Texas Department of Transportation administrators are allowing employees to use taxpayer-funded government-issued devices to participate in LGBT employee resource group activities during their lunch hour.
Last month, Texas Scorecard uncovered records from TxDOT revealing the state agency has been using taxpayer dollars to fund wokeness in the workplace.
Initially, they attempted to hide such records through an appeal to the attorney general, but they eventually opted to release the records.
Soon after the initial report, more TxDOT whistleblowers—employees at the agency—have come forward with information on wokeness within the workplace.
One whistleblower informed Texas Scorecard of the agency’s LGBT “pride” employee resource group, which has been active since June 2021.
Employee resource groups, or ERGs, utilize segregation to find people of the same race, gender, and/or values to “foster a diverse, inclusive workplace.”
This specific ERG seeks out employees at TxDOT that identify as either LGBT-affiliated or an LGBT “ally.”
The whistleblower explained that the LGBT ERG does meet during lunch hour and members use government-issued, taxpayer-funded devices to participate in the ERG’s events.
Notably, one record Texas Scorecard uncovered between TxDOT employees last month reveals agency administrators want the agency to pay for these ERGs, their events, and necessary travel cost:
Employee attendance should be documented using work time, unless the Event occurs before/after the employee’s work hours or lunch period. Travel costs will be paid by the district/division whose employee incurs the cost.
One such event takes place every last Friday of the month and allows TxDOT employees to use their government devices to play LGBT “pride-themed” trivia.
Out of the 150 TxDOT employees invited to participate in the trivia, only 15 did during the most recent event.
The trivia is led by Mark Dickerman, a TxDOT program specialist, whose $76,572 salary is paid for by taxpayers.
Dickerman creates a pride-themed trivia each month, which can include questions relating to LGBT-affiliated actors, movies, characters in TV shows or movies, and/or celebrities.
Texas Scorecard witnessed the virtual pride trivia event on July 28, 2023.
During said trivia, pride-related themes for questions included “Bi”centenial, The Nanny, “Drag” Me to the Show, 1 Degree of Kevin Bacon, and Livin’ La Vida Loca.
“Bi”centenial was selected because, according to Dickerman, “we try to recognize members of the LGBTQIA community and these are all individuals who identify as bi.”
The Nanny theme was chosen because the actress that played the nanny was selected to be the union representative for the actors guild.
“Drag” Me to the Show questions were about movies or tv shows that feature characters who perform in drag.
1 Degree of Kevin Bacon was based on a game “The 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” Players must name the actor/actress and the movie/tv show they acted in. Either the actor/actress or the character they played identified as some part of LGBT.
The Livin’ La Vida Loca questions revolved around singer Ricky Martin’s sexuality. This category was chosen because Martin has “proudly” expressed his sexuality as a “fortunate homosexual man.”
Although the pride-themed trivia was only supposed to be a June “Pride Month” special, Dickerman said employees continue expressing interest in it, so he opted to keep the trivia but limit it to just the last Friday of each month.
Texas Scorecard has sent additional open records requests under the Public Information Act to TxDOT to try to gather more information about the LGBT ERG. Once again, however, TxDOT has appealed to the Office of the Attorney General in an attempt to hide the records.
As of publication, Dickerman did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s request for comment.