Growing up in a society where norms dictate the standards for right and wrong, I experienced a myriad of judgments. It is difficult for me to deal with different comments that I hear. I experience discrimination in the workplace because I’m a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is disheartening that it seems hard for people to accept that genders are not only men and women, and we are free to show who we are inside. I believe that this is the main reason why many LGBTQIA+ are hiding their true feelings— their true gender identity.
I hear that most of the members of this community also experienced workplace discrimination as there are companies that refused to hire them because of their gender. What’s worst is that the Philippines is still bombarded with people who do not know how diverse this group of individuals is. There are times when I almost lose hope. However, I always put in mind the bible verse from Deuteronomy 1:17, which says that You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.
Undeniably, a person or a group of people is treated unfairly or unequally in the job due to a set of qualities. This is indeed the concept of workplace discrimination. As I have learned, employer-employee discrimination can take place in the workplace between coworkers, job candidates and employees themselves. The discrimination could be in gender, ethnicity, religion or culture. I believe this is rooted in every place’s culture, norms, tradition and taboos. We cannot deny that society has set standards for what is expected and what is not, and those outside it are being criticized. In terms of gender discrimination, I believe this is a product of our patriarchal culture. Patriarchy makes us believe that men should be strong and masculine. However, this should change, and businesses play a significant role in ensuring that workplace discrimination will come to an end. Small efforts can be taken by businesses to make their workplace more inclusive, such as being aware of micro-aggressions, training employees, building a strong support network and reinforcing the company’s policy on providing LGBT employees with a comfortable and safe working environment. We must understand that we have diverse traits and respect the differences.
As an employee who experienced workplace discrimination, I commit myself to ensuring that no other members of the community will suffer from unjust and unfair treatment just because they are different, even if their traits do not conform to the social norms. I will advocate equality, most especially in terms of gender. I will also share my thoughts with the LGBTQ Allies and those against them to realize that everybody deserves respect— no matter what their gender is. However, we must also learn to forgive those who have judged us, as there are instances that they are just less educated or blinded by societal standards. The best approach is to educate them. Let us all have a positive outlook and accept each other’s differences. With this, I’ll end this with a Bible verse from Romans 15:5-7,
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you for the glory of God.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.