LGBTQ Students

The Career Center is committed to supporting our students and respecting the identity and sexuality of our students and alums.

Get Connected

As you build your career competencies for the workforce, we encourage you to get connected in the following ways:

  • Engage in experiential learning by building relationships with our Career Communities
  • Build your network through the job shadowing program and connect with alumni from multiple communities
  • Connect with a mentor through the RAMP program
  • Learn about internship opportunities and job openings via Handshake
  • Learn about fellowships on campus
  • Build your resume by highlighting the projects you complete through your coursework, student clubs, and community programs

Career Resources

Some Unique Concerns LGBTQ Students and Alums Have Conveyed Include:

Can I find organizations that are LGBTQ-friendly?

Yes. There are companies that commit to making the workplace free from discrimination. You can also investigate a company’s commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion by looking up the company’s diversity statement, speaking with current employees, and looking at their employee resource groups. Smaller companies may host events that celebrate different identities even if they do not have employee resource groups. It is always best to reflect on your needs before committing to an employer. The following resources can help you in your search.

Tgender.net offers a list of Fortune 500 companies with formal statements promising to not discriminate against transgendered or gender-variant employees)

Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index is a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees produced by the Human Rights Campaign. The report is based on a number of criteria, including:

  • Equal employment opportunity policy
  • Employment benefits (including transgender-inclusive medical coverage)<
  • Organizational LGBT competency (trainings, resources, or accountability measures)
  • Public commitment to LGBT support
  • The Human Rights Campaign's list of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Inclusion

Additional Considerations Before Choosing An Employer

  • Does the organization provide same-sex partner benefits?
  • Is there an LGBTQ+ employee resource group?
  • Does the organization have at least one gender-neutral restroom?
  • Does the organization sponsor or participate in activities or events that support the LGBTQ+ community?

Additional Job Search Resources

  • LGBTConnect- job board for anyone seeking LGBTQ-friendly employers
  • Out Pro Net- job board for LGBTQ community
  • TJobBank- employment opportunities for the transgender community
  • PinkJobs– LGBTQ-friendly job board
  • Out & Equal- LGBTQ Careerlink offers tools and resources focused on LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace

What Interview Questions Are Illegal For An Employer To Ask?

  • Do you have HIV or AIDS?
  • Are you transgender?
  • Are you in good health?
  • What prescription drugs are you currently taking?
  • Have you ever been treated for mental health problems?
  • How many days were you sick last year?
  • Do you have a disability?

Ways To Handle Discrimination In The Workplace

Federal law prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, pregnancy, and age. Employers are responsible for complying with the law, but you are responsible for making sure you know and protect your rights.

Illegal Interview Questions
Did you know that it is against the law for employers to ask you certain questions in a job interview? To learn more about what topics are off-limits and what to do if you are asked about them, see the guide by Imdiversity.com-illegal-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-respond-to-them/ and Thebalancecareers.com/how-to-answer-inappropriate-interview-questions.

Discrimination in the workplace
If you experience discrimination once you have started a job, here are some tips and information about dealing with employment discrimination. You are also welcome to reach out to the director of career equity and access for support and inquiries.

Suffolk University-Policy and Grievance Procedures

Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion- This campus resource provides individual support, mentoring, referrals, and education to foster a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all students—giving special attention to historically marginalized students and their allies.

When Should I Come Out At Work?

There is no ‘right’ time to come out. It is an important and personal decision. There may be times when you can be outed during the interview process:

  • Background check
  • Medical exams
  • References

It may help to hear from other folks about their experiences or  seek out stories.

Additional Considerations For Transgender Students

  • Can I use my chosen name on a resume or cover letter?
    • Yes. Resumes and cover letters are not legal documents; you are not required to list your legal name on either. Think of using alternative naming options.
  • Will I have to use my legal name at any point in the job search?
    • Yes. Unless you have made legal arrangements to change your name, unfortunately, you will need to provide your legal name for background checks, Social Security documents, and insurance forms. Most organizations will allow you to use your preferred name for company contact information, email, and the phone directory. Human resource professionals are bound by confidentiality and can be a good source of information.

Additional Resources

  • The Laws that Protect You - Learn about federal, state, and local laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ people and people with HIV, federal and state bans on sex discrimination, and other more general workplace-related laws that may be useful.
  • Gender Identity Discrimination – Find frequently asked questions about gender identity and the workplace.
  • Lambda Legal: Know your Rights – This site covers your rights in the workplace and a legal guide for the LGBTQ community.
  • Transgender Workplace Rights – Find the answers to common questions about transgender workplace rights.
  • Lambda Legal Help Desk- Confidentially call or email to get information and resources regarding discrimination related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and HIV status.

Advocacy Groups, Professional Associations and Publications