I’ve come out at work a few times: lesbian, trans, non-binary. I’ve also NOT come out at work. It gets easier and more rewarding to come out, and yet each time it still feels like a privilege.
In addition to facing social stigma and harassment, it is still legal in 26 states in the US to fire someone because of their sexuality or gender identity. Coming out at work is a complicated decision!
I first came out at Rackspace because of an awesome role model. It was so scary to start mentioning that I had a girlfriend. Once I was out, it was easier to connect with other BATs 🦇, LGBT and queer people. We gave each other support and started an employee resource group.
Later, while working at Indiegogo, I came out to my friends and family as trans. The engineering community was extremely positive and supportive at Indiegogo, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking HR or leadership for different pronouns. How could I feel comfortable sharing something so intimate with them, when I already felt othered and excluded as a woman?
Choosing who I work with and for has made such a big difference to me! While that’s why I love my work at Karat, it’s also what drives me at DangoorMendel to help others have the same choice.
I am honored and excited to be part of a panel on June 26th at General Assembly and hosted by Fivetran. The other panelists are outstanding! We’ll be talking about being out at work in a variety of ways and intersections. There will be food, drinks and networking 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈
Next week we’re posting interview and negotiation tips, so stay tuned!
As always, take care of each other, candidates.