Volkswagen is allegedly pushing a detailed manual about gender and sexuality on employees, according to a whistleblower at the German car manufacturer.
A training document titled “How to be an Ally” was provided to The Daily Wire by a whistleblower. The document was dated in June and marked as coming from Herndon, the location of Volkswagen’s North American headquarters in Virginia’s Fairfax County. The insider stated taht the material represents some of the training “being shoved down our throats at VW” and that the “misinformation” on gender issues is being disseminated to the entire employee body.
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The training document could have used at least one more edit, as the first reference to “LGBTQ+” people reads “LQBTQ+” instead. “LQBTQ+ [sic] people exist across cultures and throughout human history,” the document says alongside a timeline of landmark moments for LGBT acceptance in the U.S. “Despite recent progress, they continue to face discrimination and violence,” the document adds.
The training document states that there are still “no LGBTQ+ legal protections” for housing, education, child welfare services, conversion therapy, public accommodations, hate crimes, and transgender healthcare in many states. The material encourages employees to “take action” on the Equality Act, and a link redirects to a Human Rights Campaign page informing people how they can work to get the legislation passed. One “allyship tip” the training offers is: “don’t assume you know a person’s gender, use gender-neutral language.” An ally is defined as “a person who supports and respects members of the LGBT+ community.”
“Expression, identity, sex, and orientation exist on a spectrum and are independent of one another. There are many more terms and identities within the LGBTQ+ community,” the document says. In the definition of cisgender, the training says that “if a person is not transgender, they are cisgender.” Some LGBT rights advocates dispute that definition, however, saying the reality is more complicated. The document criticizes “heteronormativity” as a pernicious “assumption” that “everyone is heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior to all other sexualities,” which “leads to invisibility and stigmatizing of other sexualities.”
The training encourages employees not to say “ladies and gentlemen,” “both genders,” “opposite sexes,” gendered terms such as “mailman” or “fireman,” or “normal people” when referring to “cisgender” people. “As an ally, sharing your pronouns costs you nothing,” the training says, “However, it signals that you are an ally and that it is safe for LGBTQ+ individuals to be authentic with you.”
The document says the training material was put together by DRIVE (Diversity, Respect, Inclusion, Values, Equality), Volkswagen’s North American “employee resource group for LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies,” which said it works to make Volkswagen “a more affirming and inclusive place to be through education, connection, community outreach & partnerships.”