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Hi Project,

this morning I was reading the entry "Demographics of sexual orientation" on Wikipedia and I don’t hide the fact that I was strongly perplexed by the plurality and contradictory nature of the statistical data that should represent the homosexual population, we go from percentages of 0.7% to percentages above 15 % depending on the various areas but with enormous fluctuations related to the methods of detection, these are obviously data without any objective value, the only thing that is evident is that the LGBT population is afraid of exposing themselves even through a statistical questionnaire, the fear of a possible tracking is there anyway, despite the assurances of those who manage the statistical procedures and this means that discrimination exists and is still very heavy. I'm gay, I’m over 45 and I’m in charge of recruitment for a large international company. In Europe, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not allowed and it is not even allowed that the employer can investigate aspects of the private life of employees, but anyway this happens, because employees are often naive. It is quite common for people who work with computers to have waiting breaks. Some company computers also allow generic internet access, when this doesn’t happen, it is not uncommon for employees to have their own PC that they can use, feeling relatively safe, by connecting to the Company's internet. These people don't know that company computer connections are all always tracked, if only to see how much time the employee has lost in activities that are essentially not related to his work, tracking allows you to know not only who used the internet from the company computer but also what he was looking for. But there is more, even the connections through the company internet made by a "non-company" PC are tracked, and even in this case the tracking procedure is not limited to measuring the time, let's say, not worked by the employee but registers also his browsing. It is therefore possible not only to track the employee in terms of time actually worked, but even to build a personality profile of the employee starting from the “private” use of the internet during office hours. Over the past year and a half, with smart working the possibilities of control by the company have decreased, in the sense that private PCs are no longer connected to the company network and therefore are not traceable. Given the work I do, I know what the risks of using the internet "not for work" are in a business environment. I never bring anything private into the company offices, that is, not only do I not bring my private PC, but neither my smartphone and I have also invited other colleagues to do the same. On the outside it seems that these are advice given to increase work productivity and therefore my advice is at least theoretically justifiable, should anyone ever ask me for it. Monitoring internet use via the corporate network effectively bypasses or could circumvent privacy protection. The entrusting of well-paid positions and career progressions are linked to the "call" by the manager and I have often wondered on what criteria these calls are based, because in our environment the managers who matter you never see them, they are far from us, in another building and it is they who determine the choices and don’t have to motivate them, because for them only the result matters. Another thing must be kept in mind and it is almost always forgotten, in the company there are surveillance cameras, they are declared and have their own official reason, but through those cameras and programs for facial recognition that are basically rather banal, it is possible to track who speaks and with who and for how long and, perhaps even what they say. I don't think there is anyone who spies for the pleasure of spying, but in the administrative offices and especially in the laboratories and in the technical departments of the company, information circulates that would be tempting to a lot of people and we have to consider that a gay, especially if he is one who counts, is a weak link in the chain because he can be more easily blackmailed and I had some inkling that such an event actually happened. In the company, I, personally, only talk about work, I go to have coffee alone at the internal bar during the break, I greet everyone in the same way and I don't stop to talk to anyone. In my specific working environment there are about twenty people, and we are all "straight" including me! (paradoxical!) Since I've been working here, and it's been several years now, I've never seen a gay guy, they were all straight perhaps "like me"! The others, who I think for the most part are really straight, have tried to involve me, they invited me to their houses, but I never went. You might tell me I'm paranoid, but I might find myself in awkward situations and being labeled is very easy. I specify that I’m not closed in on myself, I have my small group of real friends, who are mostly gay, but they are all people who have nothing to do with my work and are not even from my city, to see them I take the train and I move to a nearby city. Basically I spend all my weekends in that city and that's my real life. There are those who think that gays are all a little neurotic and a lot complicated because of the fact of feeling victims, but those who think so don’t realize how stressful being gay can be, not in itself but for the fact that you are not allowed to be yourself and you feel continuously observed. The fear of being labeled is indeed there because being labeled involves being discriminated against, often in such a sneaky and subtle way that it is also difficult to realize it and when even one realizes it, in reality he cannot do anything, because discriminations for reasons related to sexual orientation are practically always hidden under other cover reasons. I would love to be myself, but it is objectively risky. Everyone would tell me it's not true, but the fact that my colleagues are all straight (!) speaks volumes. Believe me, Project, I have no persecution complexes and have never found myself in situations of discrimination for being gay, but it didn't happen not because my environment doesn't discriminate but because I'm formally straight if this were not the case, there would be certainly discrimination. Lately I have been entrusted with the very delicate task of interviewing those who could be hired, I’m not speaking of illiterate people but of graduated and highly specialized guys, among other things they are almost all men, with some of them an instinctive sympathy is created even just looking into each other eyes. To avoid any form of involvement, I follow a standard interview, always and only on strictly technical content, there are also, necessarily, because it cannot be done without, questions relating to previous employment relationships and the levels of collaboration between Colleagues. There are guys who trust the business environment a lot and would be willing to talk a little more openly during the interview, but it is an unconsciously self-destructive tendency and I always try to stop them by premising that they must respond strictly to the questions, without broadening the discussion, and this serves to evaluate the skills of self-control. Since the outcome of the interview can be decisive for the recruitment and I wouldn’t in any way want to weigh in one way or the other for reasons unrelated to the selection criteria, I ask the guys to write down their answers on the questionnaire in a summary way, so that it remains an objective document. A while ago, one of the new hires I had interviewed looked for me because he wanted to talk to me but I didn't receive him, because if I did, it would be noticed by his colleagues and executives. He was very upset because he didn't understand the meaning of my refusal. I couldn't look for him to apologize to him. I met him a few days later by chance and in a very short time I clarified the reason for my behavior, he wanted to talk to me, I said to him: "Not here, if you can get there, I'll see you on Sunday morning at 9.00 on platform 5 of the station [omitted], he just said "Ok". On Sunday morning we met and I pointed out that a company like the one we work in is not the home of freedom and that prudence is never enough. With this guy (an engineer) we understood each other immediately and there was no need to give too many explanations, we basically only talked about the company but I think that it was just a cover story. We discussed calmly and reasoning on every even minor issue. No need to say that we ended up agreeing on everything and obviously on the opportunity of keeping our conversation at the level of maximum confidentiality. The young engineer is a handsome guy, I can't deny it, but he's 20 years younger than me and I feel a bit like a tutor who has to teach him not to get into trouble. I don't know if he's gay, but looking at it, I think it's at least very likely. How did he detect me I don't know. We only met at the interview and I behaved with him in the standard way, that is, as I always behave with all those who do the interview. Even for that boy having clear ideas on how to survive in that environment can be useful, because he will have to keep a behavior always controlled and this is stressful. If instead of finding me he had found someone else, with his will to speak he would have burned himself immediately. I have lived in such a climate for years and have learned to clearly distinguish my private from the work environment. I’m aware that there are completely different environments, where a friendship with colleagues is also possible, but not everywhere. With the young engineer, when we meet in the company, just a minimum wave of greeting is enough. Outside the company we haven't had a chance to talk anymore, but I think it will happen again sooner or later.

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