HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Gerald Bostock who made historical past after his landmark Supreme Court ruling defending LGBTQ staff within the office.
The homosexual man whose case was pivotal within the U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning discrimination in opposition to LGBTQ individuals within the office says he’s “elated” by the consequence. Gerald Bostock, 56, made historical past on June 15 when the Court determined in a 6-Three ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate due to an individual’s intercourse, race, colour and faith, additionally covers LGBTQ discrimination within the office. HollywoodLife speaks EXCLUSIVELY with Gerald who shares his pleasure over the landmark choice.
“Last Monday morning, I did my normal routine. I was actually on a work conference call and also watching the SCOTUS blog put up on the television in our den, my partner and I,” Gerald says of the morning he realized of the court docket’s ruling after he was fired in 2013. He was working in Clayton County, Georgia as an award-winning little one welfare companies coordinator for the Court Appointed Special Advocates, or “CASA” program when he says he was fired for conduct “unbecoming” of a county worker shortly after he started collaborating in a homosexual leisure softball league.
“When I saw that somebody put on the blog that they were about to announce Bostock vs. Clayton County, my heart stopped. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ As I started to read the words as they continued to put information on the blog, I just was elated. It was like a kid on Christmas morning or a kid in a candy store,” Gerald continues. “I embraced my partner, we had a very celebratory emotional moment, because it hit me that, not only for sexual orientation, but also gender identity.”
“Luckily my great attorney, Tom [Thomas J. Mew] was on the phone with me moments later, and he did confirm and verify for me what I was reading was true and correct. So yeah, it’s been an amazingly crazy time here, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s finally starting to sink in a little bit and I’m processing all of it because it is a lot to take in.”
The ruling centered on three associated circumstances involving staff who mentioned they had been fired due to their sexual or gender identification: Gerald, together with Aimee Stephens, a transgender funeral director, and Donald Zarda, a homosexual skydiving teacher. Gerald is the one plaintiff nonetheless alive to see the case’s consequence.
Gerald started working for Clayton County in 2003 and was proudly making a distinction in his neighborhood. “I advocated for child abuse and neglect that came through the juvenile court system. And it was my dream job, I mean I absolutely loved working with the children and it was my passion,” he says. But all that modified when the County realized Gerald was homosexual and had been encouraging pals in his homosexual softball league to volunteer for CASA. “This was at a time that I was recovering from prostate cancer and I joined the league to prove to myself, not only physically that I could do it, but to prove to myself mentally, I could do it. And within months from that, I’m fired,” he says. “My termination paperwork stated, ‘Conduct unbecoming of Clayton County.’ And I was very quickly escorted off the property.”
Immediately following his termination, Gerald recollects his emotional state. “There was anger, frustration, sadness,” he explains. “There was a mortgage that I had to pay for, a car loan. You have bills to pay. But when this happened to me, again, I knew I had done nothing wrong. And because of the timeline I told myself, ‘I’m not going to let them knock me down and keep me down.’ So I immediately went into that mode of starting the process that I needed to take to get to this point.”
“And I’ve remained optimistic from day one,” Gerald says. “It was challenging and it was a struggle. I went several months without any income. I filed for unemployment benefits, and so forth and I do have a great job now that I really love as a mental health counselor at my local hospital here in the Atlanta area. Though I’m no longer making a difference in the lives of children, I feel as though I’m making a difference in the lives of adult mental health patients.”
As for having this victorious choice come down throughout Pride month, Gerald says, “It makes it that much more special. And when I’ll tell you that I am proud, I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud of the man I have become. And then, in this moment of history — now, that’s one thing we don’t have to worry about; going to work fearful of losing our job because of who we are, who we love, or how we identify.”