Thursday, May 21, 2009

Out on the job search

InsideHigher Ed just ran an essay about coming out on the job search, Gay in the Academy, and since some librarians are both GLBTQ and planning on working in academia, I thought linking to the article might be useful.

Taking a job as a queer scholar frequently involves moving to a state or location where the majority of voters have declared that we are not eligible for equal rights or protection under the law. Forget questions about a hostile work environment, some queer scholars have to contend with a hostile living environment.

It's not comforting to me to know that stereotypes--as well as outright hatred--are out and about in society. I don't kid myself that bigotry doesn't exist, but bigotry appears to have no shame--though GayProf's comment about malice vs incompetence may be describing some of the difficulties that GLBTQ persons are discovering when looking for work.

Though I have usually made it clear to the search chair before I arrive that I am gay, and my c.v. suggests strongly that I am gay, I have nonetheless been asked if I was [heterosexually] married on every single on-campus interview that I have ever had. Every. Single. One.

They're kidding, right? Probably not. Obviously you can't be competent and productive enough on your own without someone else to tidy your closet and make your meals.

There are some additional resources--pretty slim in my opinion--that can also help GLBTQ who are on the job market.

The Lavender Road to Success is the only on that I have been able to get my hands on. I have also come across Out in the Workplace: The Pleasures and Perils of Coming Out on the Job, but I have not been able to get a copy. There are many academic studies, but trying to find books written for laymen on the topic, especially for human resource officers who are trying to create an equitable work place, pickings are slim.

If you are looking beyond academia, you could refer to Human Rights Campaign's annual Best Places to Work, DiversityInc, Pride at Work, and Out&Equal Workplace Advocates.

If you're worried about where to settle (Tennessee, anyone?), Who's Your City also has a brief list of possible best cities for gays and lesbians, though as GayProf pointed out, finding a job in academia could mean moving outside of a major city.

There is also the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association but the RT's blog appears to be more active than the pages within ALA main.

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