Coming Out, Professionally

I recently “came out” professionally, meaning: while working I won’t defer to the word “spouse“ and I WILL say WIFE. I won’t pull back from conversations about family, in fear of rejection or losing my job.

The company I work for is amazing and all of my colleagues are incredibly supportive. We have a large representation of LGBTQIA+ employees. However, I travel throughout North America working with educators and that is where fear sets in. We have all heard the stories about educators losing their jobs just for being themselves.

Recently, a colleague of mine (a Dallas area librarian) was presenting at a large Texas education conference. At the beginning of her session, she stated her pronouns and that she was Bi. She was targeted by conference organizers that immediately set out to silence her. This organization has yet to publicly apologize to her and instead chose to quietly create a “Diversity and Inclusion Committee.”