WHAT IS AN LGBT SLUR?
OPM deserves credit for publishing, “Addressing Sexual and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections and Responsibilities.” It is a concise and clear explanation of how those who believe they were victims of either form of gender discrimination can formally seek corrective action. Indeed, its explanation of the anti-discrimination procedures is likely useful for challenging most forms of discrimination. But, it ducked a very significant step in stopping illegal behavior against anyone in the LGBT community, educating others about what will be considered a harassing slur or even provide examples of situations which have been found to constitute either form of illegal discrimination. We recognize the sensitivity of a government agency identifying a list of slurs or even a string of factual situations it agrees constitute illegal discrimination. But we wonder why it did not at least refer the readers to private lists of that information, such as provided by Wikipedia (List of LBGT Slang Terms), or case examples provided by private entities. It did not even speak to the question of whether a single example of a slur being used in the workplace will be considered discrimination under OPM rules. Given that the courts are divided on that issue, it was important for OPM to speak.