Is your workplace gay-friendly? Current issues and controversies

Book chapter


Rumens, N. 2014. Is your workplace gay-friendly? Current issues and controversies. in: Colgan, F. and Rumens, N. (ed.) Sexual orientation at work: contemporary issues and perspectives London Routledge.
Chapter titleIs your workplace gay-friendly? Current issues and controversies
AuthorsRumens, N.
Abstract

This chapter argues that particular invocations of workplaces as ‘gay-friendly’, typically those framed by a business case for sexual diversity in the workplace, constitutes a notable and problematic turn of emphasis in how LGBT sexualities are being folded into organisational heteronormativity, one that signifies a narrowing of possible subject positions and ways of life available to LGBT people at work. Although it is currently possible to identify gay-friendly places of work in ways that were impossible or improbable decades earlier, this chapter interrogates the concept of the gay-friendly workplace using a queer theory perspective. This involves an analysis of the situations that provoke the discourse of the gay-friendly workplace and the consequences to which it gives rise. It also demands attention is paid to the situations in which it is deployed, particularly those organisational contexts from which such a discourse derives its legitimation. Furthermore, this chapter argues that a queer theory perspective trains attention on how the subjects of a gay-friendly workplaces are positioned discursively, giving rise to pertinent questions about who is included and recognised as ‘normal’ within such settings, and who is marginalised and excluded. This chapter sounds a cautionary note against reading workplaces framed as gay-friendly as a ‘natural’ and logical next step in the development and materialisation of LGBT equalities at work.

Research GroupDiversity and Gender group
Book titleSexual orientation at work: contemporary issues and perspectives
EditorsColgan, F. and Rumens, N.
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationLondon
SeriesRoutledge studies in management, organizations and society
ISBN
Hardcover9780415536493
Publication dates
Print23 Jun 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Apr 2015
Output statusPublished
LanguageEnglish
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