Posts Tagged 'work and employment'

The Advocate: Straight Guys Tell


By Michael Joseph Gross

From The Advocate  November 2009

You’ve heard the threats — about how gay men in the shower might bring down the U.S. military with a wink, a pinch, or a flick of a wet towel. But where’s the truth in that? What’s it really like to serve alongside gay and lesbian service members?

I don’t have permission to be on base, and I’m nervous, because when I told veterans what I planned to do, they all gave me pretty much the same warning: Any soldier I approach could call the Military Police, who would escort me to the gates and kick me out — unless they detained me for questioning.

At lunchtime on a gray September Sunday, a retired officer drove me onto the Fort Lewis Army base in Washington, about 50 miles south of Seattle, and dropped me at the PX (military lingo for “post exchange”), which is basically a food court wrapped in a mini-mall that includes a GNC store, a barber shop, a video arcade, and a folding table where a friendly old guy sells wooden American flags he carves out of what he claims are 1,000-year-old logs. (A sign on the wall behind him reads, ask me how i know the logs are one thousand years old!) Until the cops come, I am haunting the food court, walking up to straight soldiers and asking whether they’ve ever been aware of serving alongside a gay soldier and, if so, what it was like.

I’m conducting this extremely unscientific survey in hopes that the straight guys will tell some stories that might shed light on the debate about repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the federal law and Pentagon policy on gays in the military, which will be the subject of a Senate hearing this fall. DADT is based on the proposition that straight soldiers cannot work with openly gay soldiers. Supporters of the ban argue that gays, if allowed to serve openly, would harm unit cohesion, troop readiness, and morale, largely because their presence would make straight soldiers self-conscious showering or dressing in front of them. Continue reading ‘The Advocate: Straight Guys Tell’

Obama extends benefits, promises more for gays

17 June 2009

Obama extends benefits, promises more for gays

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday extended limited job benefits to gay partners of U.S. government workers in what he called a first step to end discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Under pressure from gay rights groups, Obama urged Congress to pass legislation that would extend full healthcare and retirement benefits to gay families in the 1.9 million-strong federal workforce, as many U.S. businesses already do. Continue reading ‘Obama extends benefits, promises more for gays’

PinkNews: Fired gay soldier to fight dismissal ‘tooth and nail’


By Jessica Geen

May 8, 2009

Dan Choi, the US Army lieutenant who was fired after revealing he was gay, has said he will fight his dismissal “tooth and nail”.

Choi, a West Point graduate and Arabic linguist, came out live on the Rachel Maddow show in March, knowing it could cost him his job.

This week, he received a letter dismissing him for “homosexual conduct”. Continue reading ‘PinkNews: Fired gay soldier to fight dismissal ‘tooth and nail’’

‘HIV-positive? You deserve it’

Source: The New Paper
31 October 2008

‘HIV-positive? You deserve it’
Infected man’s mum slams him when he reveals condition. He now hides it from friends and colleagues
By Benson Ang

In 2004, one evening during dinner, he broke the news to his family. His mother and elder brother were present.

He was advised by his doctor to break the news to his family so that they could react appropriately in case of an emergency.

File picture from The New Paper

File picture from The New Paper

James (not his real name), 38, said he was shocked by their reaction at the dinner table.

His dejected mother, in her 70s, first stared at him and asked: ‘How did this happen?

He replied: ‘Through sex.’

She shot back: ‘Then, you’ve only yourself to blame.’

His brother kept silent throughout the conversation. Continue reading ‘‘HIV-positive? You deserve it’’

Straits Times special feature: Trans Singapore

Straits Times
6 September 2008

Trans Singapore

AA new study suggests that there are at least 1,500 transsexuals in Singapore, higher than previously thought. They come from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds, and many – debunking stereotypes of lowly educated sex workers – are high-earning professionals in both the corporate and public sectors. The majority prefer to lead invisible lives because transphobia is still very prevalent in Singapore.

By Wong Kim Hoh, Senior Writer

A DEGREE from Curtin University, Western Australia, and a regional management position in a large logistics organisation.

While laudable, Juliet’s achievements are not likely to make most people sit up and take notice.

Until, of course, the 40-year-old tells them she is a transsexual. Continue reading ‘Straits Times special feature: Trans Singapore’

TNP: His life now revolves around cartooning

Source: The New Paper

By Ng Tze Yong

ONCE a teacher in Raffles Institution (RI), he now wants to become a world-class cartoonist.

The life-changing move was a consequence of one decision that Mr Otto Fong made – to reveal that he is gay.

As a teacher, Mr Fong had done cartoons in his spare time and even won awards for his work.

But the outing incident that caused a mini-storm proved to be an awakening of sorts for him.

‘I had always asked my students to chase their passion,’ he told The New Paper, in his first interview since the controversy.

‘I loved teaching, but my real passion was cartooning. I realised that if I didn’t leave, I would not be true to what I said to my students.’

So he packed up and left. Continue reading ‘TNP: His life now revolves around cartooning’

Banks and the pool of pink talent

30 January 2008

Banks and the pool of pink talent

Neo Chai Chin

American investment bank Lehman Brothers is planning an unusual initiative in Singapore, Financial Times reported recently. It is specifically targeting gay and lesbians who aspire to be bankers. This follows the success of a presentation and buffet dinner for 50 gay students in Hong Kong.

Today has learnt that the banking giant is not alone. Global banks around Asia are breaking new ground to attract and retain the best and brightest. Increasingly, their hiring and diversity policies are taking into account the homosexual community, which makes up as a significant part of the talent pool. Continue reading ‘Banks and the pool of pink talent’