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Open discussion for being LGBT+ (open or closeted) at work and with co-workers.
My company is too small for an LGBT ERG. Instead I created a private slack group called Committee Rainbow and invited all the queer folks in my office to join. We've been using it for a couple months now to share queer memes and jokes with people we know will understand. It's not quite ERG level of support, but it's nice to get all of the LGBTQ+ people in company talking in one spot.
It's also allowed me to get to know more of queer people in the office and find new people that I didn't realize were a part of our community! If your company doesn't have an ERG, I would recommend creating your own group however you can!
My first job out of college was for the Department of Community Supervision. I didn't have a dream to work for them, I had become desperate for any job offer and ended up getting a job with their Public Affairs office. I thought it was a welcoming place and loved my first boss but after a reorganization my eyes were opened. When the new boss hired the next person she and I bonded quickly over being LGBT+. Apparently she had a fairly successful Youtube channel where she was "out." However, I was disappointed to hear that during her interview process our boss warned her to not talk about it in the office. That was one of the last straws for me because I was planning on having a pride flag on my desk during pride last year, and suddenly didn't feel safe to do so anymore.
I am happy to say I switched jobs in August 2019 and have had the exact opposite experience working for Life University. They have a Sexual and Gender Diversity Committee and a fantastic Safe Space training where people were able to ask the uncomfortable questions they don't always feel safe enough to ask to better understand the LGBT community. I am proud to work for them, and I am glad that I switched jobs even though I took a pay cut. I think it goes to show that feeling safe to be your authentic self at work is worth a lot.
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