We all know that existing precautionary laws will not be sufficient in preventing workplace harassment and/or discrimination for various oppressed groups. At least, we should all know that. I thought we all knew that. Apparently not, though, because straight folks are crashing job fairs designed specifically for LGBTQ people. That’s right, some straight people are thwarting efforts to end workplace discrimination and it is 100% deliberate. The job fair in question is the one held annually by Reaching Out MBA , or ROMBA, for LGBTQ students seeking non-discriminatory employment.
According to Autostraddle, 10% of the 2013 conference attendees were straight. Schools like Rice University and the College of William and Mary are encouraging heterosexual, cisgender students to skip the conference and just attend the job fair. Matt Kidd, the executive director of ROMBA, which is also the largest LGBTQ job fair in the county, has developed a screening process for conference applicants. Prospective attendees have to prove that they’re invested in LGBTQ issues, and ultimately that they have a personal stake in these topics. The fact that this process is even necessary is baffling. So, cisgender people, please try to remember that y’all don’t NEED a special job fair because, if you are unfortunate enough to face workplace discrimination, it won’t be for your gender identity or sexuality. Be respectful and don’t gate crash, but do educate yourselves and join the fight to end workplace discrimination once and for all.