Imagine providing for two young, adopted children and a significant other with a steady job you love. Then imagine being forced out of that job because your work environment enabled harassment against you, because of your sexual orientation. For Angie and her family, this is an experience that actually happened
Angie and Cynthia were high school sweethearts. They met in class in 2004 and were married a decade later. Their ceremony was small and sweet, surrounded by their closest family members and friends. It was everything they wanted.
Even though Angie and Cynthia had the freedom to marry, they weren’t free from discrimination.
A family really should be a man and a woman.
From 2013 to 2014, while Angie was working as the lead front desk associate at a health clinic, she was constantly harassed and “outed1” against her will to the group of women she worked with by other coworkers and managers. Every day, she was forced to face uncomfortable comments, gossip, rumors, and even unwanted flyers left on her car, because of her sexual orientation. A coworker once said, “A family really should be a man and a woman.”
Despite Angie reporting these incidents multiple times to several managers, no actions were ever taken to help stop the discrimination and harassment she endured. One manager in particular watched closely and was skeptical of Angie’s every move. She was under constant scrutiny, even though she was a reliable employee and was never late.
One day, the manager wrote her up for bringing her cell phone to work—even though staffers routinely used their personal devices on the job. The manager ended up admitting that they were pressured from higher-ups to find a reason to write Angie up on the job.
Angie describes her experience as “emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining.”
Angie, believing that her managers were attempting to fire her on a non-LGBT pretext, filed a complaint with the state Civil Rights Commission, only to find out LGBT folks weren’t covered under the state’s civil rights laws. She decided to leave her job shortly thereafter. The harassment that Angie faced at work forced her to leave a job that she and her family were dependent upon.
We should be able to use our skills and work like anyone else without...fear.
It put a financial strain on the family. Even though Cynthia has a job, the couple is extremely nervous that she could also lose her job at some point and they will struggle even more to provide for their two young children.
As Angie puts it, “Just like everyone else, we’re human beings. We have excellent job performance and we should be able to use our skills and work like anyone else without...fear.”
In 31 states in this country, including Indiana, discrimination against LGBT2 people is still legal. So millions of Americans, like Angie, can be denied housing, employment, and services because of who they are or who they love.
Being outed means an LGBT person’s sexual orientation or gender identity has been shared or announced by another person without their consent.
LGBT is a common acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.
Indiana has passed 3 laws that actively harm LGBT people.Learn more
Can be fired or denied a promotion*
Can be evicted from their homes or denied housing*
Can be denied service at public establishments, denied medical treatment, or even kicked out of restaurants or businesses*
Indiana’s total population
Total LGBT population
Of LGBT population raising children