Be Out On My Resume?

So I had a conversation with someone about certain resume content, that I’ve struggled with myself, but didn’t realize the impact it had on me until I had this conversation with another person and have been reflecting and thinking about it ever since.

Courtesy of batrainer.com

Courtesy of batrainer.com

I was talking with someone about openly identifying as LGBT on a resume. Now the resume we were discussing wasn’t as if it  was on rainbow-colored paper or that there were unicorns farting glitter all over it. It was one line under the undergraduate institution with the person’s extra curricular activities that said the “LGBTQ Living Proud Club”.

The individual I was talking with, wanted to advise the author of the resume to remove it from the document because they thought that line may be the reason why they were not getting interviews.

Needless to say we went back and forth on the pros and cons, because as you know me, I was for leaving the line on the resume. In the end the decision was left to the author of the resume, as it should be.

Now, there is a factor that was discussed and that if the employer would take sexual orientation into consideration on whether or not to hire a person, it’s probably not the job and work environment you would want to be in. Though for many, a job is a job and paying the bills trumps everything else.

A little information on Michigan, and why for me, personally, I’ve always been a little nervous about my resume reflecting my identities, in particular my sexual orientation, and why it’s a conversation I should learn to have with my students, in particular my LGBT identified students.

  • Michigan is an “at will” state, which allows employers to hire and fire employees as they see fit, so long as it is not discriminatory.
  • LGBT identified individuals are not protected under Michigan’s non-discrimination clause.
  • There is no over lying non-discrimination law protecting all LGBT identified people for the United States with the exception when addressing hate crimes.
  • LGBT Rights are considered a state issue.In particular, employment/non-discrimination, marriage, benefits, adoption, and the list goes on.
  • Former Michigan Governor Granholm’s Executive Order applies only to state employees.
  • The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (more commonly know as ENDA) Executive Order to be signed by President Obama covers only federal employees.

But in reflecting on this incident, and watching the daily changes in LGBT Rights and the national movement, I wondered how do we address the underlying fears of students, in particular our graduates,in openly and confidently sharing their LGBT identities on their resumes and help them be true to themselves all the while not hindering their chances at employment? How do we help them make that decision? And more on the philosophical side: why are we even having to deal with this issue? (it’s kind of a pain in the butt, no lie).

Now, LGBT individuals are not the only ones who have dealt/are dealing with this issue.Gender and race discrimination is still prevalent, but for me, my understanding of this horrible situation is from the LGBT identity point of view 🙂

At this moment in time, I have no right answers nor proposed fixes to the situation other than to just have conversations about it and share how it has effected myself and others.

And that’s what I’ve been contemplating for the week 🙂

Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

 

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About bdproffer

I am currently the Assistant Manager for the University Activities Board at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, web 2.0, LGBT issues and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer for Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
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