El pasado 9 de octubre, la empresa JP Morgan lanzó oficialmente el capítulo mexicano de Pride, su red de empleados LGBT + aliados. Por invitación de los organizadores del evento, participé dando una breve conferencia.
Hablé sobre la importancia de ser abiertamente LGBT en el trabajo, información de la Encuesta Nacional de Homofobia y Trabajo, ejemplos de homofobia y discriminación laboral, por qué ser una empresa que respeta y celebra a sus empleados y clientes LGBT es un asunto de negocios, y la relevancia de tener compañeros aliados.
Aquí la información que John Murray circuló, y que publico con su autorización:
PRIDE chapter launches in Mexico (Oct. 14, 2014)
In a show of the firm’s support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees, J.P. Morgan recently launched a PRIDE chapter in Mexico, the firm’s second PRIDE group in the region.
PRIDE, the firm’s business resource group for LGBT employees and allies, supports workplace equality and enhances an inclusive work environment and career growth opportunities for LGBT employees. A Brazil PRIDE chapter was launched last year. The Mexico launch coincided with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Chief Communications Officer Joe Evangelisti both ranking among the top executives on a list of Top LGBT executives and allies. (OUTstanding leaders)
Companies have found that supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace makes employees feel more committed, satisfied, productive, healthier and closer to their job. A Fortune report from 2011 also noted that 92% of companies reported that diversity policies and equal benefits led to good business results. Supporting diversity also helps to recruit and retain top new talent.
Best practices from Brazil
Eduardo Cepeda, Mexico senior country officer and senior sponsor of PRIDE Mexico, kicked off the Mexico PRIDE launch event last week, noting that the group has already been instrumental in helping to secure enhanced benefits for employees and their domestic partners, including access to employee health insurance benefits for domestic partners, time off from work for issues involving a death in the family of a domestic partner, adoption, maternity and paternity leave. Previously, such benefits were not available in Mexico to same sex domestic partners.
“When I heard there was interest in launching the group in Mexico, I raised my hand to volunteer to be senior sponsor, a role I will play with great pride,” Cepeda said.
The group has already attracted 54 employees as members, including all members of the Mexico Management Committee, representing 19% of the firm’s employees in Mexico. Nearly 100 employees attended the launch event. It has leveraged best practices from PRIDE Brazil in terms of messaging, membership recruitment and events.
In addition to Cepeda, the PRIDE Mexico leadership team includes Iliana Flick as Human Resources sponsor, Andrea Lerdo of Legal and John Murray of CIB LATAM Marketing as co-chairs, and members Luis de la Serna of Treasury Services, Jorge González Aceves of Trade Support, Alvaro Muñoz of CIB Operations and Salvador Rosas of Compliance.
At the launch event – which featured beverages and souvenirs from J.P. Morgan client Jose Cuervo – a local LGBT activist discussed the issues faced by LGBT employees in Mexico’s labor force, noting that according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) National Survey on Homophobia and the Labor Force in Mexico (Encuesta Nacional sobre Homofobia y el Mundo Laboral en México), 55% of LGBT workers in Mexico are not open about their sexual orientation at work, 24% have been fired or denied employment for being LGBT, 35% have experienced discrimination from their manager or co-workers, and just 15% took action about the discrimination. Of that 15%, 45% resigned from their job, the activist said.
According to the National Human Rights Commission survey, 51% of Mexicans feel they work at a place where they can be open about their sexual orientation, but 42% do not feel this way.
Coming out at work
The activist also spoke about the critical role of LGBT allies, noting that allies at work are critical as they display unwavering support, are sensitive to LGBT staff issues and help to ensure equality and fairness are uniformly enforced across the firm.
To close the event, two Mexico office employees spoke about their personal experiences with coming out to colleagues, Salvador Rosas of Compliance and John Murray in CIB Marketing.
Rosas talked about the impact of a rumor regarding his sexual orientation that circulated at the company he worked at prior to J.P. Morgan. He said the lack of understanding and support “had a domino effect on my career during my final two years in that company,” adding that the support J.P. Morgan provides to LGBT employees is tremendous.
Murray explained how, while at a J.P. Morgan offsite in New York in the 1980s, he was “outed” by a gay colleague who was also attending the event. “The bank was very different then,” Murray said. “There was no email, my department had a single shared computer, there was a large monstrosity called a word processor that used eight inch disks. There were also no diversity program, no BRGs in the 1980s. At that time, to be young and gay in New York meant you faced a stigma, as AIDS was new and associated with the community and some people were genuinely afraid to be near gay people.”
Murray said he was nervous after his colleague’s comments, but the team manager immediately showed visible support and leadership. “I am sure that if my manager at the time was not supportive, or worse, if he started to treat me differently or exclude me, I would be working someplace else today. I still keep in touch with him, now that he retired from the bank and lives in South Carolina and still feel lucky to work at a great institution like J.P. Morgan.”
Andrea Lerdo of Legal closed the event by quoting Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants,” a reference to regional and local managers who supported the PRIDE Mexico effort. “It is due to them that we have the luck to work in a place where respect and inclusion are the pillars of the corporate culture. She encouraged the participants at the event to become “giants” themselves in order to help others understand more about LGBT rights and inclusion.
*Post actualizado el 30 de septiembre de 2014.
Hace unos días regresó a la cartelera de la Ciudad de México Tom en la granja de Michel Marc Bouchard. Es de mis obras favoritas y se presenta en el Foro Lucerna (Lucerna 64, colonia Juárez).
Después de la muerte accidental de su amante, Tom busca consuelo y visita en algún lugar remoto a su familia política, a la que no conocía. Envueltos en ese mundo austero de la granja, Tom es atrapado en una historia donde la mentira nutre el paso de los días. El brío de las situaciones planteadas por Bouchard, envueltas en ese duelo y a la vez renacimiento de Tom, nos estrujan las entrañas, las emociones y el alma.
Tengo 5 cortesías dobles para quienes quieran ir a la función del sábado 4 de octubre a las 19:00 horas. Para ganarte una, escríbeme a email@example.com. Ganarán los 5 primeros correos que reciba.
Aquí el audio del programa de radio Aleatorio 105 del 25 de septiembre en Reactor 105 con Itzel Aguilar y yo. Hablamos sobre homofobia en Tuxtla, parejas del mismo sexo y el censo de Estados Unidos, y Grindr como una herramienta para perseguir a homosexuales en algunos países. Clic en la imagen para escuchar:
Gracias a John Collalba por grabarlo y subirlo a internet.
*I published this piece originally on The Huffington Post on September 23, 2014.
His Pervert tattoo on his back is often misread as Perfect. But that’s what he has achieved in a way. Perfection. He looks the way he always dreamed to. He has also created Buck Angel Entertainment, Buck Angel Dating, and has his own sculpture in London.
A lot of people don’t think he has important things to say, which he attributes to the fact that he is a porn star. And he does. That’s why I met with him for an interview on a short trip to Merida a couple of years ago and between work trips of his own to Detroit, Oklahoma City, Copenhagen, and London. And after a series of unfortunate events that resulted in this not being published earlier, here’s my chat with award-winning pornographer turned advocate Buck Angel.
Buck Angel: This place has been magic for us. People are amazing, they’re really sweet, even though I look kind of scary in a sense. So, I do stand out, but people aren’t rude about it. They’re very okay. They don’t care. It’s very simple and easy here. There’s no pretentiousness. You lived in New York, you know what I mean. I travel all the time. I’m constantly on the road, so our house here is sort of like our safe place. We have people who work for us, who take care of our place and our dog, and we could never live like that in the U.S., with a domestic staff of three. We throw Christmas parties for our neighbors, with tamales and everything. At first they were scared of us. They thought we were drug dealers. We’ve made an effort to show our support to the community.
ETM: How did you get into the work you do now?
BA: I started working in the porn business behind the camera and everything was going great. Then I started working with a transsexual woman, which is a huge genre in the adult industry. So I thought, wow, there is no porn with a man like me. You could see any kind of porn you wanted, but a guy like me did not exist. I realized it had to be all about me, so I came up with the “man with a pussy” tag line. It was not easy. The whole adult industry hated me. I was, like, they have porn with 500 men gang bangs. How can you say I’m a freak?
ETM: Do you think that even with everything you can find in porn it is still a heteronormative or gendernormative industry?
BA: Everyone was freaking out on me. It was something new, and there had been nothing new in this industry for so long. At one point I got sick of it, I was taking everything personal, and that’s when I snapped myself out of it. I flipped it and everything started to change. Within two years of starting my business I won the AVN Transsexual Performer of the Year. Little by little I started recognition inside and outside the adult industry. When I started getting media attention from outside of that I realized maybe I was doing something bigger. Gender and sexuality is whatever you make of it. Because of that, that’s where I am today. Moving my adult work into educational work. I moved it to wanting to teach the world that you can be whoever you want to be, no matter what anybody tells you.
I get emails from people who tell me I’ve changed their lives, I’ve made them feel like they don’t have to commit suicide, they can be who they want to be. They don’t have to have surgery to become a man or a woman. That has been the most rewarding thing for me. A 13-year-old kid writing me and telling me “Thank you for making me feel that I’m not a freak.” You know how huge that is? When I was 13 I wanted to kill myself. That’s why I’ve had to twist my work into more educational, because my message is bigger than that.
ETM: So, that just happened very organically.
BA: It did. But through the organic change I realized I have to make an effort to change. I had to make that effort to say I’m an educator. I’m an advocate. I’m a filmmaker. I’m not just a pornographer. That has actually been a burden more than anything: the fact that I’m a porn star.
ETM: Is that common in the porn industry? To have people make that crossover to advocacy, activism, education?
BA: You will not see a lot of people like me making that crossover, though it is happening more today. And I have to say I attribute that a lot to my work. I really believe that my work has helped other people come along and feel more the need to become sex educators. The way they disrespected trans women in porn was also one of the reasons why I did my own work, because I didn’t want me or a guy like me to get into a porn industry that disrespects me. Trans women or girls with dicks were marketed as freaks. It was a straight man who took them, and made money off of them, paid them, and kicked them out the door. I saw that, and I didn’t want that to be my work.
ETM: The T in LGBT seems to be the last priority within that community. Does it make sense for transgender people to continue to spin off as a movement of its own?
BA: I think they should. Sexuality and gender are two different things. LGB is your sexuality. T is about your gender. I’ve always said that. When I mention that I’m a transsexual to a doctor, they immediately think I’m saying I’m a homosexual. And I have to tell you Mexico has been amazing in terms of medical care.
ETM: What is it like to have achieved the ideal version of yourself, appearance wise, if that is the case?
BA: It is. I always dreamed to look how I look: a man with muscles, able to take my shirt off. I don’t know so much about the tattoos or the bald head, which came with the testosterone as a side effect. I can say that I have achieved what I always wanted, which is the look of ultra, hyper masculinity. That’s what I was going for. Not to say that’s the case for all trans men, but it was my vision. I used to hate my body. And, actually, contrary to what people say of testosterone, testosterone mellowed me. It didn’t make me angry. I was angry before the testosterone, but now I’m much more calm, and feel more at peace with myself than ever before. My work isn’t about being trans. It’s about being who you are.