UNITY Michigan Offers Tips for Acting “Not-Gay” So You Don’t Get Fired

An LGBTQ rights organization in Michigan is spreading awareness of their state’s lack of employment protection for queer individuals by spreading tongue-in-cheek tips on how not to act gay.

In Michigan and 28 other states, it’s still legal to fire someone solely because they’re lesbian, gay, or bisexual. In an effort to draw attention to this glaring lack of employment protection, UNITY Michigan opted to go the funny, viral route and launched the Don’t Change Yourself, Change The Law campaign. The campaign includes hilarious posters (such as the one pictured above) offering tips on how to appear “not-gay” during interviews and in the workplace, as well as desktop backgrounds featuring such gender-normative themes as taxidermy for men and purses for women.

“We want to warn Michiganders that coming out may cost them their jobs,” said Jon Hoadley, director of the UNITY Michigan Coalition. “Our state still does not protect gay and transgender people from employment discrimination.” While the campaign is not focused on a specific piece of legislation (no such legislation is being considered in the Michigan legislature right now); instead, it is focused on amending Michigan’s existing 1976 Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual and gender orientation and raising public awareness of the issue. “The key point about this campaign is to say ‘we know that the problem is that discrimination occurs and we want to find the most appropriate way to make sure that gay and transgender folks are protected in the law.”

Like what you see? Forward the info about the Don’t Change Yourself, Change The Law campaign to your friends in Michigan and other states without employment protection. Hopefully, the campaign will get people laughing — and then seriously considering how urgently employment protection on the state and federal level is needed for LGBTQ people.