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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT)

Creating an inclusive workplace is essential to maintaining a competitive advantage. Cultural Detective Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender offers an effective way to bridge differences while fostering a climate of respect.

LGBT communities are defined by identities based on gender and sexual orientation. Their sense of culture emerges in their experiences in life due to core differences from the cultural norms surrounding gender and sexuality. These differences impact everyday attitudes and behaviors including those of survival, modes of expression, creation of family, and participation in community.

Institutionalized norms and assumptions (e.g., that marriage involves one man and one woman) frequently contrast with the ways in which LGBT people self identify. Often these contrasts are the basis for how others define and identify LGBT community members. Differences between self-perceived identities and other-perceived identities can result in the harassment of individuals perceived as gay, whether or not they are.

Cultural Detective Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) contains the following stories and critical incidents:

  • Our Best Salesman:

    A gay medical software salesman is assigned to a rural territory in Canada and has difficulties being successful.

  • Social Events:

    A gay consultant in Minneapolis does not participate in work-related social events.

  • Transitions on the Job:

    An employee in Berlin who is transitioning speaks with a supervisor to help plan how to make the workplace transition go smoothly.

  • What Bathroom Will Gary Use?:

    A building renovation in Fresno, California leads to discussion on restroom designations, and reveals the continuing discomfort of the organization’s director.

  • Workplace Values:

    An English bisexual computer engineer is asked to be the Diversity Champion for his employer’s LGBT Employee Resource Group.

  • You Can Always Tell:

    A non-transgender person is surprised when his boss reveals he is transgender.

  • Picture, A:

    A gay employee in Knoxville, Tennessee has a photo of himself and his partner on his desk.

  • Pride Parade, The:

    A local man reflects on the LGBT Pride Parade held each year in the large U.S. city in which he lives.

  • Out-of-Town Conference, The:

    A lesbian banker from Monterrey, Mexico, who is closeted at work except to a co-worker, attends an industry conference in Acapulco.

  • Sales Associate, The:

    A lesbian employee of a sports apparel store in Texas is told by her employer that she should look more feminine or risk termination.

  • Gay Guy, The:

    A manager in a Paris-based graphic design firm asks a gay team member about his desire to share gay-related information with the group.

  • In the News:

    A transgender person shares an article in an attempt to gauge how a friend feels about a third gender.

  • International Assignment:

    A lesbian aviation engineer from London accepts a two-year international work assignment in Shanghai, where she will move with her partner.

  • Interview, The:

    A gay employee in India interviews for an internal position at his organization.

  • It’s Who You Are, Not How You Are Seen:

    A bisexual woman faces challenges, though in different ways, during both of her serious relationships.

Cultural Detective Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender was authored by Vivek Saxena, Rita Wuebbeler, Nancy O'Brien, Randall Stieghorst, Susan Gore, Rob Pusch, Rebecca Parrilla and Dianne Hofner Saphiere with assistance from many others.