The story of Danara (name changed), a 25-year-old queer woman and LGBT activist, was a powerful example of the struggle for rights and non-discrimination in the workplace. The incident highlighted the importance of equal opportunities for all, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Danara had been working in theatre for several years and feared autism as she openly expressed her sexual orientation on social media, where she shared photos of her relationships and attended rallies.
The day everything changed while packing for work, Danara received a message from a colleague who asked if she had seen the material, he had sent to the theatre’s general chat room, which consisted of about 50-100 employees of various positions.
When asked by Danara what the material was, the colleague forwarded the messages to her, complete with photos taken from her personal social media page that revealed her sexual orientation. The colleague wrote a tirade accusing her of rude and aggressive behavior at work and describing her as an “LGBT activist”, claiming that she promoted lesbian values and painted female genitals even in the props of a theatre production she was managing.
Moreover, the colleague gave an ultimatum to his colleagues: either Danara leaves the theatre or he refuses to cross her threshold by referring to her as an “LGBT activist”.
Actions and REAction:
Danara came to work, and her colleagues became supportive. They expressed their outrage at the abuser’s unethical behavior and referred to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan and articles relating to freedom of speech. They offered her the assistance of a lawyer and publicly noted the inadmissibility of discrimination.
The abuser was quickly removed from the work chat room and dismissed from her job for breach of corporate ethics and unacceptable discrimination in the workplace.
Psychological support was provided to support Danara and human rights counselling was provided.
Danara’s story is an example of the importance of protecting rights and ensuring equal opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation. Discrimination and outings in the workplace should not be tolerated. This case also emphasizes the importance of publicly supporting and fighting for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Kazakhstan and globally.