A Woman Was Told That Her Pride Flag Screen Saver Was NSFW

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What do you consider to be NSFW? While some things are pretty cut and dry in that department, there are some pretty innocuous things that might ruffle some feathers. Michelle Hurn, a dietitian at Boulder Community Health, found out that her screen saver wasn't as innocent as she thought. While her usual rotation of pet photos and personal snapshots were fine, when she added an image of the rainbow flag, she was asked to remove it because a coworker complained. She was told that if she didn't comply, she'd be fired. Mic reports that Hurn decided not to remove the flag. Instead, she quit. "I'm certainly not looking for special treatment or preferential treatment, but to say that a symbol of equality is offensive — I have a real problem with that," Hurn told local ABC affiliate KMGH. "I just don't feel good working for an organization that's going to stand behind that." Hurn, who is an out lesbian, felt that her HR department, bosses, and department were not supportive of her and that they saw the flag as offensive, instead of a symbol of equality.
"People might say, 'Oh, it's just a screen saver, get over it,'" Hurn told the Daily Camera. "But it is so much more than that."
Hurn explains that she felt compelled to add the rainbow flag to her screen saver rotation after the election: "I'm going to put the flag up. It's a symbol to be of equality and, you know, of pride — especially for people who are marginalized." In a statement released to KMGH, Rob Visser, president and CEO of Boulder Community Health, said, "I’m writing today to share my personal feelings on the recent media report implying that Boulder Community Health is not supportive of the LGBTQI community and its allies. "BCH unequivocally supports the right of all employees to be part of a welcoming and safe workplace. We are proud to be a community owned and operated health system that reflects the deeply held values of tolerance and inclusiveness that define Boulder." Visser concludes, "It is BCH practice that communications and images in shared workspaces be neutral. The purpose of this practice is to maintain a workplace that is focused on patient care." He adds that Hurn was never threatened with termination and was offered a formal mediation with her coworker. Hurn has not responded to Visser's statement, but Mic reports that she has submitted her two-weeks notice and that Monday will be her last day at the hospital. "If you are white or you are straight, you might not get the magnitude of telling someone they can't have a part of themselves up," she told the Daily Camera. "But it's a step in the wrong direction, a step toward treating them like second-class citizens. It was a much bigger deal than just a small screen saver."

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