Diversity Dilemma: Sexuality

Philip Patston shares the final part in his series on the diversity dilemmas that New Zealanders face in 2015.

Growing awareness of diverse sexuality in the workplace is one thing.

RTEmagicC_sexuality.jpgBut here’s the dilemma: What if the dominant culture of the organisation is to talk about the ideals of heteronormative marriage and children, mums and dads, with no mention of two mums, two dads and civil unions? The assumption is that everyone is straight and an employee may still feel unsafe to come out.

In fact, the “spotlight” of awareness may create a shadow that shrouds a non-heterosexual colleague in “otherness”. They may not want to be the only one.

The inquiry here is how to decay the talk of heterostereotypical family, the assumptions of heterosexuality and the culture of a common sexual idealogy. The challenge is to create an open space for a different conversation, where sexual identity isn’t the focus.

Of course, some people may feel “entitled” to talk about heterosexuality and its virtues. The question is, what responsibility do we all have to stop assuming that everyone shares this value?

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