Belfast Telegraph

In his own words... how Martin endured a nightmare at work

By Adrian Rutherford

I had worked in my job for 10 years. For more than eight of those years everything was fine. Then, in the last 12 to 18 months, I was harassed and abused because of my sexuality.

I can't be sure what triggered it – it just happened one night all of a sudden.

Obviously someone got wind of my private life and wanted to make a whole issue out of it.

When all the workers got together – when we were in a minibus getting shunted to and from the quay – remarks were made.

There would be 12 or 14 of us sitting together, then someone would make a remark.

Some of the remarks were very abusive; they were actually sickening. They weren't made directly to my face but they were said in front of me and certainly aimed at me.

Abusive things were said which I didn't even know about at the time.

It might have been a standing joke for my colleagues but it wasn't a joke for me.

My personal life had nothing to do with anybody in the workforce.

In that type of environment I felt uneasy discussing it and there was no one trustworthy enough to be able to talk to them about it. The company didn't address it and they didn't investigate my complaints at all, let alone fairly.

I'm glad of the outcome but I've still lost my job, which I enjoyed doing.

Hopefully I can move on and put this matter behind me.

Quite simply, this type of harassment shouldn't be happening in today's society.

Belfast Telegraph

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