Over the years one of the things I have seen within AT&T is a lot of change. At the same time, one thing stayed very constant: A deep commitment to ethics, community and values. That’s one thing I love about #LifeAtATT is because it’s really rooted in respect. Not only to those we work with, but in the communities we work.
Now, as a person who’s LGBTQ+ – transgender – a person of color, a child of immigrants, I had a lot of fear when it came to coming out. As is natural, there was this experience of bringing all of my fears to the outside world inside the walls in the place where I work. Those outside experiences was what I knew.
Creating a New Space
What I learned is that, an organization has an opportunity to create a space that is its own. One of the first signs of that, was when I finally made the decision to transition, I was looking at a company form – where I would be expected to explain why I would want to change my name and my gender. I expected the worst, that I would have to justify my existence with one manager and form after another. Instead, what I saw on this form, was a few checkboxes and one of the checkboxes simply said,
“The reason for changing my name and my gender was personal choice.”
That’s how simple it can be. That’s what happens when you have a company that respects your identity and understands it is up to me, the individual, to choose and for the company to celebrate. I’ve seen that over and over.
The Impact of Coming Out
My coming out process also brought out a lot of anecdotes, way too many to share. Two of my favorite anecdotes came from people I encountered in the hallways after I came out. One of them was someone who said “I like the new you better.” Which means they really appreciated that my whole outlook on life and work improved because I was able to be myself at work.
What was most meaningful was another comment, from someone who said “I admire your courage.” What that tells me is that we all have fears, we all have things we’re up against that we don’t know how to deal with. I truly believe that courage leads to more courage. I relish the opportunity to be that kind of a model for anyone in the company who is struggling with something.
In the years I’ve been with AT&T it has been a place of deep respect. The ethics and the values have only become better over time. It is where we value each other, we value our communities, we celebrate the fact we can be ourselves, and it is here at AT&T I will always have the fond memory of having transitioned and having enjoyed the celebratory experience with my coworkers.
That’s #LifeAtATT.Learn more about our LGBTQ+ Community