Yesterday we posted reasons why passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA — which would make it illegal to discrimination against LGBT in employment — is particularly important to LGBT older workers.
A completely unrelated article on friendship and older LGBT people inadvertently touched on the same topic from a different angle. Asked “What has changed in your work with regard to how people understand the role of friends for LGBT older people?”, Jesus Ramirez-Valles, director of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health, answered:
One aspect that has changed is that friendships have increased in the workplace, since we are more open there and can create those friendships.
You can read the whole article, “Friendship a Pillar of Survival for LGBT Elders,” at http://www.asaging.org/blog/friendship-pillar-survival-lgbt-elders
In July the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — ENDA — which would outlaw employment discrimination against LGBT workers — finally made it past the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The Center for American Progress’s Andrew Cray published a blog post focusing on three reasons why ENDA is particularly important for older LGBT Americans. One reason is that older LGBT Americans face double discrimination in the workplace, being subject to both age and anti-LGBT discrimination. Another reason is that employment discrimination adds up over the lifespan, with on-the-job discrimination multiplying into significant later-life income disparities.
These two reasons are fairly self-evident. The third, however, surprised me:
Data on LGBT workers overall show that while only 5 percent of LGBT employees ages 18 to 24 are open about their LGBT identity at work, more than 20 percent in the older age cohorts are out.
Since data also shows that out LGBT employees experience more discrimination than non-out employees, “older LGBT workers are more likely to face discriminatory treatment.” And while that fact may make it seem like older LGBT workers should be closeted at work, Cray points out the negative ramifications of that choice:
And for those who are not able to be open in the workplace, a lack of trust and feelings of isolation continue to take a toll on comfort and productivity on the job and can even result in negative health outcomes. Passing ENDA would provide relief for older LGBT workers, whether or not they decide to come out at work.
The complete blog post is available at http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2013/08/06/71553/enda-provides-protections-for-older-lgbt-americans/
Tomorrow the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is scheduled to take up — and expected to send on to the full Senate — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a long-pending bill that would outlaw employment discrimination against LGBT people.
In honor of this new ENDA push, we dusted off our copy of “An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing LGBT Americans,” a guide that was collaboratively produced by a number of LGBT organizations. It addresses what some would call “The Gay Agenda,” giving data and background on the following LGBT wish list: Continue reading
“Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but the healthcare system often does….”
So starts the conclusion of a new report, “LGBT Patient-Centered Outcomes:
Cancer Survivors Teach Us How to Improve Care for All,” issued by the National LGBT Cancer Network and the Network for LGBT Health Equity. Continue reading
The place of transgender and gender variant people in American society is rapidly changing. Another marker of this change was issued this summer by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The APA formed a task force on the treatment of gender identity disorder (GID) – the psychiatric label the APA assigned to transgender people in 1980 – to “perform a critical review of the literature on the treatment of GID at different ages, to assess the quality of evidence pertaining to treatment, and to prepare a report that included an opinion as to whether or not sufficient credible literature exists for development of treatment recommendations by the APA.” Continue reading
What happens when you’re transgender and living in the middle of rural America and need specialized medical care?
The patient at the center of this story is only 20 years old, but his story, written up in The Daily Iowan on April 4, 2012, is instructive. Like many transgender people — one study says the figure is 50% — he had to educate his health care providers about transgender health care. Luckily, it worked. Not only did he eventually get the health care he needed, but activism by him and his colleagues is beginning to change the climate in Iowa City. For a more recent story that indicates there are still problems — but also that even more efforts are underway to correct them — see the Iowa City Patch article here.
Need data to back up your advocacy for employment non-discrimination legislation for LGBT workers? Six hundred and eighty pages of it has been compiled into a new docuemnt available at http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/05/pdf/lgbt_eo_research.pdf
The compilation, put together by the Williams Institute, the Human Rights Campaign, and Center for American Progress, groups the documents into six categories: employment discrimination and the LGBT workforce; the business case for LGBT workplace protections; public opinion and political support for equal opportunity; impact and legal issues regarding an LGBT nondiscrimination executive order; and miscellaneous. The first category contains only one document, a policy memo (inexplicably still labeled “Confidential — not for circulation”) making the case for why President Obama should issue an Executive Order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.
Although none of the documents’ titles indicate they cover how employment discrimination leads to income dispararities and physical, social, and emotional problems in old age, there is obviously a clear link that can (and should) be made. Please let us at GrayPrideParade know if you know of documents that discuss the linkages.
One of the most important requirements for a decent old age is having enough income to pay for housing, medications, food, and other necessities of life. Many LGBT elders have trouble meeting that requirement due to lifelong employment discrimination. On April 23, 2012, a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) became a key step in correcting this discrepancy, especially for transgender elders. Continue reading
“Intersectionality” is a big term that means something simple: if you belong to more than one minority group, you’re likely to have even more problems than peers who belong to just one of those minority groups. There’s no better example of the results of intersectionality than a new publication issued by the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
“Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” is a four-page fact sheet that highlights findings from the 381 NTDS respondents who said they were both Black or Black multiracial and transgender. While these respondents were of every age, it is critical to remember that the economic, health, and social problems people have as young and middle-aged adults lay the groundwork for even more economic, health, and social problems in old age. Continue reading