Tammy Baldwin – US Congresswoman

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is the first out lesbian elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. As of 2009, she is one of three openly gay members and the first openly gay non-incumbent elected to Congress.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Baldwin was raised by her mother and maternal grandparents. She graduated from high school at the top of her class and attended Smith College, where she majored in government and mathematics. In 1986, Baldwin was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, her first public office.During this time, she earned her degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. After practicing law from 1989 to 1992, she won a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

In 1998, Baldwin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first congresswoman from Wisconsin. She was elected to her sixth term in 2008. She serves on the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee of Energy and Commerce and on the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the Committee of the Judiciary. Baldwin is a leading advocate for universal health care, as well as a proponent of renewable fuel sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A self-proclaimed “forceful supporter of civil rights and those whose voices are not heard,” Baldwin spearheaded efforts to pass inclusive hate crimes legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). She has authored legislation that would extend benefits for same-sex partners to federal employees. Baldwin lives with her partner, Lauren Azar.

Information from: http://www.glbthistorymonth.com

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”

John Amaechi – Psychologist, US Professional Basketball Player

John Amaechi is the first NBA player to speak publicly about being gay.

In 2007, three years after retiring from pro basketball, he became one of only six male professional athletes in the four major U.S. sports to come out. Amaechi, the son of a Nigerian father and a white British mother, grew up in England.

When he started playing basketball at 16, his right hand was nearly severed in an accident. As a result, Amaechi became ambidextrous, which helped him become a better basketball player. Amaechi played basketball at Penn State University, where he was twice selected a First Team Academic All-American.   “It was absolutely my ultimate goal to play in the NBA,” says Amaechi. In 1995, Amaechi’s dream became reality. He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, followed by the Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz. In 2000, Amaechi made headlines when he turned down a $17 million offer from the Los Angeles Lakers. Opting to stay in Orlando earning $600,000 a year, Amaechi remained loyal to the Magic, who hired him when no other team would. Amaechi’s memoir, “Man in the Middle” (2007), explores the challenges he faced as a closeted professional athlete.

After the NBA, Amaechi returned to Britain, where he turned to television sportscasting and covered the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the BBC. He appeared on several episodes of “Shirts & Skins,” a Logo reality series, where he mentored a gay basketball team and shared his experiences as an out athlete.

Amaechi owns Amaechi Performance Systems. He is a psychologist with a management consulting company specializing in workplace diversity and workplace climate and culture challenges. Amaechi established the ABC Foundation, which builds sports centers in Britain and encourages children’s involvement in sports and their communities.

Information from: http://www.glbthistorymonth.com

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”


Rachel Maddow, US based Commentator – LGBTAM Icon June 1, 2010

I came out when I was 17. That’s not an issue for me, it’s not a decision for me. It’s not something I’ve ever thought about my whole adult life.”

Rachel Maddow is a television host, radio personality and political commentator. She is the first out lesbian to anchor a prime-time show. Maddow grew up in Castro Valley, California, a San Francisco suburb. She describes herself in high school as “a cross between the jock and the antisocial girl.”

She earned a degree in public policy from Stanford University. The first openly gay American to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, Maddow attended the University of Oxford, where she earned a doctorate in political science.

Maddow landed her first radio hosting job after winning a contest for a new on-air personality. In 2004, after hosting her second radio show, Maddow joined the newly established Air America as a co-host of “Unfiltered.” In 2005, Air America offered Maddow her own show. “The Rachel Maddow Show” is broadcast on Air America and XM Satellite Radio.

During the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, Maddow became a popular political commentator on CNN and MSNBC. In 2008, after substitute hosting on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” Maddow was offered her own one-hour prime-time program, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” on MSNBC.

In 2008, Maddow was named one of Out magazine’s Out 100. In 2009, she received a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television.

Maddow lives with her partner, artist Susan Mikula.

LGBT Awareness Month – June 2010

June is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Awareness Month. EQUAL!, one of Alcatel-Lucent’s seven employee business partners, is planning activities to celebrate the contributions of the LGBT communities and raise awareness of the issues faced both within and outside the workplace that impact the lives of employees, friends or family members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

Events during the month will include live events and webcast presentations. All employees are invited to attend. Please plan to attend, celebrate, and learn throughout the month!

Find details on the events here.

Each weekday throughout the month, EQUAL! will also highlight a LGBTAM Icon on the EQUAL! blog site. These will be icons you may already know based on their work in the public eye, or with whom you work on a daily basis, or are new to you. Hope you take the opportunity to read their biography each day.


LGBTAM Committee: Kelley Neal (chairperson), Glenda Childress, Jim Deacon, Dotti Evans, Thierry Hochart, Ryk Koscielski, Bud Turner

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”


Yes, IDAHO is one the 50 American States. It is also many other things, including a widely-recognized celebration of “International Day Against HOmophobia and transphobia”.

It is celebrated yearly on May 17 in more than 50 countries in the world, and recognised officially by the European Union, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Costa-Rica, and others.

May 17 was chosen as the day of the event because homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1992.

Many of the celebrations are happening in corporations where awareness on homophobia and transphobia is still needed in all countries, with various level of severeness.

Did you hear about IDAHO before?

Is there any IDAHO celebration at your location?

International Women’s Day Celebration (2010)

International Women’s Day was celebrated 8 March 2010. This is observed world-wide as a day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women.

In Washington D.C, the US President and First Lady observed International Women’s Day on Monday with a reception at the White House. There were many women of note in attendance along with many young girls – and as commented on by the President – some notable men attended too.

During President Obama’s speech he talked about the contributions of women to our society and specifically called out the struggle for Lesbian women to receive fair treatment. After discussing successes on the front of equality for women in the workplace, the President noted that:

“But even as we reflect on the hope of our history, we must also face squarely the reality of the present -– a reality marked by unfairness, marked by hardship for too many women in America.  The statistics of inequality are all too familiar to us — how women just earn 77 cents for every dollar men make; how one in four women is the victim of domestic violence at some point in her life; how women are more than half the population, but make up only 17 percent of the seats in Congress, and less than 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.
These, and any number of other facts and figures, reflect the fundamental truth that in 2010, full gender equality has not yet been achieved; that the task of perfecting America goes on; and that all of us, men and women, have a part to play in bending the arc in America’s story upward in the 21st century.”

Was International Women’s Day celebrated where you work – and – what type of visibility do women at your location have?

Valentine’s Day

In many countries, Feb 14 is Valentine’s Day celebration.

That’s a time when lovers are encouraged to kiss and make gifts and that can happen every where including in public spaces. For LGBT people, it’s not always as simple to kiss in public places since there is often a fear of people insulting or even attacking, simply on homophobic grounds.

This week-end in France, taking this “Valentine’s Day” opportunity, in many places there will be gatherings in public places where same-sex and opposite-sex couples are kissing, at a given time, with some police officers to make sure the event happens safely, in order to create a sort of awareness on this inherent difficulty of visibility.

Within the work space, visibility can also be a problem for LGBT employees. On one side, some may think private life should remain “private” (although many people would easily talk about spouse and kids…), others rather think employees should be encouraged to mix private and professional lives just to be themselves and comfortable at work.

As an employee, what is your opinion on LGBT visibility? Should it be encouraged? Should it be restricted? …

Corporate Equality Index: Alcatel-Lucent earns top mark in 2010

As some of you may have noticed

  • on the Americas’ Intranet
  • in the “in brief” section of the intranet a few days ago
  • or more recently on Alcatel-Lucent blog,

Alcatel-Lucent in the United States received the highest score of 100% in the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors.

As an individual and as an employee, what is your perspective on such reports?

As a candidate for recruitement, is this type of information valuable for you to rank your job opportunities?

On a side note, it’s worth noting that EQUAL! is working within the company providing education and awareness, working with HR and creating community within the Alcatel-Lucent walls.

EQUAL! is a recognized Alcatel-Lucent Employee Business Partner (EBP) supporting Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Employees and their Families and Friends at Alcatel-Lucent and currently active in North America, Europe and Asia… New members are welcome!

Interested in EQUAL! and the work we do? Please go to www.equal.org for information.