

OutBüro is where you belong. https://www.outburo.com/

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Should You be OUT as LGBTQ on Your Resume/CV (2020)

When it’s time to update your resume/CV preparing for a job search, it can be tough to know if you should be out as LGBTQ on it. We don’t believe you will find anyone who would suggest putting “I’m queer – get used to it” in bold pink letter sprinkled with glitter on the top of your resume/CV.

So, should you come out on your resume?

No one can answer that question for you.  It is your life, your career, your sexuality, your gender identity, and therefore your choice rests squarely on your shoulders.  However, read on for insights to help you make an informed decision.

Many in the LGBTQ community disagree about what you should reveal on your resume/CV.  Some say to be out being your full and authentic self, while others argue that you should remain in the closet, grit your teeth to land the job and then slowly come out to co-workers as you get to know them individually.

Many people have acquired significant volunteer and work experience from obviously LGTBQ-oriented organizations. Other people struggle with how transparent they should be on their resume or job application when asked about other interests. Knowing what to say, and how much to disclose to a complete stranger with the power to provide or decline a job offer can be cause for worry. It can often feel like living in the closet and being judged for who you are as a person.

How much experience is related?

Not much but it’s close to my heart

You are such a wonderful person for volunteering. If your past experience related to LGBTQ non-profits/NGOs is not really central to the job you are applying for, we’d recommend completely leaving it off your resume/CV. It’s not hiding your sexuality or gender identity, it is just not pertinent. This even includes leaving it out of your resume/CV hobbies/extra activities. If you get a sense during the interview process that the employer and interviewers are LGBTQ friendly you can always bring it up in the course of dialog as appropriate.

Just a bit but it’s important

If some of your experience was acquired from paid or volunteering for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer non-profits/NGOs no matter if you are LGBTQ a straight ally you might start to wonder if you should put that experience on your resume.  This effectively would out you as LGBTQ whether you are LGBTQ or a community ally. Additionally, as you’ll learn below even just the perception of being LGBTQ real or perceived can potentially impact your ability to be hired, promoted and even the salary offered. 

Major part of my career

If all your experience is from paid or volunteering at LGBTQ organizations, then it’s pretty clear you have no choice. You have to list the experiences.  But you still need to be aware of the issues you may face and be prepared to research employers to find the right match and put your best foot forward with the best employers no matter the size or location of the employer.  

If you have worked primarily for LGBTQ or other non-profits/NGOs it can also be difficult to break into the for-profit sector. I have heard of people attempting to do make this transition and being told, “Your qualifications are outstanding, however, you aren’t a right fit for this company we are about making money not helping people/the environment/animals.” – true story. So if your work experience has been 50%+ with a non-profit organization no matter the focus LGBTQ or not, be prepared to address this disqualifying mindset proactively in your cover letter and in the every interview conversation if you get that far.

LGBTQ workplace policies are good yet not a 100% guarantee

Reality is even if an employer boasts being a welcoming LGBTQ workplace with LGBT friendly policies and benefits, there are many people involved in the resume/cv review and interview process.  Depending on the size of the employer, that may be a few people or in best case scenario it will be a review committee to reduce the chances of one person’s learned prejudices and ignorance to discriminate and disqualify you based on you being LGBT.  In any case, it still can be risky. You want to list all your great experience and qualifications to land that new job yet you are also putting trust in the employer company/organization and the individuals in the hiring process.

At what point should I come “out” in the workplace?

It is important to know that you do NOT have to disclose your sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in the resume/cv submission, job application or interview process. This decision is entirely up to you and how comfortable you feel disclosing your sexual orientation, sex, or gender expression. If you do choose to disclose, there are generally three opportunities to “come out” to an employer?

  • On your resume
  • In an interview
  • After you start working for the organization

Many believe that no job is so great that it’s worth hiding who you are and selling yourself short by leaving out all the organizations you volunteered time with, just-just to hide your sexual identity. That volunteer work could have provided many skills and demonstrate your community involvement beyond the workplace showing a well-rounded individual with character.

Some feel that it is more important to get the job first, and then come out after people get to know you. “I’m here. I’m queer. I’m in the next cubicle” approach.

Others strive for a middle ground in where they list their LGBT activities on their resumes but don’t draw attention to it. They might list PFLG, HRC or NGLCC without going into additional details or spelling out the acronym. They might list the abbreviation of a student campus LGBT group and that they were the vice president such as Berkely LGSA Vice President instead of Berkely Lesbian & Gay Student Alliance Vice President. If asked about the entry it’s an opportunity for discussion to expand upon it in person versus potentially being tossed way by someone along the candidate review path who might hold prejudices. such as “vice president of gay campus group.” The rest, says Woog, is left to the interviewer. If she says, “The Rainbow Alliance –- tell me more about that,” it’s an opportunity to expand on it and judge her reaction.

Still, others hold firm that it is inappropriate to come out on one’s resume as it is to mark down one’s religious or political affiliations. We suggest talking with your both LGBT and straight close friends and family who also have a history of volunteer and community work.

As LGBTQ professionals we cannot live in a vacuum and our straight college have no problem listing their volunteer and community activities that might hint at their heterosexuality. It’s accepted.

At OutBüro we believe a resume should be honest and comprehensive. If a person has done work with GLAAD or Lambda Legal for example – and the reader even knows what these things are – certain presumptions can be made or not. We know many straight people who work at LGBTQ organizations too. Putting your volunteer work in the LGBTQ community on your resume is no different than others who may indicate they are a deacon in the church or a Hebrew school teacher on the weekends.

Why should you hide what you value and has contributed to your life, character, your local community and the community at large? It’s unfortunate that all companies do not have sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policies. Luckily many companies and organizations do

Questions to ask

  • Is the company you are interested in an LGBTQ workplace friendly employer?
  • Do you feel comfortable disclosing that you are currently or have in your past held a paid positions or volunteered for an LGBT community organization?
  • Do you include previous work experiences (internships, etc.) that occurred at an LGBT advocacy organization(s)?
  • Is that current or past experience relevant to the job you are applying for?
  • How do you list your achievements from an LGBT organization on your resume?
  • Do you list it as for example an LGBT youth organization or simply a youth organization and if asked which one in the interview process disclose it if you feel comfortable doing so at that time?

Questions you can ask an employer in an interview if their employer website does not specifically state it:

  • Would you say that your company has a diverse employee base?
  • Do you offer domestic partner benefits and or other LGBT related benefits and policies? (if not clearly stated on their website)
  • Does your company/organization have an LGBTQ employee resource support or social group?

Additional considerations for transgender job seekers

Is it OK to use my chosen name on a resume and cover letters are not legal documents? You are not required to list your legal name on either document.

Let’s say your legal name is Stephanie Smith and your chosen name is Darrel Smith. You might consider listing your name as S. Darrel Smith on the resume and cover letter.

Will I have to use my legal name during the Job Search

Unless you have made legal arrangements to change your name, unfortunately, you will need to provide your legal name for the actual job application, background checks, social security documents, and insurance forms. However, most organizations will allow you to use your preferred name for company contact information, email, and phone directory. Human resource professionals are bound by confidentiality and can be a good source of information.

When it comes to dressing for an interview, it is important that you present yourself in a manner that is consistent with the position for which you are applying. Dress professionally for the gender for which you wish to be seen as. This can also help your employer understand which pronouns you wish to use.

The world has changed but not enough

A recent study conducted by the University of Surry demonstrates that discrimination in the hiring process still exists.  In that study the presented the participants with headshot images with the backgrounds removed along with voice samples.  The found that just based on those two bits of information that the participants indicated they were less likely to hire the person and if they did hire them the candidate would be offered less money for the same job with the same skills as someone they perceived as heterosexual.  Additionally, the participants indicated if the candidate already worked for the employer, they would likely be passed over for promotion preferring to promote a heterosexual.

According to a 2013 Queer in STEM study (science, technology, engineering, and math) found that more than 40% of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are not out as LGBTQ in the workplace.

One-third of out American physicists have been told to stay in the closet to continue their career as found in the 2014 Factors Impacting The Academic Climate study.  Half of the transgender or gender non-conforming physicists were harassed in academia (2015 American Physical Society survey).

In the United States laws to protect LGBTQ workers is still spotty today leaving LGBTQ citizens open to blatant discrimination and harassment. This leads to the findings that in the United States alone, nearly 72% of LGBTQ employees suffer mental stress from a workplace that is not LGBTQ friendly or welcoming.

Regardless of actual sexual orientation, another study found that men who do not conform to the stereotypical masculine norm they are penalized by being left out, not promoted and seen as weak.  When women behave in ways that don’t fit their gender stereotype they are viewed as less likable and ultimately less hirable.

Studies find benefits to creating an LGBTQ inclusive workplace

All the while other studies have demonstrated that having LGBTQ in management positions benefits the company/organization.   Further many studies have been done the clearly indicate that companies/organization that create an LGBTQ inclusive workplace benefit from increased productivity, increase employee happiness, increased customer satisfaction and increased revenue.  It’s a win-win-win opportunity for employers who adopt LGBTQ inclusive policies, benefits, and business practices.

Know the LGBTQ legal protections where you live

No matter how you decide to proceed regarding your sexual orientation on your resume, you should do your homework on the employer’s LGBTQ workplace equality you before submitting your application.

Do research on the company’s website as well as other websites listing the company is important to know as much about them and their LGBTQ stance as possible. Know what legal protections are in place in your city, county, state, and country.

Network with other LGBT professionals of all levels

One of the best ways to get the inside scoop on an employer’s workplace LGBT friendliness is to connect with and communicate with an LGBT employee who currently or recently worked there. Don’t know anyone? No problem. Join the OutBüro on the LinkedIn LGBT professional networking group. It was the first and remains the largest LGBT+ professional networking group on LinkedIn with currently over 46,000 global members.

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Like the OutBüro Facebook page and message others who like it. We’ll be considering starting an OutBüro on Facebook group shortly and then you’ll be right there ready to jump in.

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LGBTQ employer ratings/reviews

The main focus of OutBüro is to be a growing resource for LGBTQ job seekers to use the site to research LGBTQ inclusive and friendly potential employers. 

Add LGBTQ Employer Listing Ratings Reviews OutBuro - GBLT Employees Rate Reviews Company Employee Branding - Corporate Workplace Equality Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity Inclusion

Any company/organization

Any size.

Any location in the world

Your voice matters

It needs people just like you to participate. It’s fairly new and we would appreciate you taking a few moments to add reviews/rating of your current and recent past employers. It’s at no cost to you as an employee and it’s anonymous. Your review/rating will help other LGBTQ job seekers in the future during their job hunt company/organization research.

Search to see if your current or recent past employer(s) are present already in the system. If not, you may add it with limited features and then review/rate them.

Check out the below article and user guides to get started:

In the United States

HRC

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If interested in a job at a US Fortune 1000 level company one source is the HRC Corporate Equality Index. This organization and report have been instrumental in moving large companies forward in creating LGBTQ workplace equality. It is however as mentioned limited only to US Fortune 1000. It is also self-reported by those company HR departments with no employee input to our knowledge and definitely, no direct employee feedback on the actual workplace equality and general work culture.

Although not all, OutBüro has heard personally from many LGBT employees over the past few years that once their employer achieved the coveted 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index score that management backs off and the internal efforts dwindle to barely an acceptable level at best. It is awesome and we applaud HRC and all organizations who have achieved and maintain a 100% score. This report is but one view of the employer’s benefits, policies, business practices, and the potential of an LGBT friendly workplace environment. Don’t rely on it as your only.

If outside the United States

As of the updating of this LGBT employee resource article, OutBüro is only aware of one other corporate equality scoring report.

If you are aware of other studies and reports please contact us with a URL to the site so that we may include it within this article and other resource guides on the OutBüro site.

Rainbow Tick

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The Rainbow Tick is a New Zealand national accreditation program for organizations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice, and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Organizations wishing to receive a Rainbow Tick are required to undergo accreditation against the Rainbow Tick Standards, owned and developed by Rainbow Health Victoria (formerly GLHV).

Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index

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Participating employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice. Staff from across the organization also complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work.

Organizations then receive their scores, enabling them to understand what’s going well and where they need to focus their efforts, as well as see how they’ve performed in comparison with their sector and region. The 100 best-performing organizations are celebrated publicly.

Stonewall Diversity Champions benefit from in-depth, tailored feedback on their submission. 

Free & Equal – United Nations

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Violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people cannot be ended by governments alone. Businesses can foster diversity and promote a culture of respect and equality both in the workplace and in the communities where they and their business partners operate. 

The United Nations is calling on companies all over the world – big and small, local and multinational – to help move the dial in the direction of greater equality for LGBTI people.

We know from experience that every time discrimination is diminished, everyone benefits. 

Conclusion

It’s your life, your sexuality, your gender identity, and your career. Only you can make the choice on how out to be on your resume/CV in your new career job search and in the workplace. It’s your choice.

OutBuro Voices Interview Larry Jacobson LGBT Entrepreneur Professional Adventurer Business Life Retirement Coach Out Gay Fisrt to Sail Around the World

Larry Jacobson – Adventurer, Author, Speaker, and Coach

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Be a Guest or Recommend a Guest

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During his six years circumnavigating the globe after departing corporate shores, Larry accumulated priceless and hard-won souvenirs — new insights on how to master your fears and limitations, persevere through the inevitable storms on the way to success, and live out your childhood dreams against all odds. Larry has the distinction of being the first out LGBT person to sail around the world flying a rainbow flag the entire way.

Larry’s dynamic recounting of his incredible experiences and the lessons he’s drawn from them shine a navigational beacon of inspiration for anyone who’s ever aspired to achieve great things in business or in life.

Larry on OutBüro >> https://www.outburo.com/profile/larryjacobson/

“Larry’s satisfaction comes from inspiring you to achieve your goals and make your grandest dreams and visions come true. Through his coaching, speaking, workshops, publications, and video programs, Larry has motivated people worldwide.

The Boy Behind the Gate:

How His Dream of Sailing Around the World Became a Six-Year Odyssey of Adventure, Fear, Discovery, and Love

Boy-Behind-the-Gate-Cover Larry Jacobson First Out LGBT professional sailor to sail around the world lgbtq entrepreneur life retirement business coach outburo

With his first mate and crew, amateur sailor Larry Jacobson embarked on a lifelong goal to circumnavigate the globe. The namesake boy behind the gate is a passionate romantic who, since childhood, yearned to discover what’s out there….

How do some people overcome fears and insecurities to manifest their dreams? What are the characteristics that allow them to completely transform their lives from one of stability to one of uncertainty and adventure? Don’t we all entertain ideas of reinventing ourselves, of having a chance to do it differently and by our own rules?

Willing to risk all, Jacobson spent six years sailing into the unknown where the unrelenting oceans served as a teacher of seamanship, personal strength, and perseverance.

In The Boy Behind the Gate, the author reveals those crucial steps that will motivate you to make your dreams come true. We are each given one great opportunity at life. What are you going to do with yours?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmjeMLkOF

Sail into Retirement (or your passion at any point)

Not quite ready for personalized one-on-one coaching but want to still gain great advice with actionable exercises to create your plan? Sail into Retirement is then for you. The nine Course Modules contain 18 Interactive Videos, 21 Lessons, and Guided Coaching Worksheets in each lesson, that allow you to create your life-style plan on your own, at your own pace. The course is very affordable and provides so much to help you be ready for your next adventure in life.

The value of Sail Into Retirement is not only the information, but also the system Jacobson uses in the online and personal coaching sessions. The lessons build on one another, in a logical order, which ensures you to get the best results.  

From his graduate work in education at the University of California Berkeley, Jacobson understands sequencing of learning, and building a platform of knowledge step by step. He has developed Sail Into Retirement with your success in mind. You will end the course with a plan in hand.

Navigating Entrepreneurship

Online Course

How do you learn to be an entrepreneur?

Description

You can either learn it the hard way — the school of hard knocks — or you can learn it from someone who’s already been there. What’s your time worth? Why not leverage your time by using Larry Jacobson’s 20 years of experience?

Are you prepared to deal with the fears, risks, decision-making, changes, and loneliness of being an entrepreneur? Many of today’s classes, books, and audio programs fail to address these very real challenges.

This powerful course will help you thrive as an entrepreneur as the no nonsense instruction comes from 20 years of real world experience.

You’ll learn how to deal with the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride that can be tough and lonely at times. Larry Jacobson knows what you’re going through.

  • Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
  • Are you managing a one-person venture from home?
  • Are you new to a leadership position?
  • Do you have an online retail, coaching, or other service business? Or perhaps you own a brick and mortar store with employees?
  • Are you losing sleep because of your business life?
  • Do you worry about your business so much that it’s not as fun as you imagined?
  • Do you struggle with pending decisions?
  • Are you an employee working for someone else and want to move up the ladder?
  • Do you feel alone in your pursuit, wishing you had an advisor who understands the challenges you’re facing?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, read on….

After taking this course, you will:

• Increase your self-confidence as a leader of yourself and others.

• Turn your dreams into achievable, measurable goals.

• Reduce your stress level.

• Make your time more effective.

• Make decisions faster and easier.

• Never fear your fears again.

• Truly ENJOY being an entrepreneur!Who this course is for:

  • Most helpful for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who wear many hats in their day to day work life.

What you’ll learn – Navigate the entrepreneurial roller coaster. Students will learn how to turn dreams into goals, how to analyze risks, how to make big decisions on their own, how to deal with change, how to use fear to their advantage, how to persevere, live with passion, lead others, and commit to success. Students will learn proven strategies for goal attainment in any business role.

Requirements

  • No pre-requisities required. Just a desire to succeed in your business and learn from someone who has succeeded as an entrepreneur.

Buoy Coaching

Buoy Coaching Larry Jacobson Retirement Planning Adventurer Life Coach LGBT Entrepreneur Guiding High Achievement Professional in their next life chapter OutBuro

Author and creator of the cutting edge award-winning program, SAIL INTO RETIREMENT. Through an online interactive video classroom or VIP Private Retirement Coaching, Larry helps those at the top of their game ease out of their business and professional career to find their passion, combine it with their skills, expertise, and experience to create their next big step in life.

What are you going to do with your time in retirement? As a businessperson who has been going fast your whole life, we’ll make sure you don’t slam on the brakes and have nothing to do. After nine weeks of online classes or private coaching, you’ll have your Plan of Action for your next big step as you SAIL INTO RETIREMENT.

You’re used to doing what you do—whether it’s being a CEO, General in the army, nurse, or salesperson. Because you’ve done it for so long, and are good at what you do, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else, so you keep on doing the same thing. You say you love your work, but at this point in your life, you don’t know what else you could love doing after work ends. Are you concerned that a life of meaning might slip by? Is a life of true satisfaction slipping through your fingers right now? When will you bear the fruits of all of your hard work? Every day at work, you felt valued, needed, respected, and you contributed your knowledge. When that steady flow of interaction upon which you thrive dries up, how do you expect to transition to tending your roses without difficulty? Most people have difficulty with the transition and many fall into depression. It doesn’t have to be that way. Retirement doesn’t have to mean the end, but rather the beginning of renewal. Will you retire or renew? Financial vs. Non-Financial: Most people have a financial plan for retirement. Most do not have a non-financial plan. Maybe you have enough money to retire or perhaps you still need additional income. Either way, you’re still faced with the question of: How will you spend your days? Without a course to follow, it’s easy to drift aimlessly. Do you have a plan?

Conversation Transcript

The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.

Unknown Speaker 0:02
Hi there, I’m Dennis Velco. With OutBüro voices that is OUTBURO.com. We are very happy today to have someone that I have had several conversations and have had the pleasure of meeting in person. Larry Jacobson. Welcome, Larry to the show.

Unknown Speaker 0:22
Great to be here. Thank you, Dennis.

Unknown Speaker 0:24
Awesome, so much. Why so much appreciate you taking the time out of your weekend, especially to chat with us today. For those of you who don’t know, and I’ll be sure to of course, let Larry tell his story. But Larry’s a very interesting guy. He is the first out gay person, LGBT person to sail around the entire world. Wow, that is going to be an interesting story. But more not not only was that an accomplishment, but the the the lessons Learn the life lessons that he had taken away from that, you know, it’s one thing to accomplish a large task, but then it’s another than to take that task, and then transform it into even more for yourself and more for other people. So we’re going to get into how Larry has not only sailed around the world, but now how he is helping people achieve their dreams, both in business and in retirement. So Larry, thank you so much, again, for joining us today, if you could again, but, you know, for especially those folks who maybe have not heard of you before. Could you give us a little bit of background and context?

Unknown Speaker 1:41
Sure. Well, your introduction was perfect. I should just quit right now. Actually,

Unknown Speaker 1:47
that was really brief. You’ve got a very deep and interesting story.

Unknown Speaker 1:51
Yeah, well, I don’t I don’t think we want to go back as far as we really want to is which is age 13. Except for one element, and that is when I was 13 years old, I taught myself to sail. And three years later, I decided that I was going to sail around the world. I was 16 years old. Wow. Yeah. So I had I kept that dream alive for 3033 30 years. And when I was 46, is when I finally sailed out the Golden Gate headed around the world.

Unknown Speaker 2:24
Okay,

Unknown Speaker 2:25
yeah. So I have spent 20 years in the corporate world in the events planning business. The travel incentive business and taking boobs for mostly high tech companies all around the world on different exciting travel programs. And always in the back of my mind was, you know, what are you doing towards your goal of sailing around the world because that was just my dream. That was my major focus was to do that. So for 20 years I worked and finally I was able to sell the company. And get just enough money to cheese me into thinking that I could sail around the world. I mean, I could buy a boat and leave. And when I say that it means while I still had to borrow the money to buy a boat, and then halfway through the trip, I had to sell my half of the house that I owned with my partner. And so it was just a tease. But that’s because when we left, I thought we were going for maybe one or two years, I really didn’t think about how long it takes to sail around the world. Because I really didn’t have all that knowledge. So I just went,

Unknown Speaker 3:39
Wow. Yeah, very adventure and adventurous without quite, you know, the full full planning. So, so interesting. So it did. So, so it took you if I’m not mistaken, six years total,

Unknown Speaker 3:56
correct. Six years. Just sail all the way around the world. That was four 30,400 nautical miles. Wow.

Unknown Speaker 4:04
And now, it doesn’t seem like it would take that long was it that you stopped in a lot of ports and you know, hung out for

Unknown Speaker 4:12
a while, right? The idea was not to like race around the world quickly, but to see the world and live in different places. And so as we we sell sell from San Francisco to Mexico, and then we took about six months to cross the Pacific, and ended up in New Zealand. And you stayed in New Zealand for about eight months, waiting out the hurricane season, then went back up into the Pacific for another six months, and then back down to Australia, and we stayed in Australia for another eight months. So yeah, so you’re basically following the weather as you go around the world and avoiding the hurricane seasons. And then we lived in other places that we live in Long time we’re in Phuket, Thailand for about two to three months, I think. And in Tel Aviv, Israel for about three months, and then in Turkey for almost a year and Barcelona for a month. And those are the major places that we spent a long time. It was really great to get to not be a tourist but to be part of the community.

Unknown Speaker 5:27
Gotcha. Wow, amazing, an amazing way to see the see the world.

Unknown Speaker 5:32
And we did fly the rainbow flag all the way around the world. We did take it down when we entered pirate alley, which is the Gulf of Aden, just before and going up the Red Sea. And we held he had it down for those for that period. And once we got through the Suez Canal, it’s just overnight sail to Israel. And on our approach to Israel, we put the rainbow flag back up pulled into the Marina. And within about 20 minutes this woman comes by, and she sees a rainbow flag and she points up to it. And she says, Me too. Me too. And he was. And so, Ireson was our first our first gay friend that we found that in Israel, and many more awesome. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 6:23
So

Unknown Speaker 6:26
it’s in your, your, your your real I guess goal of this was just to to see the world as you said it wasn’t like you were trying to you know beat some time record or something like that in Russian was just your your your way of seeing the world?

Unknown Speaker 6:43
Yes, it’s it certainly. I mean it could have I could have done it a lot cheaper by flying first class all the way around the world. Probably staying in Ritz Carlton’s, but this was what what I had always wanted to do and having Been a sailor my whole life and this is, you know, this is the Everest for a sailor This is the ultimate. And it doesn’t matter that if whether you’re trying to race around the world or go slowly, they say about on an average year 60 people are so completely circumnavigation. Really compared to the hundreds who climbed Mount Everest. Yeah, it’s just because it’s that difficult to get a boat around the world because of the weather challenges, breakdowns. And when you’re out for six years, everything breaks. You have salt, water and sun it corrodes everything and so you have a lot of breakdowns and just the not only breakdowns of the equipment but there are some emotional times as well when it it becomes so difficult of a challenge doing what we’re doing that you just want to break down and cry and just say oh my god, forget it. Yeah, oh here and go home. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 8:00
Yes, I could, I could definitely imagine that because you’re on a small vessel relatively small in comparison to living in a house much smaller. Yeah. And you’re with the same people are saying very small group of people or in a very extended amount of time.

Unknown Speaker 8:17
Yes.

Unknown Speaker 8:18
And that alone as we have found, you know, through this COVID situation that we’re now living with, you know, most people are used to going to their, you know, work every day and coming home and being even just being trapped in that, you know, in and around your home in the house with the same people in your family. Yeah, you can go a little bit stir crazy.

Unknown Speaker 8:40
Yeah. Oh, well, we say that a one year on board a boat together is like a dog year. Okay, so if so, it’s seven, so six years. I was with my partner at the time, Ken for for most of the trip. That was six years. So times. You know Seven is 42 years and then at the the gay gay years on top of that very is

Unknown Speaker 9:10
right What is it? I’ve heard different numbers like one gay relationship year is like three or four and the heterosexual world. So add, add that then multiply or multiply that then multiply you’re on the boat thing. So that’s like oh my gosh, over 100 years, like being together. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 9:34
Most of the people that we met who were who were doing what we were doing ended up divorced at the end of their trip. I think I think us and two other couples that I know stayed together. And then we were together for Ken and I were together for five years more after the trip. And then then we finally call it quits. Okay, no, still

Unknown Speaker 10:00
So what are so let’s kind of, you know, your now or you have been kind of taken that and you you wrote a book about your experiences. And I would recall that when we were had the opportunity when you were visiting Fort Lauderdale last year to finally meet in person after having had several phone conversations together. And you talked about how, during the course of your your journey, you you, it finally struck you to begin journaling. Yes. Yeah. And so talk about that a little bit and maybe talk about, you know, some of the significant or key points that made you realize that, you know, there’s a book here about leadership because that’s ultimately it from what I have gathered what your book is really about.

Unknown Speaker 10:58
It is it’s an The book is called the boy behind the gate. And it’s called, it’s, well, I still get emails from people. I’ve almost every week from a new reader saying, because of your book, thank you, I did.dot.so. It’s very motivating, in empowering people that will I did this and I was just a regular guy. So what what is it that you want to do? And why can’t you do that? And so it puts a lot. I think it’s very empowering in that sense. And the other thing is that it is about leadership in the sense that when I left a sail out underneath the Golden Gate, there were four other people on board. And I can remember there’s a little snippet in the book about this sailing under the gate. And just looking around and seeing these other four people and realizing holy crap. I’m the captain here. And I told I remember telling myself two things. One, I really have to pee. And the second one was, well, if you’re going to be captain, you better start acting like one. And, yeah, and that happens like on day one. And, you know, there’s just it became the number the my a priority to get the boat around the world and everything that I could think of and everything that I could see and do and touch on any daily basis had to be toward that goal, whether that could mean solving a crew problem. I remember that when the crossing specifically had an issue between two crew members. I’m wondering who they are. And I put them into my cabin, my locked cabin in the back of the boat and I say don’t come out and tell your friends again. And, and it worked. Yeah, it worked. And you know the other thing about leadership on board of voters and empowering others. Even though there’s only one captain, you learn that captaining is not telling people what to do, but empowering them to do the right thing. Very good. Absolutely. And, yeah, so for the most part, you know, I left things not really sure who I would be continuing the trip with. But Ken, at the time, was a good friend and sailing buddy. And he came along, and we ended up spending the next six years together, a spark from a time when he left and came back, but that’s all in the book. That’s the juicy stuff, by the way for the listeners. Not that. Yeah, when he left when he came back and all the romance that follows and everything. But Ken and I became a pretty well oiled machine and we could sail this boat, just the two of us did was a 50 foot boat, 25 tons, a big boat, and just the two of us, just the Without without shouting without yelling at each other a lot by hand signals when when we would come into an anchorage we never yell like, like we saw all other couples going back up no do this not do that everything that we did was hand signals. I was at the wheel, he was on the bow. And between our hand signals, we got the whole thing done without saying a word people were just amazed.

Unknown Speaker 14:28
Oh, very, very, very interesting. Learning to adapt your communication while still getting the job done.

Unknown Speaker 14:37
Yes, exactly. I mean, there’s we’re also scuba divers. And so you’ve learned to communicate underwater with hand signals. And so yeah, it was, you know, as a leader, I tried to make it a good place to be on board the boat, for whether it was for myself for Canada and for our guests. When we cross it Three oceans, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Atlantic. We had two other crew members with us. Just for the sleep factor, though we can actually get some real sleep. But the hardest passages, I’m just trying to answering, in my mind the questions that people want to know. But the hardest passages we’re not crossing the oceans a lot when we cross the Pacific Ocean. It took us 21 days. And that was one of my favorite days. Wow, the difficult passages were three, four or five days when they were just Ken and I, and we were in and out of islands and reefs and areas like down in Southeast Asia, Fiji and places like that. That was a really difficult exhausting sailing. And we we had a system where it was just the two of us. We were three hours on three off, three on three off, three on three off, and that just goes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Wow. You

Unknown Speaker 16:00
Yeah. Does that mean if it were just the two of you that it was one was on for three, while the other was sleeping for three to essentially? One person manning the boat?

Unknown Speaker 16:10
Exactly. Wow. Yeah, exactly.

Unknown Speaker 16:14
And so was the difficult portion down in those in the Pacific area and the Pacific Island area that you’ve mentioned was that because of the reefs and the dangers of it, versus being in the open water?

Unknown Speaker 16:27
Correct, right. And the saying goes, it’s, it’s not the ocean that gets you it’s the hard bits around the edges. So it’s land that is a problem for a boat. And so we know you’re very close proximity, like sailing up inside the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, two days after day after day, too many reefs to be as to sail at night. Some of them are Uncharted, and so you’re having to read the water and find a new Anchorage. Every night and yeah, so it was was challenging. Wow. But great fun.

Unknown Speaker 17:07
Yeah, uh wow it I mean, what an incredible experience, you know that that’s been, you know not many people as you’ve also recovered about not many people take on those kind of life experience big moment challenges in their life and, you know, that seems to be a lot what you are have transitioned into and, and helping be a life coach, business coach and retirement coach and saying to you know, people who have worked their life and whatever careers you know, even folks of high accomplishment doctors, attorneys, executives and so forth and they’re looking at retirement, and, you know, that could Be quite challenging because it’s like, what the world am I going to do with the rest of your life when you could have quite a long life to live depending on when you retire?

Unknown Speaker 18:10
Absolutely. And you know what happened to the way I got into coaching and coaching people who are retiring, or at least in transition to their next big thing in life is when I came back, and I spent three years writing the book, and book was published in a one six literary awards within the first year. And yeah, and so that made my mother very happy. So that was a good thing. Yeah. And so then I got a call from a friend of mine, who is a CEO. And he said, Hey, Larry, I’ve got a question for you. And he wanted to ask me some questions about this business. So I went in and saw him and he’s and as with most business, executive coaching, the person doesn’t really want to ask you Hey, how do I run my business? So can you help me with this balance sheet or something like that? No, what they’re asking you about is more people issues. How do I deal with john, what should I do about this particular moral dilemma I’m in. But this person said, Hey, Larry, I wanna I want to ask you is, what am I going to do when I retire? And how did you do it? How did you let go of everything, including your identity of who you were as an executive, to change and to go sailing? And is there a process for that? And I said, well, gee, not that I know of, but I’ll think about it. Then I got a call from another friend who is the CEO. And the same thing happened. He asked me the same questions. And I thought, okay, I’m onto something here. And so I said, I took the next year and I reverse engineered all the steps that I went through to retire to be able to leave my career. My income, my security, my home my identity of who I was. And I documented these steps. And then I created the video program. sailings retirement, which is an online interactive video programs, the first one, and it takes you from see what am I gonna do with the rest of my life, all the way through to I have a plan and take walks you through all the steps. And it’s not the physical steps like save X amount of dollars. It’s a non financial, I don’t talk about money at all. But it’s it’s steps of, for example, what’s your vision and teaching people how to how to dream and how to vision and what they can imagine for themselves. And then turning that into those visions and goals. And then figuring out what you’re good at what you’re not good at. and then and then managing your fears, because fears, you know, fear stops so many people from so many things.

Unknown Speaker 20:57
Absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 20:58
Yeah. So this Uh, you know, those are the kinds of steps that it takes you through. And I’m just very proud of that program. I love it. So,

Unknown Speaker 21:09
yeah, and I love that you don’t focus necessarily on the money there. I mean, certainly having the finances to accomplish you know what you want. Important. But then there’s also other people who help you do that if you need help to do it, under understanding your why understanding the What drives you, what are you interested in? What is really going to make you happy? Yes. You know, so many people go through their life working in a career, that they’re really not that passionate about. Right, that they may not have even they may have stumbled into the career or let’s say they’re even a you know, successful doctor or attorney or something they might have gotten into that career because that’s what their family expected.

Unknown Speaker 21:59
Right? And

Unknown Speaker 22:00
You know, it wasn’t necessarily their passion. And although many are not, you know, let’s, you know, be clear about that. But, you know, being able to take that time where, unlike you not even waiting till you’re, you know, in what you would call your typical retirement years, right? You took that opportunity to say, Look, I’ve had this this passion, this dream, and what do I need to do to accomplish this while I still have the opportunity and the strength and stamina to actually do it, and enjoy it? Yeah, come out on the other side.

Unknown Speaker 22:42
Exactly. And it and deciding what am I willing to give up for that dream? Right, in my case, it was pretty much all pretty much everything you know, I mean, I it was career suicide, of course. And You know, it was deciding that the life is not, you know, it’s enough, as we all know, it’s not getting any longer. You never know what’s going to happen. And if you have the opportunity to make your dream come true, take it. If you don’t know what your dream is, you don’t know what your passion is. And that is something for a lot of people, they don’t know what they want to do. You know, you know, always everyday that you are trying to help people to, you know, help people in our community. And I’m now trying to, to help people realize their own dreams and make their dreams come true. And I help people to do that. And that’s where I get my satisfaction from now. But some people don’t know what they want to do. And so I run them through what’s called my passion quiz. And it has all these questions about, you know, digs deep into finding out what it is someone really wants to do, by the way, that’s free on my website. If people want

Unknown Speaker 24:01
to awesome, and you know, and because I spent most day kind of catching up, because it has been a while, almost a year since you and I had last time together, and I saw that program, and one it’s very affordable.

Unknown Speaker 24:19
Hello, Sandra $100 or so? Yes.

Unknown Speaker 24:22
Yeah, so very affordable for people and I almost, you know, in doing that and hearing you talk now, you know, sell into your retirement, it’s I’m kind of getting the sense that it’s, it’s doesn’t have to be necessarily about retirement, it’s more sell into your dream. You’re selling to your passion.

Unknown Speaker 24:44
So it’s great. And recognizing that that that is valid. That is it’s just as valid to pursue your passion as it is to pursue going, you know, to a job that you don’t like every day, and you should be pursuing it because you don’t know what’s going to happen.

Unknown Speaker 25:00
Absolutely, I think it’s more valid actually. And you know, especially, you know, in entrepreneurial ism, or you know, even if you are going if you’re working, you know, in a, you know, regular job, you know, if you really love for example, helping people and you have had personal family crisis with cancer and you can’t be the oncologist but you go to become a, you know, radiation technician or something or even homeopathic person, and you then work with people who have that that’s very rewarding, and it’s been focused in and around your passion of helping people with cancer, if that’s, you know, what it is, you know, everyone has their different things. And it’s so sad that the vast majority of people and I can say this without even citing statistics or anything It’s just, I know this to be true. And I challenge anyone to prove me wrong on this. But the vast majority of people are not working or living and doing what they’re passionate about.

Unknown Speaker 26:15
Totally agree.

Unknown Speaker 26:16
And so so this is an opportunity for all of our listeners to regardless again, don’t get hung up on the naming of sale into your retirement, just think of it as sale into your passion. From the show notes, it’s already listed there on the page. So if if you are no matter what level you are, you could even be 18 years old and looking at what you should be doing in your in your future career. You could be 30 years old and having your first mini midlife crisis and wondering

Unknown Speaker 26:53
right What the

Unknown Speaker 26:54
fuck am I gonna do the rest of my life. Trust me, it’s not the price, not the last time that’s going to

Unknown Speaker 27:01
And you’re talking with someone who have reinvented himself several times. And you

Unknown Speaker 27:06
have and successfully and you recognize that his life is not static, and you don’t have to do the same thing all the time. And, and and go do that. Yeah, part of it is the decision making process is that, you know, I will say that making no decision is a decision. It is. And a lot of people just don’t make the decision when they don’t realize that they are, in fact, making a decision. And I think that gets

Unknown Speaker 27:33
back to your point of fear. You know, people have a very rooted, deep rooted, fear of change and fear of the unknown. Yes. And so, utilizing your your very affordable coursework online, could help them identify that their passion help them identify those fears have you mentioned and create a plan for reaching for it?

Unknown Speaker 28:07
Yes, exactly. And it’s good that you mentioned that fear, you know, that was a subject of my first TED talk was about fear. And it’s titled passion Trumps fear. Okay, well, I wish I hadn’t quite used that exact wording now.

Unknown Speaker 28:29
Right.

Unknown Speaker 28:32
Yeah. And, and I was talking about how, I mean, I was pretty much afraid for six years, on a daily basis. I mean, there was always something that that to be afraid of. And what I learned was that fear is just is to be accepted and embraced. It’s nature’s way of making us focus on the task at hand. And you don’t plow through your fears. You don’t conquer your fears, you know, knocked down the wall of fear. You know, this is what other philosophers have to say. It’s not what I believe. I believe that they’re that when you’re standing at the wheel in front of a 30 foot wave, I mean, 30 foot seas. You can’t say it, you know, well, I’m not afraid. Because it’s bullshit you are. everybody’s afraid of that situation. You have to be crazy not to be afraid. But you learn to use the tools that fear is giving you to maximize your situation. So it’s making you sharp, it’s making you attend attentive. It’s making you really focused on the situation. And it’s, it’s a it’s a method of dealing with fear that I believe is the right one.

Unknown Speaker 29:46
Okay, I unders I definitely understand you. And

Unknown Speaker 29:52
I think it’s also too a matter of recognizing, recognizing that fear and acknowledging that that’s what it is. And

Unknown Speaker 30:02
that’s the first step is to recognize the fear. And the second step is to accept it.

Unknown Speaker 30:07
Understand, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 30:10
And you know, like so many people too they they they live in a cortisone heightened constant state of stress. And part of that is is fear based, you know, fear of their, their job, fear, fear and anxiety in relationships. And, you know, when, when you take the boldness, and, you know, like even, you know, in, in our own kind of tying it to the LGBT, you know, lives. You know, sometimes we have relationships, whether that’s direct family members or other people in our lives, that create this this sense of social conditioning that make you almost live in fear or two live in a state of not being your full, true, authentic self. And that is a fear based response. You’re not living your fullest and who you are. And the majority of that is fear based your, your you’re afraid of losing your job. You’re you’re afraid of what your evangelical right wing parent is going to say. Right? You know, and everyone is on their own journey. But at some point you have to say, you know, no, I’m worth it. I’m worth being myself, and I’m worth going after my dreams.

Unknown Speaker 31:41
Yes.

Unknown Speaker 31:43
Putting those kinds of things in their place, so that that fear does not control you any longer. You are now the captain of your own ship.

Unknown Speaker 31:55
Yes, you are. You’re the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.

Unknown Speaker 31:59
Absolutely. Little lay Absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 32:01
And it’s, uh, you know, going, we left right after 911 happened. Okay. And so that was not really a great time to leave. And I remember one of my brothers saying, well, you’re not actually going to go now, are you? I mean, it’s not exactly the best time to be an American sailing around the world. And he goes, are you going to fly the American flag? And I said, well, we’re going to fly the American flag, and we’re going to fly the rainbow flag. And he just kind of slaps his forehead. He goes, Oh my God, why don’t you just put a target on your sail?

Unknown Speaker 32:37
And I said, Well, that’s just the way it is, you know, and it’s funny, um,

Unknown Speaker 32:43
our experiences, you know, for being openly gay as we went around the world. Were really, for the most part, excellent. I mean, nobody really cared. And we found that being gay and the rest of the world was was just fine. Because you know what?

Unknown Speaker 33:02
I think you have your phone on your desk buzzy in

Unknown Speaker 33:10
the garbage, no worries that was just vibrating. And I think your your mic is right there. So we were hearing during that buzz. So say yes. So you know it how to say it is the Was it the best time to do it? Maybe not, but maybe, you know, it’s it’s standing up standing up and out for who you are. Yeah. And, you know, in everything in life, there’s risks, right? Yes, it is. There’s there’s risk

Unknown Speaker 33:47
reward.

Unknown Speaker 33:48
Yeah, I mean, come on. There’s there’s risk getting in your car driving three miles to the grocery store and back.

Unknown Speaker 33:55
That’s right.

Unknown Speaker 33:56
Exactly. Yeah. And that’s just the car in today’s world. COVID there’s risk, you know, apparently getting within six feet and breathing the same air of someone, there’s risk and everything. And it’s a matter of are you going to let those risks create the fear that keeps you from achieving what you want to achieve?

Unknown Speaker 34:20
Exactly, exactly. And and we all know that risk. Risk means often means sacrifice. So are you are you going to risk something for somebody else that you want, like becoming a great violinist means you have to risk the fact that you’re not going to be going out with your friends on Fridays and Saturdays. And instead you’re going to be practicing, you know, that kind of thing. So there’s always risk associated with any achievement, whether it be small or large. And I just try to encourage people to realize that your achievement, you know, this big achievement

Like sailing around the world, sometimes is hard for people to relate to, because it was such a big thing. But I try to, you know, want people to know that it you know, you don’t have to sail all the way around the world to have an adventure, you know, and to fulfill your dreams and pursue your passions. You might want to open up a little coffee shop in the store on the corner and that was your dream. You might want to help your, you know, your nephews soccer team or something like that. I mean, there’s all kinds of ways to to get fulfillment and passion. The one caution that I always like to have is that Be careful not to mistake multiple pleasures for purpose and fulfillment. So when so some when someone, let’s take someone who’s retiring and they go in and I said, What are you going to do when you retire? Well, I’m going to, I’m going to sleep late travel and play golf. Okay, or play whatever, you know, that’s a pretty typical answer. And then my question is Of course, well then what are you gonna do after that? Where’s your fulfillment and your purpose credit come from? and usually it takes someone about six months to a year into retirement to realize that they are missing purpose and fulfillment. And then that often comes the quickest fix for that is to help others.

Unknown Speaker
Right?

Unknown Speaker
Whether you give back teaching or volunteer or how or or right your experiences or something, but feel like you’re, we’re feel like you’re part of something larger than yourself. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
right. Every everyone does typically need to feel that sense of purpose. And, of course, there are organizations out there such as score, where folks who have retired and volunteer and work with young entrepreneurs. Yeah, I would also like to know Make sure that everyone here is aware and or remind you that on your professional profile on out bureau o UT bu r o calm, you are actually able to indicate whether you would like to be a mentor. And then a brief description about the areas that are you that you are open to being a mentor on, of course, including the rest of your profile. You’re also then able to indicate whether you would like to be a mentee whether you know you’re open to having a mini tour, and the specific areas that you are looking for to help in whatever those are. And via the member search, you are able to find each other justic Thank you.

Unknown Speaker
I mean that is this that’s that gives people the opportunity to to Yeah, to mentor to help. You just want to, you know, you have all this wisdom that we’ve earned in our lives. Do we have knowledge? That’s one thing, but as all, you know, as an older person, okay, I’m not that old for the radio, listening. Um, but in addition to knowledge, you have wisdom. And if I might, if I might explain the difference.

Unknown Speaker
Absolutely.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. So knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

Unknown Speaker
True.

Unknown Speaker
That’s, that’s funny.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, yeah. And you know, I would, I would kind of elaborate on that is that and maybe this came from experience. Knowledge is is, for example, reading a book on search engine optimization. You can Read a book. You can read a book about anything and you could gain knowledge. Right? But the wisdom comes from experience.

Unknown Speaker
Exactly. And often that experience has been laden with mistakes along the way. Oh yes.

Unknown Speaker
Like putting tomato in a salad. And so when you are open to learning from others, and being open to being a mentee and having someone guide you and coach you, on areas that you know, aren’t your strengths and where you are trying to improve upon, it’s taking it’s leveraging their wisdom, because of the lessons learned and hard knocks that they have achieved and hopefully You then don’t have to make those same mistakes.

Unknown Speaker
Exactly. And, you know, when I wrote

Unknown Speaker
my I wrote another book,

Unknown Speaker
navigating entrepreneurship. I don’t know if you can see that. There it is. We’ll have it on the

Unknown Speaker
site.

Unknown Speaker
And the reason I wrote that one was because I was getting a lot of questions from people about who are doing startups and starting up their small business, and they think we’re hitting them. You know, being an entrepreneur, as you know, is quite a roller coaster ride. And so in that book, navigating entrepreneurship, I address the roller coaster and walk people through the different aspects that they’re going to be experiencing during when they’re starting up their business. And change is one of them and being proactive versus reactive and no just tips on that because I wanted my wisdom to be out there.

Unknown Speaker
Awesome, yes, we will definitely have a link to that. And of course links to your websites where then that will also be on there. You know, and I’d like to add, you know, being an entrepreneur, especially, you know, especially a bootstrap, you know, solo entrepreneur, you know, it’s a tough life. It’s a, you know, like right now out Bureau is, is, it’s still just me at this point. And, you know, having had and I do everything so from the technical website stuff to the content creation to the search engine optimization that needs to be done so people find it to these interviews, yes, and, and, and editing and everything else in between and, and that can become a little over overwhelming and it’s, you know, it’s like to your point earlier where you had to set a daily A task of saying, What am I going to do today? That drives me to my goal? Right? And as an entrepreneur and a startup entrepreneur, I think that’s a very important lesson, Larry, is because there are so many things, you know, there’s the, your technical, there’s the the the practical, the practical things of things to do. There’s the marketing, there’s the accounting, hopefully. Hopefully soon, yeah, hopefully soon. There, there there’s legal You know, there’s so many things you have to wear so many hats and or be able to afford to hire people to do those things and it becomes very overwhelming. And so, a good lesson for all entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs out there and those wanting to follow your dream is like, you know, Some days I get overwhelmed. Yes. And and what I do though is is similar to you is, I have a I have a set thing that I look at every day and I said, What am I going to achieve today? or What am I going to achieve tomorrow, that builds upon what I have been doing, and continues to drive out the arrow in the direction that I am wanting to go. Now I’ll be honest, I never achieve everything that I plan to watch. I’ve always have put more on my plate than is humanly possible. But I always achieved something literally every single day. Right? That’s right. cluding this on a Saturday?

Unknown Speaker
Yep. And the largest emission that you could ever imagine. Is can be broken down into multiple steps. And you just have to take that first step and once you take The first step Doesn’t it seem that you kind of are on a, like a railroad, you know, runaway freight train just kind of careening down this track? And it’s happening and you almost feel like it’s dragging you sometimes. You’re not Yeah, and that you’re not steering it, you know?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, yes, that has happened, that has definitely happened more often than once. And, you know, so so folks looking at, you know, hopefully taking your, you know, your course on sailing into their, their dream, and looking at even, you know, especially now in code, you know, the COVID world, it’s really a great time actually, to start a business especially, even if you, you know, been laid off from work, because, you know, really that’s it depending on what kind of business you’re wanting to start. Now. You know, if you’re obviously if you’re wanting to be the next, you know, Diamond in Port retailer in your state,

Unknown Speaker
hello. That’s going to take a lot of money, right?

Unknown Speaker
There’s so many businesses out there that you are able to do and and do it depending on your skills for very little money I you know, like I’ve never been I’m not really don’t even consider myself now a web applications developer I’ve been but you know the entire site even with its flaws and even with its, you know, technical issues that I have had and I’ve overcame most, I’ve done it all. I have learned it all. And whenever I’m talking to the developers of the two sides of the house, they can never pull any wool over my eyes because I know and or I will investigate. And, you know, also, you know, as a small business when you’re looking at your website, there’s there’s many free tools out there like WordPress and free templates, and so forth to do writing your own content is free. Doing the videos like this on zoom, it’s free. You’re doing that great backgrounds that you and I both have behind us is via Canva. That’s free. Right? And there’s there’s so many tools out there. There’s video editing software that’s free. You don’t even have to pay for Microsoft Office. There’s Libra office, which is free.

Unknown Speaker
But you wish you had told me that?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, yeah, now I am. And of course, there’s Google, you know, Docs and so forth. I mean, there’s so many there are so technology has ended the freemium versions. Now you may not unselect Canva. For example, I use Canva. But I don’t and there’s a premium version I still have I still get everything done with their everything that they have for free. Yeah, right. I don’t I don’t currently pay for that particular service. There’s lots of services that I use that I see Just use the free version now eventually I’d love to upgrade. But I’m just trying to make sure that you know, everyone here listening, you know, can say, you know, holy, holy shit absolute, you know for a moment I can do this

Unknown Speaker
thing. Yeah, exactly think about it if I

Unknown Speaker
can build a group on LinkedIn of 46 and a half thousand global members that by the time you probably listen to this here in a few weeks, I have been told and I have provided all the materials to LinkedIn, they’re going to be featuring the group at the end of the month for pride. us first time in link in my groups 12 year history that LinkedIn has done that. Oh, so it’s about putting in the work. Nothing comes easy, and nothing comes for free. So let me just add that go get Larry’s training program. Ram, under 100 bucks, you can put yourself on the right course. But you also have to realize it’s about putting in your work. There there is no there is no instant, you know, gratification here, right?

Unknown Speaker
I was neither words nor worry affect outcome only action does exactly.

Unknown Speaker
My stain on that is magic and miracles happen when you have faith, faith in yourself and you take action. That’s right, because those who only have faith are rewarded a warm seat

Unknown Speaker
is very true. You get

Unknown Speaker
off your ass and do it. That’s my motto.

Unknown Speaker
It looks like right now in this crisis. I wish that I was approached by an entrepreneur saying hey I do in home haircuts because look at this how

Unknown Speaker
That’s a whole business I could use a haircut.

Unknown Speaker
Oh my goodness. You’re still Yeah, you’re in California guys, your your hair salon still have it opened up?

Unknown Speaker
No. It’s been a long time. I mean, I’m running on a gel.

Unknown Speaker
Oh my goodness too interesting. Well, my sister unfortunately. She’s in Lakeland, Florida. She is a hairstylist and she actually within one week of lockdown, she started visiting all of our customers at home.

Unknown Speaker
Oh, see? That’s brilliant. Yeah, absolutely. And it could be happening here. I just don’t know about it. But okay.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, Kepler was so very cool. So Larry, we will I so much appreciate you coming on with us today. Very Good to see you again. Obviously, hopefully next time you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area. We’ll get together for lunch or dinner

Unknown Speaker
like and when your issue was gone.

Unknown Speaker
I would love that set. Hopefully we’ll get some early adopters here. companies and of course some are based out in that area. Would you have to come out to San Francisco again?

Unknown Speaker
I’m gonna throw one more thing out which is that on my website all over it. Larry Jacobson comm there are places where you can click to contact me. And I offer a complimentary exploratory coaching session to anybody. Oh, wonderful. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
And just like a 30 minute

Unknown Speaker
30 to 40 minutes and we’ll find it you know, see where you are. Maybe where you want to go to and kind of map out how we would get there. Just as an exploratory to see if they’re up for having a coach. I’m personally believe everybody needs a coach. I have a coach.

Unknown Speaker
Absolutely. And that’s where I so far I pay you a coach. Yesterday was a career coach. Last week had a holistic health coach. Excellent. So I personally have also, in my past have had the the fortune of having a coach for a year that was actually paid for by my employer, and the time and that coach worked with the entire infrared Information Technology Department.

Unknown Speaker
And that’s what

Unknown Speaker
started and I was long time ago, I was only 29 years old at the time. And that’s what was my first introduction to life in business coaching, kind of span both. And so it was a really wonderful experience. It helped open my eyes. And it was because one of the things after week we went through the whole Myers Briggs you know, And a couple other things. And it was about our about our fourth, third or fourth time that he and I were sitting down together. It was interesting again, I was still young, prior army working in my technology field and and that which actually led to a long career and it was partly from his advice. Because he said, you’re doing stuff that’s completely new. You’re creating totally new processes for this entire organization. You’re a very driven young man at the time. And how come you’re not out doing this for others? How come you’re sitting in this office with this paycheck, you should be earning three, four or 510 times this amount. Wow. And so he is the one who challenged me to I then did go become a director at a consulting firm, doing what I used to do, helping large companies understand how they own and manage their technology, business process consultants, etc. And it was from part of that foundation in my military expense experience of Sergeant Harry Tucker, who is one of the most influential people of my life. And he taught me very early. Again, not to I’m going to say exactly what he said today might sound a little, you know, sexist, or whatever, I won’t, but I will say exactly what he said. Be a man, tell me what you are going to do. And I will tell you if I have a problem with it. never asked me permission for anything because if you do, the answer will always be no. Whoo. Isn’t that amazing?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, wow. It is amazing. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
I was 18 years old.

Unknown Speaker
When Sergeant Harry Tucker came into my life I was stationed in our shopping Burg Germany. And was very interesting because he was a pagan. And everyone feared him. He was rather short. I’m 510 he was probably by three ish, heavy set. So he was a bit round. But boy, let me tell you that man commanded a presence like he was six foot four

Unknown Speaker
is great. The influence that he had on you?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, yeah, it is. I mean, I constantly talk about him and one other person who, who’s actually from Columbus, Ohio, who now also lives in Fort Lauderdale. And his name is Steven Shellenberger second most influential person, man in my life. And he he’s one One of the top 10 LGBT rights activists of the state of Ohio is now a little into his 70s. But way back shortly after my ex and I had, I’d already been out of the military, Chris of my 20s was from Columbus, Ohio. So we move there. We actually are in two books. Because of his. He was kicked out of the military because of our relationship and we fought and gotten an honorable discharge. And so we were the poster boys for the don’t ask, don’t tell campaign in the state of Ohio during that whole period 1991 ish. And because of that political activism back then we ran town hall meetings. We were very involved politically in the Columbus Ohio area. So that’s how we met Stephen Shellenberger and he used to be a high school teacher. He and his partner built a business selling antiques just because of their hobby. That’s what they did together they wish

Unknown Speaker
they built their I

Unknown Speaker
going to garage sales and then reselling, for profit. But, but this guy started buying back in the day, just south of downtown Columbus, Ohio, and the largest contagious historic district in the United States called a German village. Beautiful, beautiful area, cobblestone streets and so forth. Well, he was buying it back in the 70s and 80s. For like, $1 a house from the city and take over the taxes. And then and then the refurbish them, I mean, you can’t touch any of those houses for like, under six 700,000 plus a million, you know, kind of places and So by the time I got to meet Stephen, he had already had all this success and it but it was building it based on his passion, things that he enjoyed doing and things that he had he could do. And it was actually stuff that he and his partner who died of HIV that they did together. And I really just admired him and how much he dedicated his his life to the LGBT community and equality. Equal Rights in the state of Ohio and, and nationally. And so one day sitting having a hamburger with my ex and I sitting at this place called maxima in the village, had German village and I asked him, I said, Steven, how did you how do you do this? How do I do this? How do I replicate what you’ve done and he just very casually without any He just said, well, Dennis, it’s simple. Do what you’re passionate about.

Unknown Speaker
If you do what you’re passionate about,

Unknown Speaker
it’ll drive you.

Unknown Speaker
It won’t seem like work you’ll work your ass off and the money will follow. Yeah. And so say yes. I just to share with you and our listeners that great little story. Shortly after I moved to Fort Lauderdale, and now in January a year ago, I you know, working on out bureau again, getting back to that entrepreneurial thing, working my tail off every day.

Unknown Speaker
It’s, it’s, it’s working.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, it’s working. But I got to share this how the universe comes together, you know, when you believe in yourself. And so it was about three months or so after I had moved there. And some people in for in Fort Lauderdale. Come there, you know, seasonally, so I had not. So at any rate, it just note that and so one day, I’m like Like, oh my gosh, I’ve started out bureau on what little bit of savings I had for my divorce and selling the house. I put everything into it. I you know, I’m like staring at a finite bank account. And you know, just stuff going on craziness going on. And so I started, it was literally on a Tuesday afternoon at 330 I sat down in my living room that my duplex that I had there and was meditating I’m like, you know, universe, you need to show me a sign that I’ve made the absolute worst decision in my life. That moving to Fort Lauderdale was a great choice for me. And you know me, it can’t be some little butterfly fluttering around. It can’t be a dragon fly laying on my shoulder. Lightning. You need to punch me in the nose. Do you know I am not kidding. I was at 330 to four o’clock in the afternoon, at seven o’clock, I went to a local bar who also serves food. And most a lot of them do there. And I’m sitting at the edge of the bar. And all of a sudden this gentleman walks up to the bar and orders another glass of white wine. And I look at him. And Steven is always wearing very distinct round glasses. Very, you know, avant garde cheeky looking glasses. It’s been his signature look for years. So I look at him and I’m like, I haven’t seen this job. This man in over eight years. I’m like, Steven, and he looked at me, he goes, Dennis, and I’m like, Oh my god, I get up. I’m like, Hello, go over. Give him a big big hug. I’m like, oh my god. Steven, are you here? visiting? He goes, No, hon, I live here half time. I’m not about to move here full time. I’m like,

Unknown Speaker
Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
I now have met so many people. It’s one thing I love about Fort Lauderdale people are from all over. I now have. So I’ve known Steven since 1991. I’ve run into other people that I have known just as long from Columbus, Ohio, I’ve actually ran into a friend from Germany. And, you know, what that just did for me is whatever your sign is, whatever, you need to confirm you that you’re on the right path. It will come but first you have to get on your right path.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, right. Yeah. You a path. It might not even be the right path.

Unknown Speaker
At first. So true.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. And you just have to take a step, take that first step. Whatever. That’s it. Once you’ve defined where you’re gonna go, then it’s a matter of knowing it’s going to take steps to get there. Take the first step. You know, I always say that I’ve achieved pretty much everything I’ve set out to achieve in my life. So my next question is, have I set out to achieve enough? And so, so I’m always looking for to take that first step towards the next thing,

Unknown Speaker
when that is that that is the key point is, you know, you just can’t dream it. You just get magic and miracles happen when you take action.

Unknown Speaker
That’s right,

Unknown Speaker
exactly. Good on you. You have to take action, because otherwise nothing happens.

Unknown Speaker
And I just want I love the idea of empowering people. And I want people to know that, you know, I’m just a regular guy who wanted to go sailing. And so I ended up sailing around the world and being the first gay person to do that. Well, yeah, that’s a big deal. But that’s only a big deal to me, really, because I’m the one who wanted to sail around the world. Whatever it is. Somebody else wants to do. That’s their big deal. And they can they can do it. I’m just a regular guy. I don’t have any special skills. I still don’t have enough skills to sail around the world. I’ve already done it. You know, so if I if I waited to get all the skills necessary to go sailing around the world, I’d still wouldn’t have left.

Unknown Speaker
So true. You got it. You got to take and learn along the way.

Unknown Speaker
Exactly.

Unknown Speaker
Yep. So so cool was well, wow, we’ve had a great conversations later, Larry. And

Unknown Speaker
as always, we can never we need another beer.

Unknown Speaker
Well, the copies and coffee and beer that’d be great. Was the thank you so much for joining me today. Always good to have a chat with you. We started a few years ago, talking on the phone. I got the opportunity to meet in person and now today we get to start doing this where others get to get a little bit of insight From the different experiences and knowledge and hopefully wisdom, yes, you know, hopefully we can help the world just a little bit. Absolutely. Well Larry, again, thank you so much for taking time out of your Saturday to chat with us. And it’s for everyone listening. Thank you so much for tuning in. You will find this video episode on out bureau comm that is O UT bu r o comm you will find that by clicking podcast up at the top you will find it also by searching Larry Jacobson. In addition, you will also find his professional profile on the site and links to all of the books and websites that we have mentioned and possibly a few more. So definitely check that out. You can also if you don’t want to be stuck and watch our facial expressions and all of that kind of stuff and how you communicate Because you know, hey visual is a lot of communication as well. You can also listen to the Euro Voices Podcast on the go with your favorite app, including Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google podcasts, and many more. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you would like to be on the show, please reach out to us by contacting us via the episode pages and be up. Be a guest. We’d love to hear your story and learn all about the interesting things going on with you your career and your business. Thank you so much again. I’m Dennis belko. And this was Larry Jacobson, the first gay out man to sell around the world.

Unknown Speaker
Bye bye. Thank you.

OutBuro Voices Interview Matthew French Awesomely Authentic Career Coach Educational College Prep Diversity Inclusion Consulting LGBT Professionals Gay Entrepreneurs LGBTQ Student Univerity Choices

Matthew French: Career Coach, College Prep, & Diversity Inclusion Consulting

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OutBuro Voices Interview Matthew French Awesomely Authentic Career Coach Educational College Prep Diversity Inclusion Consulting LGBT Professionals Gay Entrepreneurs LGBTQ Students University

Matthew French (He/Him/His) is the Founder and ‘90s-nostalgic brain behind Awesomely Authentic, a career-coaching, and inclusion organization that focuses on the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ people as they navigate the milestones of choosing a college to attend, searching for that perfect job, or making your company more inclusive. 

Matthew French on OutBüro

With ten years of experience working with the LGBTQ+ community, eight years of professional career coaching, and a love of the ‘90s, he has blended all of these aspects together to create an authentically high-energy tailored experience to each client in order to help them reach their professional and career goals. 

Why the ‘90s, you ask? This was an era of aberrance, vibrant colors, and animated cartoons that have influenced the way Awesomely Authentic operates. The search for a college, internship, job, or even tackling your D&I Initiatives can be daunting, but we believe that ‘90s-era fun can be achieved along the way! 

Matthew on LinkedIn

Conversation Transcript

The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview. Currently full interview not present.

Unknown Speaker 0:11
Hi there this is Dennis belko without bureau that’s o UT a bu r o.com. Thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s episode. We are trying the videos. Once again we did do a video with Celia Daniels and then just did audios. We’re going to be trying to do more videos as we move forward and extracting that audio for the podcast. on any of the episodes shows. If you’re wondering where to find this on any of the episode shows or the out bureau comm name pad podcast page, simply check out just just right under the main headings. You will see three bars that are in gray and one will say where to listen and follow this podcast. We are on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google podcast, and many others. Please follow us on your favorite application today. And at any time you can come to the out your episode page to view the full video interviews like we’re doing today with the fantastic fantastic and fun today. Matthew French. Matthew, welcome to the show.

Unknown Speaker 1:27
Thank you so much for having me, Dennis. I’m super stoked to be here. I really appreciate I’ve given to have some time to chat.

Unknown Speaker 1:34
Awesome, awesome and look at that funding background that we have for Matthew and that is because his a company that is called awesomely authentic and where he is a career coach to students as well as professionals throughout their entire career from entry level such as students entering into the career marketplace. mid career and even senior career professionals. He helps you focus on your career and communicating what you have achieved and the value proposition that you have for prospective employers. So very pertinent to not only our out bureau on LinkedIn group where we have over currently 46, nearly 46 and a half thousand global members, but our site is out bureau.com focusing on the LGBT professional and entrepreneurs. So as an entrepreneur who is also focusing on the career space, thank you so much for joining us, Matthew, again, and if you could please let’s start out by giving a little bit of kind of your career background and bringing you up to today which will pivot but give us a little bit of background as to your education, your background, and How that has begun to lead you into the direction that you are now taking as a as I believe you’re more of a startup, and but you have a long history, which has given you the foundation for this new startup. So give us some info.

Unknown Speaker 3:18
Sure. Yeah. So, I mean, I feel like with a lot of people and Career Services, so that’s where a lot of my background comes from. I went to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, from a small town in Virginia, called Pocahontas, Virginia, so you should totally check it out. It’s very small. If you want to ride four wheelers or something in the woods, that’s a great place to go. Then I went to Old Dominion, did an undergraduate in communications, got really involved in the queer community during that time working in student orgs being a part of Hampton Roads LGBT Center, and then I was a column undergrad, so I was not sure what to do with that degree. I had dabbled in the world of entertainment through being a casting director. And that just, it just didn’t fill up my cup, you know. And so I decided to go to grad school. And I went to grad school at Old Dominion University where I focused on lifespan and digital communication, and specifically LGBT identities around fan communities. So around superheroes, and then I also focused on LGBT identities, and how they focused around technologies like using technology to stay connected and specifically looking at apps like Grindr. But during grad school, I got connected to my career center. I was like, cool, I get to plan events. I get to help students, I get to reach out to employers, this will be fun. And so I did that and that really led me on my whole career path of helping others demonstrate communicate their value to employers and how to best kind of demonstrate that not only to employees, what’s been said I feel like a lot of the people I work with really undervalue their skill sets. It’s Yeah, it’s an interesting world when you’re talking to people about their skills and their experiences and how they can utilize those. So working with students at Marymount Manhattan college was my first job out of grad school up in New York City in the Upper East Side, small liberal arts school about 2000 students mostly Performing Arts, some business and then I switched over to UNC Charlotte about five years ago, where I did career advising mostly for again liberal arts and science arts Media Design, and focusing in on an industry of arts media and design. So helping communicate everything from engineering, to communications to business if you want to work with Disney, you fall under my under my roof. So I would talk with those students about how to best frame their experiences for that particular industry and continually through all of them staying engaged with the LGBTQ community through different ways. And once COVID hit, you know, I just had a lot of outreach from people a lot of help was needed. And through leadership that I have and mentors that I’ve had, they really encouraged me to, you know, start my own consulting to help queer people find the spaces where they could flourish. Because I’m a big believer, I’m weird. And I think everyone has that right to be as weird or not weird as they want to be in their job to be as authentic as they can. So I love to keep it fun and funky and fresh and just kind of pulling from the 90s vibe of like bright colors to really set that tone or getting that professional experience started. Gotcha.

Unknown Speaker 6:46
And so you know, sometimes it’s it’s really hard for people to break through the noise. You know, when you’re looking at resume after resume or you know, once you’ve passed that article Official intelligence span and you’re getting to that human. Yeah, um, you know, having having your resume look really polished. Uh, but having that that spin having that that color palette that layout, that main headline and so forth. That speaks to the professional side, but also just has that poppin wow factor. Yeah, that that grabs that attention. I think that’s really important. And from what I seen, it seems like that’s something that you focus on, on bringing out the personalities of the people as well.

Unknown Speaker 7:35
Totally. Yeah. So this is like a fun little tidbit that I always encourage people to do is one way when you’re figuring out your brand and how you’re going to look to employers. A lot of times people are just like, I don’t know where to start with that. So the best way to start is start with yourself and thinking about what are maybe three brands that you love, that you use a lot you like what they’re doing, and the World, anything like that. And then once you have those three brands, go through their Instagram, go through their website, look at their logos, see what colors they have and which ones speak to you. And you’ll usually see common themes around colors, texts, shapes, that you can then kind of take and metamorphosize into your own personal brand that you can then use on your resume that bleeds over into your LinkedIn. If you have your own website, it can bleed over to there, it can bleed over out Bureau, it’s really about creating a consistent narrative about who you are, and letting that be the authentic self so that way employers are like, you come to life for me, you’re more than just a resume I understand you are based off of just looking at the tones and textures across all these platforms.

Unknown Speaker 8:45
Now, you know, I completely agree and that, you know, you you know, as a professional, you really do need to set your your own brand out there. And interestingly forget his name off the top of my head. But there is a person in my LinkedIn connections and he’s also in the group and I wish I could pull his name up right now, but he’s a realtor in the US and Canada, I forget which it’s not one of the main cities are popping into my head. But what was really interesting is as a realtor, he has he he has these small video monologues. And he talks about connecting with his, you know, audience and one video that he did literally just a week ago, already has, like over 250 likes over 100 comments. And, and well, I even commented to him I’m, you know, I rarely reach out and go beyond the purely professional realm but because we’re connected and we’ve had a little bit of dialogue in the past He was questioning whether he should or someone else was questioned whether he should still be doing it and what purpose of it is it and so forth and he’s like, this is my brand. This is what I’m doing. And I actually messaged him I said, Oh, keep it up handsome.

Unknown Speaker 10:15
They’re also love your background, they just got a Danish modern

Unknown Speaker 10:22
bookcase behind and so forth. But, you know, even when looking for a job, what I recommend for for people to do is you know, whether that’s on LinkedIn and hopefully you’re also creating your brand on out bureau.com o ut buro.com. Is I constantly invite people to no matter what field they’re in, to begin writing and publishing articles even if that’s just one or two or three articles about their knowledge their take on the industry, their take on the technology whatever that happens to be, so that in addition to a professional profile, which is indexed and searched, and so forth, and people can find you, and when employers do then find you on that side, they know you identify and are an ally with the LGBT community, which you know, is diversity and inclusion recruiting. But then, as they see those articles that are also being posted, they see, oh, not only did they go to this school and have this degree and have this bit of, you know, professional education, look, there are so look at these articles that they’ve written in and around that topic. This is the kind of person that we want to hire someone who seems very comfortable in their knowledge and their ability to communicate that knowledge because you know, today, in today’s time, it’s very important to not only have the technical skills, but Have those soft skills as well. And being able to communicate, you know, your knowledge and taking complex ideas and theories and so forth and bringing them down into a, whether that’s a video conversation. And of course, you can also post videos on the site, but adore articles that demonstrates that you thoroughly understand your topic. And it’s going to make those employers go, Wow, that’s a really interesting person. I liked the content that they produced these few articles that really has helped set them apart in my mind.

Unknown Speaker 12:38
When value added its value added, right? It’s if you’re able to speak and demonstrate that you’re up on the industry standards. And you’re also able to, again, like you said, communicate those things. Employers are always looking for more tidbits again, to give them a more full picture of your narrative and who you are as a brand. So if you’re able to write those things, out, you know, I have to admit, I am not the best writer, but you put me on a video and I am there for it. So I already like on my website, I know writing isn’t my strong suit. It’s not something I really enjoy. But I really love doing vlogs. So I used transition line from a blog to a vlog because it’s working to my skills and my strengths, but it’s also a part of the brand, you know, right excitement, you know, and it’s trying to get that out there. And that’s what people have to think about. When you’re thinking about your brand. You’re thinking about how employers are going to perceive you. It’s always important to think about what is this demonstrating as a skill set, right? What is it demonstrating that you’re good at public speaking is demonstrating that you’re detail oriented, because the one thing especially disoriented, I cannot tell you how many people I’ve put, I’m detail oriented, and then they have a misspelling in the resume. So it’s like actually demonstrating those skill sets at work. It also gives you work samples, things you can add your portfolio. It’s it. Again, it’s all about giving the employer more information. On the upfront, because that will also help if employers are searching for you. Right? If you’re on LinkedIn and out Bureau and you have your own website, the likelihood of them digging in then and going for let’s say, your Instagram or your Facebook, maybe places you don’t want them to see as much of that’s less likely because they’ve already gotten enough to understand you as a professional from the things that you’ve already put out there that you are controlling.

Unknown Speaker 14:23
Well, speaking of those other apps, I will say on out bureau comm I’ve written twice, one article on security and privacy for the LGBT professional and it’s all about, you know, locking your locking your stuff down. And one of the things in a couple of articles that I’ve written is, you know, you know, just be very, very cautious and think really hard about the kinds of things that you post on any platform because once posted you may it’s never gone and you may think that Oh, I’ve deleted it from Facebook so therefore it doesn’t exist ball shit. It’s still out there it’s still on those servers because just because you delete something does not mean it’s truly deleted. And you know when you think about even those those apps like you mentioned Grindr, okay. One there’s also I’ve written about and people can Google This is that you know, the US government has warned about that and tick tock that they could be security issues because they share so much information with marketers and so forth. And and going to a point to is, you know, just, you know, when you think you’re in that one on one conversation with that hot stud, and you’re sending those picks up, know that that can be screen captured. Hello very easily. And used tomorrow against you or us at any point in the future against you. So just be very, very cautious of everyone be very, very cautious about, you know, what you send on any platform. And of course, yeah, and of course on out Bureau, it’s only professionally oriented content, no hot torsos shots, love them from my boys on Facebook. But you know, it’s it’s not appropriate for the workspace.

Unknown Speaker 16:32
So but it’s actually a good point. I would like to touch on that a little bit because it is a different aspect than what

Unknown Speaker 16:38
professional career counselors sometimes have to deal with. When you’re coming from the queer community. We’ve created our own spaces where we’re safe, right? So whether that be a drive bar or LGBTQ center, or you know, it used to be a lot of like Craigslist or you know those types of areas, being aware of your friends. And and how those things can come back to you. So having those conversations around, I do with clients, you know, quite a bit of saying like, what platforms do you use, like be aware that you’re you’re currently around people who are seeing you. So if you don’t want to be out of work, or you want to come out on your own terms that could hurt you. If someone works that institution or works at that company, and they’re on Grindr, or one of the apps, right, so it’s being aware that those things can come to you and being aware like, on your Instagram, I believe me, if I had a six pack, I would show it off as well. But what does that communicate to an employer if most of your shots tend to be of yourself? Barely close in some instances, and a lot of employers I’ve spoke with because, you know, I’ve worked with 2000 plus employers now from across industries. And the thing that they say consistently, especially around millennials, and Gen Z, below millennials is that what they worry about with us the most is that we are self serving and self obsessive. And so I’ve had employers tell me that if someone on their Instagram has too many selfies, that’s a red flag for them, because they really, they’re self centered, and they worry about their team. workability so it’s being aware of like, what does that communicate to you?

Unknown Speaker 18:17
Interesting, interesting. Okay. So it needs to be more group photos.

Unknown Speaker 18:24
From a dog in there, if you got a pop, like, you know, take a picture of some flowers, I don’t know, but it’s really thinking through like that brand. And I’m always very cautious. Actually, I don’t want to I’m cautious. I’m cognizant that you know, I everything I post is going to be seen by someone and you know, even sometimes adding in that little blurb if you’re currently working, like views are my own right because there are a lot of employers are cracking down on you’re not allowed a certain amount of social media. I know of employers in higher ranking government offices where they will actually sit down with you and want to go through all of your private messages on Facebook and Instagram. So yeah, it’s a lot so you just got to be aware that’s the whole that’s really is just like awareness building you know?

Unknown Speaker 19:08
Right right yeah especially in the government entities if you’re going for any level of security clearance you you depends on what you post yeah it can be done you can be over so so so so word of caution for everyone lock your stuff down and keep it clean if you need to go back and do your best yes it will still be out there on servers but not publicly visible. I for one my Facebook is is is locked down only people who are connected with me see what I post but what I post is very simple. Yes, I do go hiking and I occasionally post a hiking picture. But, but I don’t post a lot. Nothing like I do on LinkedIn. You know like once or twice A week on Facebook. And that’s it. So, anyhow, folks heed the warning from a career coaching professional. Be aware, read the articles on out bureau about privacy, and just, you know, take that into mind. So one of the other things that when we had our first conversation a minute ago or so, is, you know, the the concept of, you know, should you be out on your resume, since you’re focusing a lot of your attention, although not exclusively on the LGBT community? Could you talk a little bit about, you know, being out having indicators on your resume that you’re part of the LGBT community and what you have seen in and around that?

Unknown Speaker 20:45
Sure. So the first question I always ask is, where are you at and where do you want to? How open Do you want to be at your place of work? My boyfriend is a perfect example. He is an occupational therapist at a retirement community org working with a lot more elderly So, and he’s not really been involved in the queer community. But in his instance, like he feels more comfortable, like that’s his work life. And then this is his home life. A couple people were no but not he’s not something he’s out about. Whereas me, on the other hand, I am, like, everyone knows that I’m involved in queer things on campus. I’m involved in queer things in the community. So it’s really deciding for yourself, how out do you want to be? And then we work from there. So I let’s take example. And this is when we talked about was it let’s say you’re working at an LGBT Center or you volunteered in the LGBT Center, right? You’re learning a lot of awesome skills there. You can work learn things about communication, working with people during crises, doing programming, building networks, all of those awesome things that you can bring to a company. Now if you’re thinking about, you know, I want to be out on my resume. Those are great little signifiers to just demonstrate that you’re queer or an ally. So you can definitely then focus on those skills. But if you’re being thinking, well, I don’t know, if I want to come right out like that, you could say that you’re part of a community service organization. And then you focus on those skill sets, because those skill sets are the majority and the chunk that matters. But where it really changes up is you got to think past the resume too. You have to think past resume and think I’m going to have to go into an interview. Do I want to bring my significant other to the holiday party? Do I want to have a picture of them on my best? Those are all things you have to think through. And it’s hard to think through that on your own, especially if you’re going into particular industries or sections, or you’re at different hiring levels. These are all things you want to take into account. I mean, my personal perspective is the biggest thing that matters are the skill sets that you’re learning there. And that’s what we want to always communicate right. So I’ve definitely seen a wide array and this goes for everything likes, people who have things like around religion on their resume, party affiliations, anything like that, and there are some employers that I always say get a little iffy if something SJW like social justice warrior comes up in there. They get nervous because they’re like, oh, are they going to cause us think about something? Right? And then the thing, is that a place that I want to be, you know, right, right, it’s okay for you to interview the employer and decide if that’s a good place for you to be. And professionally and personally.

Unknown Speaker 23:29
Right. Well, I think that that’s a good point there. And it’s, uh, you know, especially in today’s time, you know, you have to make those personal decisions. And I have, you know, been in a LinkedIn group that I’ve had people say, you know, the well because also their career paths and there, they have none of their skill set has come from working with LGBT organizations and therefore, they you know, was was not pertinent to their Rear. And you know, so people have been like, well, it adds no value. So why would I put that? Well, of course, but there’s also people who have, you know, there’s very some very wonderful large LGBT focused organizations that, you know, have 50 100 600 employees, and you could be working in their IT department for several years, and maybe you’ve done some amazing things within that organization and you work there for three or four years and now transitioning to a different job and, you know, putting that skill set is very pertinent and, you know, having the, the having it on your resume, it’s, it’s, you know, everyone has their own personal journey and their own personal comfort level. You know, some people are again, like, well, it has no pertinence. I’m, you know, this is my career, and I just Treat it as a non issue and it’s nobody’s business what I do at home, and then other people are like, you know, no, I want to make sure that that they’re going to accept me and my full rainbow self and if they don’t screw them because I don’t want to go to work for someone who’s not going to accept me at all. I’m like fabulousness. Right, exactly, you know, everyone is on their own spectrum. And and so there’s no right or wrong answer to that question. It’s for you to answer for your individual self with you and your individual career path. And, you know, maybe for your career, you need to work for period at a homophobic organization, just because you want that skill set that they are going to offer for a year or two, but you know, it’s going to be like, Alright, I’m going to walk in there. I’m going to keep my head down. I’m going to get that on my resume, then I’m going to be like, you, bye bye. Next. I mean, I’ve had people talk about that too, like they knew that they were walking into an extremely homophobic environment, but they knew they were going to injure that just to because it was the only place that they could get the particular stuff on the resume that they needed for the next jump. And I think that’s also very important when you’re looking at your career. Because I get hit with questions all the time. And I’m always looking, let’s like, Look, I’m not I’m not the professional, you know, career coach. I’m not a professional diversity and inclusion consultant, but here are the people who are FYI. So do you. But as I, as I tell people in the past, it’s like, Yeah, sometimes, you know, when you’re looking at your career, you need to think about where you’re going to be where you want to be five years from now. And look for a job and a company that’s going to give you the skills that you’re going to need for your next Next move, you know, honestly be looking at because that’s why you have to interview essentially, and assess that organization. Does it have the job, the reputation that’s that you want? And does it have the the job opportunity that’s going to take you to that next level, either within that company or another company? Because let’s face it, companies are not loyal to you. They’re only loyal to they’re only loyal to their profits. Yeah, so most work most companies are you know, like, even here in Florida, it’s worth work at will estate or at will estate, meaning that they can let you go for no calls whatsoever at any time with no recourse. So many states are like that. And as soon as and, you know, unfortunately, with the COVID, you know, we’ve seen so many people have been laid off. I mean, with cause but you know, just realize that

Unknown Speaker 28:00
Companies are not going to look out for you.

Unknown Speaker 28:04
Period, you have to look out for you. So you are the numero uno, because as soon as their profits start dipping, they’re going to say goodbye. They’re going to say, so sorry, we’re laying you off. So you need to take that into your mind. And you need to realize that it’s no longer like my dad worked for two employers his entire life, you know, it’s no longer that way. And so you have to think of strategically What does this employer add value to me? Do they have all the benefits that I want do or do they have domestic partner benefits? Do they have all the LGBT benefits and inclusivity that I can actually go to work, be proud to work there. And for those people that I know throughout my career history, is this the type of employer that I would recommend to others. And if not, again, maybe it’s a strategic move. on your part, but you know you as an LGBTQ person need to seriously think is this the kind of employer that I want to work for because and just don’t take and hopefully all of you out there will start rating your encourage and recent past employers anonymously on out bureau calm, because, uh, frankly we’ll see I’m not trying to beat folks up. I’m not I just facts, just facts sweetie. But you know when you look at the list of employers who rank 100% on the HRC Human Rights Campaign on corporate Equality Index, don’t think at all that that hundred percent score is much more than yes effort. But But mostly a lot of marketing. are many of the organizations very proud and so forth. Yes. However, don’t think that just because a corporation has achieved that Very few limited 1000 level companies who have the privilege to be on that list and paid the money to be on that list $21 million a year

Unknown Speaker 30:13
total. So it’s not cheap.

Unknown Speaker 30:17
So realize, though, that even for example, Goldman Sachs again, not trying to beat folks up, just fat, just truth and facts and news is in the news, okay, they’ve been on the list of HR C’s corporate Equality Index ranked 100% for several years, and even just this past year yet again, was was touted as one of the best places in the financial sector to work for, okay, and they just had to settle a lawsuit where someone was after eight years of working there, got a new boss, and that new boss was a homophobic asshole, and started making comments like are you doing that? Because you’re gay. Why do you have to sound so gay? And making comments like that to the point where he brought it to HR, no action was taken until it got so bad that finally guess what they hired him saying that he was not interested in his work any longer. Well, excuse me, there’s a hostile work environment where I’m constantly being berated and discriminated against and harassed for being who I am as an LGBT person. HR hasn’t taken any actions against it except to so yeah, it might it might someone’s work performance declined a little bit because they don’t feel comfortable in their workspace and they don’t feel safe. Sure, but they used that as a reason to fire that person, which is been retaliation. So there was a lawsuit in and around that. So just I’m just saying, Be aware

Unknown Speaker 31:59
that Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 32:01
like bets. And I think that’s, you know, from the Career Coach perspective, I would say if a client came to me about those issues, I always, you know, definitely talk about what are your legal protections. But the thing that a lot of us, as LGBTQ people have to sometimes take on, that we don’t always want to take on right, is the spaces that we inhabit. by us, just being there is politicized and is, is made different, right? So a lot of times what we’re what we’re charged with is when we encounter those spaces is I always encourage clients to think through like, is this a space where you want to try to make change as a space where you want to back away and again, helping them kind of think through those things. I mean, I’m an educator, I’m from education. So I’ve been a part of a lot of like LGBTQ equality things over the years. So I’m usually in the space of like, I’m going to educate and I’m going to kind of changed from within and try to find ways that I can make that change like going to people and being like, we need to start go to the LGBT RG, we need to talk about this like making making a rustle about the things that like, are not connecting, right? If they’re on the HRC Equality Index, why is this happening to me and going into many organizations, organizations don’t do not that people based on their their perceptions on diversity and inclusion. And you have to like hit those people sometimes head on. And it’s really that decision. It’s not fair that we have to take up the mantle of being an educator or an activist and our role sometimes. But it’s kind of sometimes the name of the game of thinking through and I always like to think through it as you know, as a queer person who I’m okay with speaking up, like at least if I speak up now in an organization. Hopefully that makes at least some sort of change for the future. And that’s really what it’s about is Again, a lot of you know, career coaches, sometimes we use blanket type of advice. It doesn’t work that way, with queer people. We’re all coming from such diverse backgrounds, we’re all facing different intersectionalities of our identity around race, gender, socioeconomic status, that every single instance can be handled in a different way, depending on your personal preference. And so the person that’s there like, you know, I would have definitely have, like, encouraged them, like, what resources are available there, what resources are available, you know, around the surrounding community, and how do you connect those to make do or do what you know, if you’re not if you’re not longer able to do your job, because of those types of threats and those types of feelings that someone is targeting you. I mean, I think it’s very well to like go the go the legal route. It’s something that has to be done because change a lot of times can be messy and it’s important for people Not to go into looking at an employer like all they have these ratings, and there’s a lot of different rating systems. Just because they have those ratings does not mean that everyone in that company has that perception, I think we’re able to troublesome to is if your human resources departments are not stepping in, and that’s where I’ve never been one to be like, hierarchy, right? Like, oh, I report to this manager. And so I tell them that and then they’ll go and tell that person, I am the first one, like, if my direct supervisor does not do anything, or I feel like there’s nothing being done, I’m the first one to jump over everybody, and be like, okay, we’ll just go to the head honcho, because clearly, you know, so it’s really kind of like setting up those steps. And that’s where someone like, you know, talking to local community members reaching out on LinkedIn posting about hero, that’s where you can find what are some strategies of working around a lot of these things.

Unknown Speaker 35:53
Absolutely. And, you know, I’d like to clarify been very,

Unknown Speaker 35:58
very vocal. In my writings on it, you know, get I’m not trying to beat up. It’s just news facts right? And there and there’s other other organizations that I’ve, I’ve used in my examples in the past. But, you know, the thing is, is that the the policies of a company are the intent, and also the CIA, frankly,

Unknown Speaker 36:28
to help mitigate litigation in the future.

Unknown Speaker 36:33
For example, a lot of the companies who have LGBTQ inclusive policies also have what’s called forced arbitration. Which means when you come on board as an employee, you are signing away your right to publicly sue them, which so if you get discriminated against or harassed, you cannot put forth a public lawsuit you are forced into arbitration Which doesn’t see the light of public day, it keeps it out and no, so you can’t talk about it. So that way it keeps their image from being from it being known. So those are that’s why when you when you do post on out Bureau, it’s anonymous. We know who you are, but it’s anonymous publicly, so that you can still share it also, just in case you still feel like there’s a potential issue. I actually created a catch all employer box called out bureau so that because it’s really important for those those issues to be to become known as a collective. And over time, the goal is is that that will be able to as more and more people utilize the services and input the demographics and all those kinds of things as part of their review. That will actually be be able to partner with folks like yourself And the educational side provides to statistical data through it, but but realizing, as you pointed out that, you know, these larger organizations who have these, you know, wonderful and I do applaud everyone who has them, it’s a step in the right direction. But when they have 100, you know, just using the example of 100,000 employees, as you stated, The though all of those employees when someone when an organization enacts you know, LGBT friendly policies, non discrimination policies and so forth, that doesn’t just automatically, you know, overnight, turned all 100,000 employees into your day. Yeah, right, Rainbow waving, unicorn writing, loving, magical land, right. They still have their, they still have their biases, and so forth, those lifelong learning prejudices and biases that it’s a lot to overcome. We’ve seen that on race and we’ve seen In it on sexual harassment, you know, sexual harassment has been illegal here in the United States since 1978. Every year corporations put all kinds of effort into annual training, signing off and so forth. And yet it still happens. Right? So, you know, that’s something too. So it’s not that I’m necessarily I’m not trying to beat up organizations at all, but I’m just trying to, you know, reality check. Because when I don’t want companies to think that just because they are on those corporate Equality Index lists, that we think they’re perfect, because they’re not perfect.

Unknown Speaker 39:40
The work is never done, the work is never done. When you’re dealing with these identities, our I mean, our identities, guys that are politicized and it’s it is what it is, and that’s where we’re having to work within the spectrums of like, heterosexual life daily. So it is truly self worth. Just to kind of like work through.

A Company's True Pride 365 Days a Year - OutBuro - Company Ratings Review by LGBT consumers clients customers LGBTQ entrepreneur professional community gay lesbian

A Company’s True Pride 365 Days a Year

“It was back in the early 90’s that I started working with the LGBT+ community as one of the owners of Pride Magazine. Back then when I approached potential sponsors, I would usually be met with hostility and dismissiveness, hearing often that they “couldn’t possibly advertise in a Gay title because of the negative brand association.”

Pride 365 - Jack Mizel - OutBuro - LGBT Entrepreneur Startup Professional Gay Lesbian Community

Fast forward 25 years, how things have changed! Now seemingly every major company on earth loves to associate with the LGBTQ community and even have team members in Human Resources and Marketing that focus specifically on it. Has our society suddenly become caring and enlightened? Or is this newfound attitude a cynical attempt by many companies to appease their stakeholders and sell more products or services attempting to pander to the LGBTQ with no depth or authenticity?

My view is that as a community and as consumers there should be more tools made available that show which businesses are sincere in their support as opposed to those that are not.

Often times businesses turn up at Pride events draped in all manner of Rainbow accouterments and profess their love and respect for the LGBTQ community only to disappear until the next Pride event on their schedule.

In a recent conversation between myself, the CEO of Pride 365, and Dennis Velco, the inspiration and driving force behind the OutBüro, we found that we were in total agreement that the following 3 points need to be in place for a company to be considered truly authentic supporters and worthy of the ongoing support, loyalty, and customers from the LGBTQ community.

  1. Does the organization treat its own LGBT+ staff with the same dignity and respect as everyone else?
  2. What is the quality of the organization’s product and customer care?
  3. How does the organization market to and communicate with the LGBTQ community?

At Pride365, we have developed a mechanism by which these corporate attitudes, beliefs, and strategies can be measured. The Pride365 Certification is conferred on companies who demonstrate these attitudes, allowing consumers to see clearly at a glance and have confidence in, which companies can be relied upon to value and support the LGBT+ community.

OutBüro compliments this work perfectly in that its platform enables staff to review their place of work using real-life experience to shine a light on what would otherwise be unseen with the intent that employers strive to improve.

Tools such as these are beginning to be increasingly available. What we need now is for each of us to spread the word so that we can mobilize as a community to give our loyalty to those businesses that are genuine in their support to their LGBTQ employees, customers, and clients 365 days of the year.”

Butch Dyke Lesbian – Plea to Employers

My life has always been against the grain. Music was my choice, my love, my passion. I started playing music at the age of 9 and playing clubs by the time I was 11. I made it through the music industry without becoming an addict or alcoholic. But this was also my first taste in going against the grain.

I was younger than everyone else in the bands around me. I had to stand outside the clubs and wait for my band to enter the stage before I was allowed inside. My band members couldn’t have any drinks on the stage, not even water because I was underage. Being young wasn’t the only thing making it hard, being female was taboo. Female musicians weren’t even a novelty…yet. But I did it. I played music. I played with mostly male bands. I got to tour and do what I loved.

But there was a part of me that I couldn’t be unless I had a deathwish. Back in those days, I was surrounded by gay-bashing. Everyone from my band members to promotors, audience members, etc. I would hear jokes “Where’s the dyke?” “She’s on stage.” So I lived in a bubble that didn’t identify all of me. All I was at that time was music.

Unable to be the true me. I didn’t come out until I was 19 years old. I played in an all-female band and was finally comfortable since members of the band were gay or bisexual. But, our contract had stipulations. I wasn’t allowed to wear my leather jacket with my band name into gay bars and I wasn’t allowed to promote my band to the LGBT community.

As time went on and I retired from the music industry and I came out of the closet in a big way. I didn’t care who knew or what they thought. I wanted to be my authentic self. I thought it was tough being young and female in the music industry. But now looking back, it was probably the easiest I ever had it.

Trying to enter corporate America has been and still is the biggest challenge of my life. I do phone interviews and they are ready to hire me – sight unseen. But something happens when we get face to face. They don’t know what to do with me. I am a tattooed butch woman. Yes, my tattooed are covered in long sleeves and professional clothing. But my short masculine hair and questionable gender are uncoverable. Being my authentic self seems to put me in a category that lets my skill and talent go unacknowledged and it’s killing me slowly. I can do anything, I’m spirited, smart, a problem solver, team builder, technology savvy, empathetic get it done human! But all they see is someone who isn’t like them. The job gets backpedaling on the pay rate, I’m overqualified or I just never hear back from them.

What am I left with? Am I supposed to tuck my tail and go back inside a closet? Or become homeless because society doesn’t accept me. Change my appearance? Well.. In all honesty, I am growing my hair out even though I hate it. But I hate being unemployed more.

I ALWAYS do my diligence before even applying for a job. I research who the hiring manager is, I see what the companies core values are and if they actually apply them.

  • Do they have or have they ever employed homosexuals? Do they seem like an open-minded company?
  • Is going to an interview a waste of time, money, gas and self-esteem?

Should I have to do this? No!

Should I be hired for my talent? Yes!

And here I sit, 8 hours a day 7 days a week searching job sites, researching companies, core values, and employees even before sending out my resume. It shouldn’t be this hard. I should be hired on my ability to get a job done. And that’s what I do, for those that see me for my skills and talent. Once I’m hired I always exceed in my position. I win everyone’s hearts and build teams that work together. I’m a motivator, a teacher, and always willing to help get the job done.

If you are an employer or hiring manager, take a look at those who don’t fit your mold. Think outside of the box. Hire with diversity. If your organization employs everyone with the same background, it creates monotony while working together. It’s ok to accept us, it doesn’t make you gay. We aren’t contagious. We just want to find great employers who allow us to bring our full selves to work along with our energy, creativity, and drive to excel.

LGBTQ Corporate Equality Overview - OutBuro LGBT Virtual Career Fairs - Employer Branding Ratings Reviews gay lesbian Recruiters Job Search Seeking

LGBTQ Corporate Equality Overview

LGBTQ corporate equality is the fair and equal treatment of LGBTQ employees by their employers. It can also be more broadly called LGBTQ workplace equality to be inclusive of all employer types. It is achieved when LGBTQ employees are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources, and opportunities without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Many studies around the world have clearly demonstrated the benefit of supporting LGBTQ corporate equality.  In summary, the studies demonstrate that championing LGBTQ workplace equality improves employee morale, increases productivity, improves LGBTQ employee and customer loyalty, employee engagement, increased creativity and problem solving and team/customer/client interaction all leading to a proven increase in the financial performance of the organization. Also, see “What is LGBTQ Corporate Equality“.

Most western countries worldwide have made significant progress towards LGBTQ equality in recent decades. However, not enough. For example, as the writing of this article, the United States is still a patchwork at the state level where half the state does not offer full legal protection for their LGBTQ citizens.  A study from the University of Surrey found that LGBT people less likely to be hired, paid less, and not promoted.

Ratings 13 - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Workplace Employees Rate Employer Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Diversity Inclusion Gay Lesbian Queer

LGBTQ Corporate Equality Indexes

The concept was spurred by several LGBTQ rights organizations seeing that government laws to protect LGBTQ persons at work and beyond were not moving at the desired pace. Led by the USA there are several others around the globe who model themselves after the US index. These organizations decided to focus on primarily large fortune 1000 level corporations to provide guidance and scoring index of those companies’ LGBTQ friendly policies, benefits and business practices such as having the following in place:

  • Sexual orientation non-discrimination
  • Gender Identity and Gender Expression non-discrimination
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Transgender inclusive healthcare benefits
  • LGBTQ awareness education for all employees
  • Requiring the same level of policies and benefits in vendors/contractors
  • LGBTQ employee resource group
  • Proactive LGBTQ candidate recruiting

There are some pros and cons to such rating indexes. The primary ones are they are limited to only Fortune 1000 usually and are self-reported with no employee input about the actual work environment and work culture. Check out “LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings – A New Approach for All Employers“. For any employer wishing to start or enhance their current LGBTQ workplace equality efforts check out “6 Steps – Enhance LGBT Workplace Equality

Does Implementing LGBTQ workplace equality have a cost?

Sure there is some employer expense in providing equal benefits. As mentioned above the organization will benefit financially which will offset those costs. Again, many studies around the world have clearly demonstrated the benefit of doing so. It is also is a risk mitigation by creating a welcoming environment with clear non-discrimination policies thus reducing the opportunity of future LGBTQ discrimination and harassment lawsuits. Simply, it’s the right thing to do.

Want to learn more?

Check out the following articles to learn more:






Gender Idendity Attraction Sex Express Model - OutBuro - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Employer Branding Reviews Ratings Gay Lesbian Transgender

Understanding Gender Identity and Expression 101

Understanding gender identity and expression to support education in LGBTQ corporate equality for a welcoming workplace.

Most people when they hear – LGBTQ – they think of it is a group of individuals who are attracted to members of the same sex to some degree. Interestingly, most don’t realize that the “T” does not directly relate to a person’s sexual attraction at all. It is separate and refers to a person’s sense of gender. Inside, do they feel like a male or female or even somewhere in between the two. This is referred to as gender identity.

Before the 19th century, the terms gender and sex were interchangeable. It was believed was what you physically appeared as at birth was cut and dry. Binary. Female or male from birth in body, mind, and soul.

Around 1925, a sexologist named Magnus Hirschfeld from Germany published an article. In it, he described for the first time the difference between the sexual desire for persons of the same gender compared to a deep desire to live and/or dress as the opposite gender because it matches how you feel and view yourself.

In the 1950s the concepts and theories about gender, gender roles, and gender identity were introduced and defined in the psychological literature. Psychologists, such as Jerome Kagan and John Money, initially believed that gender identity was simply a degree a person felt feminine or masculine coupled with the ability to live openly and freely as who they are supporting a secure sense of self.

From around 1965 through 1985 researchers such as Sandra Bem, Richard Green, Harry Benjamin, and, Robert Stoller furthered the understanding of gender and gender identity. Green, Benjamin, and Stoller pioneered gender identity clinics, as well as gender-related medical and surgical treatments.

The ongoing work of these and other pioneer researchers in the field of gender identity development raised awareness that gender is not exclusively determined by assigned sex at birth but determined by a person’s sense, belief, and the ultimate expression of self.

A bit more to understand

The term transgender is an overall term for people whose gender identity, expression and/or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Since the 1990s, transgender has also been used to describe:

  • transsexuals
  • crossdressers
  • androgynous people
  • genderqueers
  • gender non-conforming people

Transgender men had or have female body parts; however, they may identify and/or express themselves as male. Female to male or F2M.

Transgender women had or have male body parts; however, they may identify and/or express themselves as female. Male to female or M2F.

Research shows that gender identity, in many cases, is independent of sexual orientation.

  • Androphilic are people that were born with a male body, have a female gender identity, and are attracted to men. My understanding is like this:
    • M2F Straight
    • F2M Straight.
  • Gynephilia is people that were born with a male body, have a female gender and are attracted to women. My understanding is like this:
    • M2F Lesbian
    • F2M Gay
  • Cis-Gender, is a person who feels that how they mentally identify matches their physical body.
    • Cis-male
    • Cis-female

See: List of LGBTQ+ terms with definitions

Marketors, employers, prevention specialists, and healthcare providers should be aware that beliefs impact almost all areas of a person’s life, their feeling of accepted and being welcomed.

Think about not only your own beliefs and attitudes but how can you impact your place of business, your working environment, policies, benefits. How can you make your company, business, institution more accessible and in some cases safe?

If in my attempts to simplify for the sake of understanding a very complex field I’m happy to be constructively corrected and happy to edit the content if necessary. Please add your comments below.

I’ve already written about the Surrey University study demonstrating a clear bias against persons who are perceived as LGBT in the hiring process, promotions, and salary. Added to the stress of work anyone faces, adds being verbally harassed or worse not just at work but everywhere.

At this point, it’s – Duh!. In order to understand you have to get to know.

If you work for a company if not already happening, suggest or start social gatherings to get to know others out of the work environment. Maybe host a company talent show or other activities that foster interaction embracing the differences. The biggest is connect with others and be open and willing to give everyone an opportunity to shine. Listen carefully. Do you have interests in common? Do you hear an opportunity to partner on a project to help each other and maybe others in the company or community?

OutBüro’s Gender Identity and Expression Model

The concept of gender identity and expression graphic to help explain the concepts is not new. Hower, OutBüro decided to create our own with some modifications to past models to help further clarify the concepts.

Most models to date have a scale with feminine on one end of a spectrum and masculine on the opposite. We believe that having them separately represented is more accurate was of thinking and helps to better understand.

Meet Chris – the OutBüro Gender Identity and Expression Model

In the diagram below consider the lines noting masculine and feminine as each independent sliding scales from 0 to 100%.

Gender Idendity Attraction Sex Express Model - OutBuro - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Employer Branding Reviews Ratings Gay Lesbian Transgender

Gender Identity

Gender Identity is how you, in your head, experience and define your gender, based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand the options for gender to be. Common associations: personality traits, jobs, hobbies, likes, dislikes, roles, expectations

Gender Expression

Gender Expression is how you present gender (through your actions, clothing, and demeanor, to name a few), and how those presentations are viewed based on social expectations. Common associations: style, grooming, clothing, mannerisms, affect, appearance, hair, make-up

Anatomical Sex

Anatomical Sex is the physical traits you’re born with or develop that we think of as “sex characteristics,” as well as the sex you are assigned at birth. Common associations: body hair, chest, hips, shoulders, hormones penis, vulva, chromosomes, voice pitch

Attraction

Attraction is how you find yourself feeling drawn (or not drawn) to some other people, in sexual, romantic, and/or other ways (often categorized within gender).

12 Tips Getting the Most Out of OutBuro LGBTQ Virtual Career Fairs - LGBT Corporate Equality Employer Branding Ratings Recruiters Job Search Seeking

12 Tips: Getting the Most Out of an OutBüro LGBTQ Virtual Career Fair

Traditional in-person career fairs are great but they have limitations. You must leave work for several hours if not take the full day off, fight traffic, or traveling to the location (incurring travel-related expenses), search for parking, navigate your way through the crowd. Wait in line for a chance to speak with employers. In addition, you likely don’t have any idea if the employers are truely committed to LGBTQ corporate equality.

This is the way traditional career fairs have always been.

However, OutBüro launched LGBTQ focused virtual career fairs to bring quality LGBTQ candidates together online (virtually) with employers who actively want to hire LGBTQ employees!! For jobseekers like yourself, virtual career fairs make connecting with LGBTQ friendly employers convenient. Participate even while on your lunch break.

What can you expect at a virtual career fair? 

The OutBüro virtual career fairs are just like traditional ones, where LGBTQ friendly employers gather to meet with LGBTQ job seekers and discuss employment opportunities. The only difference here is that it’s held virtually on our interactive mobile-friendly platform.

Virtual career fairs feel similar to online discussion posts. After you log in, you can choose to “enter” various rooms/booths within the virtual career fair. Each room/booth is hosted by different LGBTQ friendly employers participating in the career fair. When you enter a room/booth, the employer receives a notification. You may choose which employer recruiter you would like to chat with

LGBTQ friendly employers recruiters in OutBüro virtual career fairs are very engaging. They’re there because they’re eager to hire quality LGBTQ candidates like you.

Others already in the virtual room may be in the midst of a conversation and you are welcome to chime in. You can also opt to chat privately with an employer, where you may ask about open positions, details about the organization and your qualifications. Employers may even want to video chat with you face to face.

Before the OutBüro virtual career fair

Don’t “walk” into an OutBüro virtual career fair with zero preparation. These are the things you’ll want to do ahead of time to set yourself up for success.

1. Register ahead of time

You’re going to want to register beforehand. Registration for each event opens around 4 weeks prior to the event date. Not only will this prevent any last-minute hiccups before the career fair, but it will allow you to get a look at the employers participating in the fair.

2. Research participating organizations

After registering, take some time to review the organizations attending the career fair especially their OutBüro employer listing. You’ll want to get an idea of some of the companies you’d like to meet with and how publically LGBTQ friendly they are. You also don’t want to walk in unprepared—learn about the companies and think of questions you’ll want to ask.

3. Prepare your resume

This is a no-brainer, yet so important. Because you’re going to provide your resume/CV to employers you meet with, you’re going to want it up-to-date and spotless for the optimal first impression. Be sure to check out resume tips on OutBüro.

The same goes for your LinkedIn account or a portfolio of your work samples. If the platform allows, upload your resume to your account so it is accessible and ready to hand over to any employers you meet with at the career fair.

4. Practice your pitch

How will you introduce yourself? Why are you interested in the company? What types of positions are you seeking? How is your previous work experience relevant? What do you plan on asking the representatives at the virtual career fair? Know that employers in OutBüro virtual career fairs are seeking you. They also are open and ready to answer questions you may have about how LGBTQ friendly they are. Keep it focused yet bring your authentic self to the table.

5. Make sure your tech is ready to go

You’ll want to make sure your laptop, tablet or smartphone is capable of supporting you in the virtual career fair. It is definitely advised to have camera capabilities in case an employer would like to launch a one-to-one video chat.

You should log on at least the day before and check out the employers, their key listed jobs and ensure your device you intend to use during the OutBüro LGBTQ career fair works.

Plan where you will be when you attend. You want to be in a quiet space with no distractions. Wear headphones with a built-in speaker to ensure the recruiters can hear you during video chats.

At the virtual career fair

Once you log in, how can you stand out from the crowd at a virtual career fair? Here are a few pieces of key advice.

6. Wear a professional outfit at least from the waist up

You can expect to interact with employers at an OutBüro virtual career fair through chat functions. However, some employers may wish to video chat with you face to face via the on-to-one. Make the most out of this opportunity to make a connection by looking professional and presentable. Be sure you are wearing professional clothing and that the background in a video chat is simple, professional and positive.

7. Attend from a distraction-free environment

In addition to your professional attire, you will also want to plan out where you’ll be attending the OutBüro virtual career fair from. A quiet location is ideal—and camera capabilities mean that you’ll want to ensure it’s distraction-free for employers.

Even on a small screen, potential employers can still see plenty of background. Make sure the room you’re in is clean, quiet and well lit. Lighting is important. If at home, grab two additional lamps from the living room and set them on both sides of your desk. Take the lamp shades off and have them on during your virtual career fair time. This will help ensure you are well lit looking your best.

8. Be ready to put yourself out there

During OutBüro virtual career fairs, it’s important to exert yourself to make connections. Be assertive. Initiate conversations. Request one-on-one chats with recruiters. DO NOT BE PASSIVE.

Once an employer recruiter engages you in a chat, the ball is in your court to introduce yourself and ask questions about the organization and open positions.

9. Use clear, professional business communication

Being a virtual career fair, much of your communication will be done through written interactions in the chat function of the platform. To make a great first impression, you’ll want to demonstrate articulate written communication.

Grammar matters. Consider using the online grammar checking tool Grammarly.com. Text as if you are having a live in-person interview.

10. Demonstrate strong body language in video chats

Just like in a traditional career fair, you’ll want to present yourself as a confident and competent job seeker. One way that employers pick up on this is through your body language. If you’re on a video chat with a recruiter at the virtual career fair, you’ll want to stay conscious of your body language.

On camera, hold eye contact with the recruiter you’re interacting with. Speak clearly and avoid slouching. Again, treat it like you are in the room with the recruiter – because you are.

11. Ask for next steps and contact information

When talking to recruiters at the career fair, don’t hesitate to be forward and offer to send a copy of your resume. Request his/her direct contact information. You can also ask about the next steps in the process—whether that means getting in touch with human resources, filling out a job application on their site, a next more detailed phone call or an in-person formal interview. Let them know you are interested and want to take it further.

After the virtual career fair

Don’t let your efforts go to waste by neglecting to follow up with the recruiter after the OutBüro virtual career fair.

12. Reach out the next day with a thank you

Because recruiters at career fairs come in contact with many candidates follow up the next day. Whether it’s an email, phone call or a hand-written thank-you note, be sure to reach out to the connections you made at the career fair, thanking them for their time and let expand on how you are a great fit and that you are strongly interested and why. Request a direct connection on LinkedIn and a friend invite on the OutBüro website.

Get excited for the future of career fairs

Employers participate in the OutBüro LGBTQ virtual career fairs because they’re looking for LGBTQ job seekers like yourself. Just because they’re held virtually doesn’t make that any different.

With this advice in mind, navigate the OutBüro virtual career fairs with confidence. We hope you land the job of your dreams.

Best wishes to you in your job search!