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What to do if the boss is homophobic

Working with a homophobic boss and being part of the community LGBT it can be a really frustrating and unpleasant experience. It means spending your working day every day with a person who we feel rejected by and who has a non-inclusive vision of the world. It takes away your motivation for work and creates great stress.

This is why I thought of a decalogue with some advice on what to do, to minimize the impact of this negative experience as much as possible.

Talk to your boss

In a quiet moment, try to be gentle, invite him to lunch or an aperitif and explain to him how his attitudes or words hurt you deeply. Use calm, calm language, as you would speak to your friend. If he's an intelligent person he'll understand, but don't count on it too much. A homophobe has often repressed the homosexual component in him, which is why it creates such discomfort for him: he actually needs psychotherapy.

Find an ally in the HR manager

Many companies have policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation. You can ask for a meeting with your HR manager and ask for advice on what to do.

Take note of homophobic comments or attitudes

Write down the date, time, place and people present, as well as any witnesses to what is happening. Si vis pacem para bellum…

Take screenshots of offensive messages or emails

If your boss expresses his homophobia in written form, keep the evidence, or record any calls in which he uses offensive words towards you.

Look for one or more allies

Talking to one or more trusted colleagues can help you feel less alone.

Contact an LGBT association

Experts can offer advice specific to your situation.

Request a transfer

If your boss is the only source of homophobia at work, in an inclusive company, you can ask to be transferred to another department.

Look for a new job

If the situation becomes untenable, you could start looking for a new job in a more LGBT friendly company.

Don't put yourself on the same aggressive level as your boss

Avoid responding to insults with the same aggressive tone or with challenging attitudes. It's of no use.

Don't isolate yourself

Don't let your boss's homophobia make you give up your job or your relationships with colleagues or your career. The (serious) problem is all his, not yours.

Even in Italy, a country which is unfortunately experiencing a complicated moment for inclusion, discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal. Contact a lawyer, he may be able to help you.

Last but not leastdo not underestimate the psychological impact of this situation. Talking to a psychologist or coach to manage the stress that comes from a hostile work situation is very important!

I hope that these tips can be useful to you, and I also hope that in a few decades this will no longer happen. The battle for inclusion in companies must be fought every day, by all of us who believe in it, who are LGBT or allies.

*Roberto D'Incau is Founder Lang&Partners and activist for LGBT rights

Source: Vanity Fair

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