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Survey: Most Gays Stay Closeted at Work


Fifty-one percent of LGBT employees say they hide their sexual orientation or gender identity from most or all of their coworkers, according to a survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Despite major gains at many American companies and antidiscrimination laws on the books in several states, 42% of LGBT employees say they've lied about their personal relationships in the past year. Only 5% of workers ages 18-24 say they are open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, while 20% of their older colleagues say they are.

"We've found that inclusive nondiscrimination policies and equal benefits are the essential first step toward cultivating a productive and engaged LGBT employee, but they are not the last step," said Daryl Herrschaft, director of the Workplace Project. "By understanding how LGBT identity surfaces and unfolds in the workplace, we will be better able to turn policy into practice and address opportunities to improve productivity and retention of LGBT employees."

The survey also found that only 18% of LGBT Latinos are willing to be open with everyone at work, compared to 25% of African-Americans and 29% of whites.

Check out the full study here (link opens as PDF).

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