Justice for Daniel: end homophobia at the LSE University

by Daniel Gichia

Justice for Daniel: end homophobia at the LSE University

by Daniel Gichia
Daniel Gichia
Case Owner
I'm a homosexual Kenyan man who's cleaned the prestigious London School of Economics university for the past 8 years where I have been subjected to systematic homophobic harassment and discrimination.
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on 17th December 2017
£3,142
pledged of £8,000 stretch target from 131 pledges
Daniel Gichia
Case Owner
I'm a homosexual Kenyan man who's cleaned the prestigious London School of Economics university for the past 8 years where I have been subjected to systematic homophobic harassment and discrimination.

Latest: Dec. 11, 2017

My case was mentioned in the LSE's Ralph Miliband lecture series

Hi everybody 

Firstly, as always, thank you so much for your kind and generous support. It has made such a big difference to me and has enabled me to get one step closer to securing justice for...

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Who am I? 

I'm a homosexual Kenyan man who has cleaned the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE) university for the past 8 years. My former husband and I were the first two Kenyan men in the world to get married. In Kenya homosexuality is still illegal. 

What happened to me? 

Since my high profile civil partnership ceremony, and subsequent divorce, which was reported on social, national and international media outlets I have been subject to a sustained campaign of homophobic harassment. This has included regularly being called "gay", a "faggot", told to "sleep with women to cure my homosexual problem", and told that "all gay people should be murdered, burned alive and hanged".

I was also told to "stop acting as a woman" after I reported what had happened to me. 

I feared for my physical safety and told my employer the same.  

I am raising money to be able to take my employer, Noonan, to an employment tribunal (scheduled for January 2018) where I hope that the judges will recognise the harassment I've suffered and instruct them to take appropriate action to ensure that I and others in my situation are able to work in an environment free from homophobia, discrimination and harassment.

What did my employer Noonan or the LSE do about it? 

At first I enjoyed working at the LSE, it was an institution I believed was strongly committed to making the world a better place which included defending the rights of LGBTQ people. I also presumed that any contractor that the LSE hired to provide the cleaning service would also be expected to adhere to those same principles. 

However, both Noonan and the LSE have refused even to this day to take any action whatsoever against the perpetrators of the homophobic harassment. In fact, I have been constrained to continue to work alongside the seven men and women who harassed me despite me telling Noonan that I fear for my physical safety.  

Noonan and the LSE's protection of the harassers and refusal to take any action against them has significantly damaged my mental health and lead to me suffering from anxiety, stress, and depression. It has also undermined my confidence and detrimentally interfered with my personal and social life. 

How did Noonan and the LSE respond?  

At first, they were dismissive towards the harassment I suffered describing it as merely "part of the culture" of the perpetrators. They also trivialised and condoned some of it as just "sexualised banter", particularly in respect of being told to "sleep with a woman to cure my problem". This response to sexual harassment has parallels with the way in which President Donald Trump's PR team trivialised and dismissed his sexual harassment of women.

To make matters worse, throughout the grievance procedure  - the first grievance hearing for which was not convened until 6 weeks after reporting the harassment - Noonan then unlawfully banned my trade union representative from representing me, in breach of my basic employment and trade union rights. 

I was then sent at threatening letter by Noonan accusing me of breaching their social media policy – although I did no such thing, was never given specific details, or even invited to a meeting in order to respond to their allegation.  

In other words, they tried to isolate me from union - United Voices of the World - and concoct a case against me in order to presumably deter me from pursuing any claims against them, effectively victimising me. 

Can't the LSE do anything about it? 

The LSE is fully aware of the details of my case and could, if they wanted to, insist that all the people who have harassed me are prohibited from working at the LSE. Furthermore, whilst they have professed an interest in reviewing the evidence in order to reach their own decision on the matter, when the evidence was offered to them by my trade union they refused to look at it. 

Why am I going to court and why is this case important? 

As a black, homosexual, migrant cleaner I often feel invisible. This leads to situations like mine where my grievances are dismissed and trivialised by my employer who often doesn't care enough to deal with them properly but also, importantly, believes that no-one else cares enough to help people like me hold them to account. 

I often ask myself if I was a white, professor at the LSE whether my grievance would have been handled in the same way or taken more seriously? I can't hep but think it would be handled differently. 

My invisibility and my employer's sense of indifference and impunity has led to the creation of a hostile, intimidating, degrading and humiliating working environment for me and for potentially many other people in my position who are now too afraid to speak up about homophobia. 

If this environment is allowed to continue unchecked it may lead to my (or someone else's) mental breakdown and may even lead to physical violence against me or other homosexual people who are too afraid to speak up in the belief that the perpetrators, not the victims will be protected. 

I have submitted several grievances and even participated in a judicial mediation, but Noonan and the LSE remain determined to take no action against the harassers. 

That is why it is so important that someone is held to account for what has happened to me. 

When and where is the employment tribunal hearing? 

From the 11th to 19th January 2018 (7 days in total) at the Central London Employment Tribunal.

NB: Who is Noonan? 

The LSE outsources the cleaning service to my employer Noonan which is a multinatinal company worth around £200 million and owned by Alchemy Partners, a Guernsey-registered private equity company that Bloomberg describes as a 'vulture' firm which invests in 'distressed' businesses for lucrative gain. 

However, I will soon be an employee of the LSE after the cleaners are brought in-house in a few months time following a successful 7 day strike this year demanding equality with the rest of the university staff. 


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Update 2

Daniel Gichia

Dec. 11, 2017

My case was mentioned in the LSE's Ralph Miliband lecture series

Hi everybody 

Firstly, as always, thank you so much for your kind and generous support. It has made such a big difference to me and has enabled me to get one step closer to securing justice for the homophobia that I and others have had to endure at the LSE. 

I thought you might like to listen to the recording of LSE's Ralph Miliband lecture series last week about the gig economy in which the IWGB General Secretary, Jason Moyer-Lee,  gave me a special mention in his closing remarks highlighting what I have suffered and how the LSE has tried to absolve itself of responsibly. 

The bit about me starts at minute 40.15 which the following link should take you directly to and lasts until minutes 42. 

https://player.fm/series/london-school-of-economics-public-lectures-and-events/exploitation-and-the-gig-economy-audio?t=2415 

Many thanks again and please do continue to share my page and ask people to donate. I am nearly there. 

Update 1

Daniel Gichia

Dec. 7, 2017

Nearly there, thank you so much, but please continue to share!

Hi everyone

What an amazing response so far. Thank you so much to each and everyone one of you for your amazing generosity and solidarity!

In only one week over £2600 has been donated which is incredible and means I am really close to my initial £3000 target which I need to reach or else I risk not getting a penny. 

So please do continue to share my page with all your contacts o Facebook, Twitter and e-mail and any other means, and ask them for their support. 

I know that a victory in my case will hold to account the perpetrators and enablers of the homophobia I suffered at the LSE who have so far been protected by Noonan and the LSE. It will also provide a safer working environment for me and my colleagues and hopefully embolden them and other people out there, particularly low paid migrants like myself who often feel invisible and powerless, to stand up and speak out to demand, respect, justice and dignity. 

Many thanks again,

Daniel

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