20/10/2014 12:25 BST | Updated 20/12/2014 05:59 GMT

Ten Worst LGBT Insults at Work

New research from the largest global LGBT research initiative shows there is still a long way to go to reach true equality.

Work is something that is a fact of life for most of us. Just like being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is too. But when those two intersect it is not always simple - nor easy.

Next month, the latest findings of the world's largest global LGBT research study - LGBT2020 - are being released and this will include a lot of new data about the value of workplace diversity to businesses operating in countries around the world.

New findings from the study, pre-released today, show that there are big changes happening at work, but something else is happening in the average workplace too.

Anti-LGBT insults. Lots of them.


Some of the most powerful content in the new LGBT Diversity: Show Me The Business Case report is contained in the section called 'Worker's Voices' - where respondents use their own words to tell us what life is really like for LGBT people in 2014 at work.

Over the coming weeks Out Now is releasing a series of articles like this one, to show what kinds of things are happening and being said in workplaces around the world.

This first article is about LGBT workers in the UK.

Not all bad

There were some encouraging remarks written in by respondents to the LGBT2020 research this year. These comments show that it is not all 'doom and gloom' - and progress at this time is both real and important.

  • At our work it is good - they have a top-down approach from Board Executives towards equality.
  • I came out as trans in the process of starting an apprenticeship and all the people I have had contact (with) have been amazing.
  • My union rep is a very openly gay man who will support (me) if I feel undermined (as a) professional because of who I sleep with! I know there are staff who just don't get it but that's their problem not mine!
  • I am lucky to work for an organisation that has many 'out' gay and lesbian members. I am not aware of any homophobia and have certainly not experienced any at work.

Much to do

There are still significant problems in UK workplaces for far too many LGBT people.

Only one in three (33%) respondents agreed with the statement: "The situation for LGBT people at my place of work is perfect - (there is) zero homophobia" - and almost half (46%) of all respondents told LGBT2020's research this year that they have personally seen or heard anti-LGBT comments at work.

Ten of the worst

To read more 'Worker's Voices' from the new report, you can read this article and if you would like to obtain a copy of the new LGBT Diversity: Show Me The Business Case report, just fill in this form and Out Now will send you a free copy next month. If you or your company would like to help by getting involved with the report's release, contact Out Now for more information.

There are many insults being directed against LGBT people. Perhaps you would like to share your own experiences in the comments below?

We have taken out from the list below what many respondents refer to, tellingly, as "the usual banter".

In that category you will find words like 'Po*f', 'Dyke', 'Lezzo', 'Tranny' as well as assorted insults like 'shirt-lifter', 'muff-muncher' or the most commonly mentioned workplace remark we saw cited negatively: 'That's So Gay'.

Here are ten of the worst comments LGBT respondents in the UK reported hearing from colleagues at work in the LGBT2020 study.

  • 'People like you shouldn't have children ... Because it's not natural'
  • 'You're not in a proper marriage'
  • 'Do you take medicine for homosexuality?'
  • 'Watch your a*ses with him around'
  • 'I wouldn't let my daughter use a bathroom if that [a transgender female] was in there, I don't want it waving its penis in her face.'
  • 'Why do they need to get married?'
  • 'You should be told if someone is LGBT at work'
  • 'You only turn gay if you've had a f*cked up childhood'
  • 'She only says she's bisexual because she's just trying to get attention'
  • 'I demand to know if you have got AIDS'.

Out Now will be presenting key findings from this new report in a 'Global Series' workshop at the 16th Out & Equal Workplace Summit in San Francisco at Moscone West Convention Center on Thursday November 6.

To request your free copy of the new LGBT Diversity: Show Me The Business Case report, just fill in this form - and Out Now will send you a copy when released.