Throughout his time working for a construction company based in Arizona in the early 2000s, Greg Ward felt the impact of inappropriate conversations in a unique way: As a bisexual man – or someone who is attracted to people of all genders – he felt threatened, personally attacked by the anti-LGBTQ statements some of his co-workers made. It always bothered Greg, but he never fathomed that those negative feelings would ever translate to a deeply ingrained rejection of LGBTQ people or blatant discrimination. He was laid off in 2006, but when he thought about applying for a similar position, he was discouraged by a colleague who said the likelihood was high he would be denied the job because he is bisexual.
“People’s lives are really impacted by discrimination like this,” Greg said. “The reality is that people need to make money – we just came out of a really bad recession, and people got hit pretty bad and are still on the road to recovery. People’s livelihoods are really at stake here. I can’t imagine if other people are not getting the work that they need because of their sexuality – to me, that’s devastating. It’s unfair, and it’s not right.”