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How to Navigate the Gender Landscape at Work

LGBTQ language and institutional responsibility are where it begins

​Some still bristle when they hear it, but in 2019, when used to describe a gay person, “queer” doesn’t carry the same pejorative connotations that it might have 25 or 30 years ago.

Still, it’s important to know your audience before using it, said Stephanie Huckel, senior global program manager of diversity and inclusion at IGT. Huckel recently spoke at a Faculty of Arts and Sciences Diversity Dialogue, “Achieving Greater Workplace Equity for LGBTQ Employees,” at Harvard Hillel.

“Don’t use it unless you feel comfortable explaining why you’re using it,” she said in explaining the importance of using the appropriate language to describe nonbinary people. “If you don’t get it, ask, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.”

Huckel pointed out that “queer” was “an ‘in group’ word for a long time — if you were a part of that community.” And even though it has evolved and become more generally accepted, she admitted that she’s cautious when using the word in front of an audience of “gay and lesbian elders.”

Read more from Harvard Gazette here>>>