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Confidentiality Policy

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Charles Curry 6 years, 7 months ago.

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    Charles Curry

    In response to concerns expressed by some members the Board passed a new confidentiality policy a couple of months ago that called for the use of last initials in place of last names in Momentum, our website and Facebook. Since that time we have heard additional concerns expressed by members who object to the deletion of last names for a variety of reasons.
    The Board is currently gathering information regarding the practices of other PT chapters as well as the specific issues of those who have expressed privacy concerns. The current policy will be discussed in the October Board meeting; action may be taken at that time on revisions to that policy.
    The Board would welcome member comments on this website forum. If you have privacy concerns or if you have concerns about the current confidentiality policy, please share those with the membership by posting comments over the next week.
    Your participation is appreciated.



    I prefer seeing full names. Perhap we could ask people to indicate which they prefer for themselves, and then refer to them according to their preferences.



    I am not comfortable with this policy passed by the Board too hastily, I think. It feels like a step backward into the closeted past. I understand that there are good reasons not to be identified publicly, particularly for job reasons, so I am hopeful there is a way to accomodate the members who feel vulnerable, with the understanding that nothing in this world of social media can be guaranteed. This is a non-profit social organization that relies on volunteer labor, and the best we can do is try our best. Jim Harp, President



    Just as the Supreme Court says we have equal rights, it appears that a small minority are attempting to drag us all back into the closet. I feel that if people are not comfortable with having their name posted that they should reconsider their affiliation with the group. I personally have been out since the mid-90s and I don’t want to go back in the closet.



    I agree with most posters here. This is a public social group so if you join you are known. If job security is the issue, I personally do not want to work for someone who would judge against me in this way. Secrecy is against almost every gain made for any human rights.



    I agree with those who say that the “confidentiality policy” is a step back into the closet for Prime Timers. As a matter of politics — and there is a political dimension to this question — it is by virtue of the fact that more Gays and lesbians have stepped out of the closet and into the light that we have made the social and political gains that we now enjoy. No one — or at least, no one who is not actively supporting discrimination against other Gays and lesbians– should be forced out of the closet. However, those who are not willing to step out of the closet should not expect those of us who have to step back inside to preserve their comfort — at the cost of our hard-won liberty.

    As for the employment issue, I agree with Ron: It seems to me not to be in ome’s best interest, at least not today, to work for an employer where you have to give up an essential part of who you are to hang on to the job. It has been a long time since I was an employee, but a much longer time since I was a “closeted” employee. My happiest and most successful time as a Texas state employee was the 15 (of 23) years I spent in a very high profile job while “out” to my immediate boss and to the executives of my agency.

    Although I would not want others to be deprived of the fellowship that Prime Timers can bring, anyone for whom an employment risk is that great a burden should probably reconsider becoming or remaining a member of a group publicly identified as for gay and bisexual men.

    I admit that I am somewhat biased: This new policy has significantly added to the difficulty involved in my producing our monthly newsletter. And as a Prime Timer, I find it awkward and much more difficult to deal with events when the name of the host and the location of the event is not readily available.



    I don’t care one way or the other whether it’s a step back in the closet.
    Using only the last letter of the name makes the Momentum announcements UNUSABLE
    If I hear there is an event to attend, it makes it more difficult to figure out
    who to RSVP and where to go. Signed publicly, John Hawkes


    Charles Curry

    Thanks to everyone who participated in this discussion. The Board rescinded the current confidentiality policy in the meeting this week and is in the process of obtaining a legal opinion about the options that are available to us. Although we don’t have all the answers we need to make a decision on how to balance the variety of opinions on this subject it was clear that the use of last initials was offensive to a substantial portion of the membership; the action to rescind was taken this week so that the November Momentum could be published on time with full names. We will continue to make every effort to protect the names of those who requested that we do so on the 2015 membership application and are working to determine what language to use on the 2016 application before those are made available on December 1.

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