With the decriminalisation of article 377, the diversity and inclusion (D&I) programmes of the companies have started including LGBTQIA+ folks in their spectrum. The talks about D&I to include LGBTQIA+ folks have been strengthened by the social media outburst, global initiatives and partnerships. During the pride month, we can see the whole arena of the corporate sector is promoting and providing opportunities to the LGBTQIA+ folks but we all know that it is about the “Pink Economy”. There is no doubt that there are companies who have genuinely developed safe spaces for the community and are giving them fair chances at succeeding. But it is also not hidden that LGBTQIA+ folks have to face discrimination, sexist comments, harassment, microaggression, micro-assaults etc. at their workplaces which takes a toll on their mental health.
There is a term called gender harassment which has an alternative name “sexism” . It aims to co-relate certain roles with gender that seek to feminise women and masculinize men. It is applied even to the cis-heterosexual people along with the LGBTQIA+ folks. For example the use of slang ‘femboy’ for cisgendered males based on their outer appearances and characteristics. Micro-assaults include commenting on how someone dresses and calling it unprofessional as their idea of dressing is not according to the traditional gender-binary standards. The pressure on LGBTQIA+ folks to “play along '' with their cis-gendered heterosexual colleagues in sexual discussion, humour, or actions causes micro-aggression and stress in them.
This calls for safe spaces where LGBTQIA+ folks can come together to work and have interactions where there is no fear of judgement and discrimination; where they can share their ideologies and problems; where they have opportunities to network with other members from the community. FirstContact.LGBT is such a safe space where LGBTQIA+ folks and allies connect personally and professionally to become a part of the network which helps and supports each other to grow together on an everyday basis. FirstContact.LGBT is a 2-D metaverse that provides space to not only work but also to unload the daily stress by providing several fun features like Karaoke, games, movie-screenings etc. It is a place where people can be who they are without any filters.
The world is changing and along with it there is an increase in the acceptance towards diversity at all places. But until we have achieved the state where there is no need of programmes like D&I to make people feel safe and acceptable; we need places like FirstContact.LGBT which is building a world where gender and sexual diversity is recognised so practically that no one has to ever come out or struggle for existence.