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ATD Blog

Bringing My Authentic Self Into the Workplace

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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Whenever I thought of coming out at work, I would begin to question myself. Will coworkers see or think of me differently? How will clients react? While a few people at work knew of my identity, for those who didn’t, I could have easily passed as a straight woman—and this dynamic persisted for most of my career. At previous jobs, I witnessed “out” coworkers receive backlash and scrutiny. It seemed easier to me to stay in the closet.

These questions and concerns are what many members of the LGBTQI+ community must consider daily.

Many people assume that coming out is a one-time event, but that’s rarely the case. It happens with your family, your friends, new people, old classmates, coworkers, and with various other individuals and groups. And for many people, they also must define their identity, both gender identity and sexual orientation. These instances of coming out can be received with mixed responses.

So, it meant a lot to me to discover that my current employer, OpenSesame, has an intentional and transparent commitment to an inclusive environment. This is one of the main reasons that I was drawn to work at OpenSesame as a customer success manager.

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From their statement on racial justice and their pledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion, I knew that I could be my true and authentic self at OpenSesame. This quote stood out to me: “We hold ourselves accountable to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities through continuous learning, personal growth, and working to support our customers. We welcome you to bring your authentic self to our team and grow beyond your expectations.”

With that statement in mind, I felt comfortable, confident, and compelled to bring my authentic self into my new workplace. On my 90th day at OpenSesame, I came out during my new hire presentation, and the support I received was staggeringly positive. Inclusive workplaces create safe spaces for employees to show up as their true selves. My name is Kelly. I am a sister, daughter, auntie, and friend. I use the pronouns she/her, and I am a queer woman.

About the Author

Kelly Robinson is customer success manager at OpenSesame.

1 Comment
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Kelly, well and courageously done! I’m so glad that you are working in an organization that lives what it says it is committed to being; that it is woven into the fabric of daily interactions and generative in fostering safe and welcoming experiences as the norm.
Each time we witness another’s courage as they share their best and true self, it encourages and I believe, nurtures those who may not yet be ready. Thanks for sharing.
Elizabeth
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