Work plays a very important role in health. Stress or job satisfaction can have considerable health and quality-of-life implications. Work is also the main place where men get to socialize and express creativity, especially for gay men who mostly live alone and have no children.
As this table shows, the level of satisfaction varies according to the aspect in question. Meaningfulness of work and freedom to make decisions received high scores. Support from hierarchy received the lowest score. Work came up more than any other area of life after love and relationships in the focus group discussions for gay men of all ages in 2001. This shows how important this area is to them and where they perceive needs and difficulties regarding coming out, acceptance of homosexuality and respect.
80% of gay men say they are satisfied at their current job. Generally, this profile is similar to the higher social classes in the population. This picture, however, needs to be placed into context. Work is also a place for major discrimination, constant stress surrounding whether to to reveal they are gay and homophobic comments and attitudes. In focus group discussions, some gays thought that as mostly single men without children, work represented a place of personal fulfillment for them. However, it was also thought that sometimes this comes at a high cost for their health and quality of life. Fully devoting oneself to work carries the risk of perfectionism, or a desire to outperform everyone else to make up for being gay and thus becoming a workaholic. It was also noticed that as single men gays were often the last to be allowed to schedule vacations or time off.
Sessions on Workplace Diversity organized by the Geneva Federation of LGBT Associations in 2015 and the findings from the national survey “Being LGBT at work” painted a detailed picture on these issues. Issues such as coming out at work, stigmatizing or discriminatory behavior from colleagues and/or superiors and career stagnation are still common problems.