Wednesday 11 October is World Coming Out Day. Coming Out Day encourages LGBT-Plus people everywhere to stand proud and claim who they are and hopes to help those with fears of being rejected.
702 Afternoon Drive host, Bongani Bingwa spoke to Teveshan Khuni, Director, South African LGBT Plus management forum about the significance of this day.
Khuni says his organisation has taken an interesting twist to the day and made it 'corporate coming out day'. He says its an important day because not many people understand the journey a person goes through in their coming out story.
It's fraught with fear. It is fraught anxiety. It's commemorated because, in every person's life that comes out, their family and friends are affected by it.— Teveshan Khuni, Director, South African LGBT Plus management forum
Khuni says a big focus of what they are doing is shedding the spotlight on corporate organisations to determine whether or not they have the necessary tools to look after LGBT-Plus employees who make up roughly ten percent of a workforce in any organisation.
We definitely have the constitutional protection but that doesn't necessarily translate into the policies and processes that help to ensure organisations cater for the LGBT-Plus employees, he says.
Oil company Shell have established an LGBTI Plus network which is essentially a volunteer organisation that provides support to LGBT Plus employees and associates within the business.
Barbara Makhubedu, Chief Financial Officer at Shell says the network was established to create a platform to not only celebrate the LGBTI Plus community but also to understand the challenges facing the community.
It's also important to us to have our staff to come to work in their wholesomeness, feeling respected and valued irrespective of their sexual orientation.— Barbara Makhubedu, Chief Financial Officer, Shell
Listen to full interview in the clip below: