(queer)alize promotes story ideas and investigations for LGBTQ+ reporters and news outlets. It provides questions that reporters might consider when approaching a story — identifying key topics to (queer)alize, or make relevant for LGBTQ+ audiences.

Weekly unemployment claims jumped to a 1-1/2-year high last week but remain historically lower than pre-pandemic levels.

Many media outlets focused on the news signaling a possible pause on further interest rate increases next month by the Federal Reserve, while others reported on repaying student loans while unemployed, childcare deserts and lagging workforce, or the job-searching stress faced by upcoming graduates.

Other headlines May 7-13, 2023:

The unemployment rate is expected to average 4.7 percent for 2023, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. LGBT people ages 16+ report a number nearly double the national average at 9 percent.

Why it matters:

For decades, compared with the general population, LGBTQ+ people have faced increased risk of experiencing economic insecurities, such as higher rates of poverty and unemployment.

  • Nearly half of LGBT workers have experienced unfair treatment at work at some point in their lives.
  • LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment.
  • Many LGBT employees reported engaging in “covering” behaviors to avoid harassment or discrimination at work.

UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, May 2021

The Story:

Over the past year, journalists with Charlotte’s LGBTQ+ media outlet Qnotes covered workplace equality and LGBTQ+ community responses as part of a national Solutions Journalism Network cohort focused on labor issues. In the process, they learned more than anything that LGBTQ+ experiences in the workplace are deeply nuanced.

Amid cases of discrimination, a lack of protections and a torrent of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in statehouses across the country, these communities are still thriving – meeting challenges head-on and refusing to live hidden lives.

The LGBTQ+ community is resilient for sure.

Finding the Response:

Including these stories is important to fully explain the impact of unemployment on U.S. communities. And solutions journalism provides added tools to examine the responses.

“It investigates and explains, in a critical and clear-eyed way, examples of people working toward solutions.” – Solutions Journalism Network

From community centers and grassroots equality organizations to neighbors standing up for each other, solutions show up in a variety of ways for LGBTQ+ people. Perhaps someone started a mentorship program for young trans folks or led a movement to add pronouns to company emails, developing an environment for inclusivity.

Here are a few ideas on finding the story.

  • Business Chambers – Many large cities have chambers for the LGBTQ+ community, along with other diverse groups like Latino/x or Asian-American communities. A quick Google search for “Diversity or LGBTQ Chambers + your city” will get you started in the right direction. You can also find a list of LGBTQ+ chambers of commerce around the U.S. at NGLCC, the largest advocacy organization for LGBTQ-owned businesses.

INSIDER TIP: For years, groups dedicated to support LGBTQ-owned businesses used the term “guild” instead of “chamber” in their names. Some still do. For instance, Key West Business Guild has been promoting the island as a queer destination since 1978.

  • Community Centers – LGBTQ+ Community Centers offer health and social services, networking opportunities and support to people in the queer community in many cities. Some of those programs include job fairs and job training programs. For instance, The Center in New York offers one-on-one career counseling, job seeking support, and Center Works that helps young adults ages 18+ to confidently enter the job market, advance their careers and become financially stable. Centerlink, The Community of LGBTQ Centers has an international directory of centers on its website at lgbtqcenters.org.
  • Colleges and Universities – Each year, Campus Pride holds a National LGBTQ-Friendly Job and Career Fair, designed to support young adults entering the workplace. The college nonprofit also provides a job board at CampusPride.Jobs and hosts free online trainings for LGBTQ and ally career-seeking young adults. Also, consider calling your local college or university. Many have LGBTQ resource centers or support services.
  • ERGs, Corporate Pride – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) found that 93 percent of Corporate Equality Index-rated employers have an ERG or diversity council that includes LGBTQ+ and allied employees and programming. As companies still seek to be inclusive in hiring, these employee-led organizations can be a great place to start at finding LGBTQ+ workers to interview.

Tell us your story

If you used these tips to finish a story, or perhaps we just inspired you to be more inclusive, we’d love to hear about it. Tell us about it!

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