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Home > DIVA Magazine > December 15 > Letters

Letters

NO SKIRT, NO JOB

Star Letter

My girlfriend has been job hunting for the past two months. It’s unbelievably tough out there at the moment. Invited back for a third interview things were looking hopeful. As part of the final questions the boss just checked that she “wouldn’t have a problem with wearing a skirt” as “this is something we’ve had problems with before”. My girlfriend, to label her, is tomboyish/soft-butch. The last time she wore a skirt she was a closeted teenager, depressed and hiding in her Eastern European country. She has had to turn this job down, she could not work in an environment that does not accept her for who she is. It is difficult for us at the moment financially but, without children, we can just about manage, and can therefore take this stand. But how is this still possible?! A company feels they can stipulate a certain type of feminine/woman – and the law allows this? Unfortunately, because it is not overtly about her sexual orientation, and she is not re-assigning her gender, it does not fit under the Equality Act. Also, since there is an equal restriction on men (they have to wear trousers), it is not discrimination by gender – it’s a gender binary attitude. There must be other (most probably gay/bi) women who have experienced this? Please get in contact – we need to change this restrictive attitude! Also, if anyone needs a hardworking, loyal employee in Brighton let us know!

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About DIVA Magazine

Kristen Stewart tells DIVA what has been going on for her since Twilight, why she's avoiding blockbusters and what life is like for her in the tabloid spotlight. Christmas has come around quickly! Some of us love it, some not so much, so with that in mind for our gift guide, we’ve scoured the land for queer businesses, artists and crafters so you can buy your loved ones gifts and support community businesses while you shop. Because some of us like our Christmas a little different – with the honourable exception of Susan Calman – we asked counsellor Alena Dierickx to help us with a few suggestions on how to take a more innovative approach to the festivities. We’ve a bumper crop of arts-related features this month. From queer Muslim artist Raisa Kabir’s exploration of what it feels like to be both included and excluded by your own communities to author Andrea Stuart’s beautiful and thoughtful coming out story (in extract) . Author/performer Yang-May Ooi reflects on what it means to be a lesbian Asian woman living in the West. Many of us know what it’s like to be affected by homophobic abuse and Louise Carolin’s powerful feature on this issue reflects how, despite significant legal changes, hate incidents persist. Perhaps our experiences of feeling cast out explains why LGBT people are heading to Lesvos to help refugees fleeing persecution, as Mel Steel discovers. Plus all the very best in life, scene, books, film, music and TV.
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