The Dance of Difference Trilogy

The Dance of Difference: The New Frontier of Sexual Orientation is the first book in a trilogy about prejudice and discrimination based on identity. This first book focuses on sexual orientation while books two and three will focus on race and gender. All three books will appeal to a wide audience that includes Organizational Development (OD) consultants, Human Resources (HR) professionals, and managers who are concerned about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The trilogy will also resonate with educators and parents who are preparing young people for a world in which we value and respect each other regardless of our differences.

Press Videos and Articles

Watch an interview of Shirley Fletcher on the show Profile with Ian Boyne on TVJ.

Shirley Fletcher Interview on 'Profile'

A two part article by Barbara Ellington was featured in The Daily Gleaner, one of Jamaica's leading newspapers. View the two part article using the links below.

Part 1: The Dance of Difference: A gift to the misunderstood
Part 2: The Dance of Difference: A gift to the misunderstood

What Others are Saying About the Book

“The book skillfully navigates an issue of prejudice and discrimination that is personal as it is public, experiential as it is conceptual and national as it is transnational. The methodology will appeal to various audiences, providing a “space” for critical reflection that is unsettling yet comforting, disturbing yet enlightening. Not only does the book contribute to the discourse on social oppression, but will prompt the reader to (re)consider how such oppression manifests itself in the various dimensions of real life experiences.”

- Dorith Grant-Wisdom, PhD., Political Scientist, University of Maryland

"Reading this book is a remarkably powerful learning experience. Your writing provides one of the best examples of using “self” as a teaching tool for diversity and inclusion that I have experienced. You share deep insights in a caring, authentic and unselfish spirit of personal courage and unflinching honesty. This book certainly will move to the top of recommended readings for those pursuing their own diversity journeys and for those serious about building their skills in the work of diversity and inclusion. As a white, heterosexual man, it is at the top of my list."

- R. Rushton Paul, Jr., SPHRm President, R. Rushton Paul Consulting, LLC

"This is an excellent read about a critical social justice topic for a population that continues to be treated oppressively around our world. The case studies at the end of the book make this especially useful for affinity groups, as part of diversity programs, teachers’ education, and other types of consciousness-raising groups. The stories in this book – Shirley’s and others that need telling are powerful and compelling as well as illustrative of the way cultures work."

- Andrea Zintz, Ph.D., President, Strategic Leadership Resources LLC

"This book opened my eyes, and put a human face on gay and lesbian issues.  Some of our friends and neighbors are in the GLTB community.  However, we may not know it, and be unaware of the added challenges they face in everyday life.  This book helps expand understanding of their situations, and stimulates thinking on how to be constructive and supportive."

- E. H. Denton, Ph.D., Educator, Washington, D.C.

"Anderson Fletcher’s voice is authentic as it is courageous. Her decades of work as an Applied Behavioral Scientist specializing in Diversity - facilitates the process whereby the reader experiences the trauma of homophobia and the way it seeps into our Being and impacts our world. More importantly, because of the methodology of the book, she shares powerfully not only her own experience with us, but invites us to share ours through reflection and enquiry. The methodology of the book is critical for discussing not only sexual orientation but is applicable to any area of discrimination. Anderson Fletcher points out all are inextricably linked."

- Beverley Anderson Manley, Broadcaster, Political Scientist, former First Lady of Jamaica

"This is an important contribution to today's ongoing dialogue about what it means to be GLBT in post-millennial America.  Shirley Fletcher's vantage point as a heterosexual Jamaican woman and diversity consultant looking in on and listening to GLBT people talk about their lives adds poignancy and honesty to her work. I'm honored to have been among the first to read this important work and to highly recommend that others do the same."

- Michael T. Myers, Jr., MD, MBA, Physician, Boston, MA
About the Book
Copyright 2011 Shirley Fletcher & Assoc. Inc. All rights reserved.
Overview of The Dance of Difference: The New Frontier of Sexual Orientation

It is rare for heterosexuals to acknowledge, much less write about, their own homophobia. This black grandmother who grew up in the homophobic culture of Jamaica in the 40’s and 50’s offers a moving look into the challenges faced daily by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) because of the learned biases, attitudes and behavior of heterosexuals. The author, a behavioral scientist, who migrated to the United States 30 years ago, shares examples from her early life experiences as well as examples from her long career as an organizational consultant in the United States, Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe.

The centerpiece of the book is a spontaneous dialogue between the author and a gay pastor about the realities of life for members of the gay community. This is a standout element that sets the book apart. In a particularly valuable part of the book, the author describes common scenarios of heterosexual prejudice and bias towards LGBT people that will ring familiar with many readers. The responses she recommends will be useful in building relationships between members of the gay and heterosexual communities.

Throughout, the author strikes a good balance between professional reserve and personal openness. She comes across as sincere, candid and open-minded. She effectively uses her own life experience to demonstrate that we are not born with inbred prejudice. Rather we learn our biases from the culture in which we are raised and from well-intended people in our families and communities. She emphasizes that as adults, we have the capacity to move from indifference, to compassion, to support for human rights.