Nobody–and I mean nobody–likes every single aspect of their job. If someone tells you they do, they are a liar, and you should call them on it because they are knowingly doing it or are so deluded they don’t realize it. This isn’t about job dissatisfaction though; it’s not even about job satisfaction. This post was inspired by a recent article on BU Today in which one of our faculty members was interviewed about the invisibility of LGBT seniors. I love working in a place where, as soon as the article posted, a slew of emails went to the whole community not only congratulating Rob on his article and his previously published LGBT-focused edition of Public Policy and Aging Report, but also discussing the disparity of LGBT rights within the US.
Members of the faculty and administration proceeded to share links, other research that might be interesting, and general support once it was announced within the department. As a lesbian, I knew that a school of social work was a safe place, but seeing this outpouring of support and knowledge from the community was something special. One expects the gay instructors to support our “agenda” through research and publication; when people outside the community know just as much–if not more than–myself, I feel comforted.
One of our newer faculty members shared this link from the Guardian showing an infographic (don’t groan, this is a good one!!) of LGBT rights in the US. Being from the Northeast, and Massachusetts in particular, I often slip into my comfortable little world where life is unicorns and rainbows compared to most of the rest of the country. Seriously, mouse over those graphics and see where things stand for so many people. Am I doing enough to ensure that my life is given to those who have to hide from their families, friends and employers? Am I doing enough as an educator to ensure my students are aware of their rights, how to speak up for those rights AND how to speak up for the rights of others? Am I knowledgeable enough about my own microcosm? Some of the faculty who shared research are straight, older academics who really shouldn’t have a care in the world for what LGBT people are going through. But they do; they know a lot more than me because they take the time to care. LGBT rights are one of the hot-button topics right now, and I ask you all to take a few minutes to learn about and promote my agenda a little bit.