Career is one of the biggest challenges for young adults. Even more when they don’t fit into the normative definition of gender & sexuality binaries. Let’s have a look at some of the career challenges faced by people in LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ folx face career challenges at different levels. For example, based on whether the individual has ‘self-acceptance’ to some extent or not, whether the individual has come out or not, whether the individual has supportive people in their life or not are some factors that play an important role in career decisions/challenges. Right from choosing the career to selecting an organization to work with, the people in LGBTQ community always have more to worry when compared to their cis gendered peers. Career selection mostly happens during adolescence, a time that one is going through identity crisis which is as it is a challenging phase. A person from LGBTQ community can be going through an array of personal challenges like internalized homonegativity to identity confusion to distress because of erasure of their identities. This is also the reason why most folx in queer community have difficulty in choosing their careers.
We must also admit that the people from LGBTQ community have limited opportunities when it comes to career selection. Consider a Transman wanting to work for the armed forces, it is not as easy as a Cisgendered man for him to go through the entire process. Similarly, a Transwoman wanting to be a model, it is definitely not a cake walk.
Research suggests that there is discrimination and marginalization (because of social stigma) against the LGBTQ community at work places. This is why majority of the community people have to hide their identities at work place. However, when one is able to live up to their authentic ‘true self’ they end up being happier and it also adds to their contribution to the workplace. Also, folx who are already working and have come out share that coming to a confidant first would help them feel secure and allow them to test the waters at the work place.
Many LGBTQ individuals indicate that there is a feeling of ‘otherness’ at workplace for them. This comes from the homonegativity and lack of awareness of gender and sexuality spectrum. After the judgement on section 377, global organizations have been working on making workplaces inclusive to LGBTQ community. Tata Steel is the top-rated employer for LGBTQIA+ inclusion, some others are Lalit hotels and Thoughtworks. Many other organizations are still working towards inclusive policies to ensure safety for LGBTQ folx at work place.
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About the Author.
Sridevi Kakuturi is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.