My journey to becoming an ally for the queer community began with several moments of truth. I was on the fast track to a a successful career in HR, working with some of the most well-known companies in the world. Many of these had gender related programs and I was beginning to be aware of the larger world out there, but I had a long way to go.
As the recruitment lead, I became aware of the biases in the corporate world. People didn’t want to hire women of a certain age because they believed a woman would want to get married or have children and quit. It didn’t help that at this point of a rather glorious career, I wanted to plan on having a child! Finally at a life stage I wanted to have a child, I moved to a more inclusive organization only because –it was known to be inclusive for women! – way back in 2008!
While all these thoughts were brewing in my head, and I started leading efforts on diversity and inclusion, one of our LGBTQ+ inclusion sponsors came down from the US to share his experiences. He started sharing his own story of coming out as “gay” to his client, and about different incidents within workplaces. As he talked about the process of coming out, I felt completely out of my depth as this was unknown territory. When I was with him, the thoughts going through my head were, “Oh my God! I’m talking to a gay man!” and sometime in another conference, it hit me hard when the facilitator said “One needs to ask themselves – What would I do if my child comes out as queer?” - I remember feeling quite overwhelmed at both these times.