A.J. and Josh are married and have been together for nearly 20 years. They met in Nashville – A.J. was working in the music industry and Josh was a performer. Since then, both of their careers have wound through multiple fields and multiple states, from Rochester, NY and back to Nashville, TN, where they live now. In 2017, A.J. was hired at Demos’, a restaurant in Nashville. After being hired, he was repeatedly asked about his personal life and eventually he disclosed that he was married to a man. After his managers found out, they made him sign a disciplinary statement saying he was “dishonest” about his marriage during the hiring process, and after his 90-day probationary period he was let go. A.J. believes that this is a clear instance of workplace discrimination, especially given that prior to being let go, he received effusive praise for his performance and work ethic.
“I had always been pretty oblivious about discrimination in the LGBT community,” A.J. said. “I guess I just never really paid attention to it. My take was that discrimination just didn’t really happen – never in a million years was I worried about this at all. My biggest cause right now, in addition to salvaging our lives, is to pay it forward and make sure no one else has to go through what we’re going through.”