Lesbians and gays forced to stay in the closet at work due to prejudice of colleagues

Nearly half of the UK’s estimated three million homosexuals do not reveal their sexuality to all those they work with, according to research released today.

And one in 10 gay men and one in eight lesbians have been harassed at work in the past year because of their sexuality.

Ian Johnson, chief executive of Out Now Consulting, a specialist gay marketing consultancy said: “Lord Browne (of BP) is far from alone.

“Out Now’s research for specialist interest magazines Diva and GT reveals that many UK workers are in a similar position. Heterosexual people don’t experience the same pressures to conceal such a major aspect of themselves at work. Being yourself at work is something all workers in the UK should be able to do.

“This problem affects workplace productivity, loyalty and ultimately can result in otherwise well-qualified gay staff leaving a job because they can no longer keep up a pretence of being heterosexual.”

Johnson added that organisations should improve workplace equality and diversity policies.

“Human resources managers say they don’t discriminate, but the situation on the ground shows that half the UK’s gays and lesbians do not feel they can just be themselves at work.”

More than half of all lesbians and gay men said they were completely honest about their sexuality with colleagues.

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