Coming Out: The Responses

Man withdrawing wooden card painted as the gay pride flag

As I posted in earlier blogs, I came out to a large group of individuals in my company at a leadership meeting yesterday. This morning I received some amazing letters from people who work in the organization I lead. I’m sharing those emails below:

From a woman that reports directly to me, but could not attend the meeting:

I have heard from a number of my team members. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am to work for you.

The feedback that I have received is incredibly positive and supportive and you set a great example for others to follow.

I am sorry I could not be there today but am so glad that you were able to take this step in moving forward with your life in such a positive way and the team was able to be inspired (to a great degree) by your actions.

Congratulations.

From a woman who joined the company last year, and works in our strategic communications area:

You are a brave, powerful, vulnerable, thoughtful, brilliant man.

I have been an LGBT advocate my entire life – I marched on Washington in the 80s, was a member of the LGB Union at my College and continue to support and advocate on behalf of the ‘straight sector.’ I look forward to supporting efforts with the associate resource groups.

Thank you for being such a classy, dignified, eloquent, honest leader. I am so proud and humble to be on your team.

From a woman born and raised in India, who moved to the USA after college:

Thanks for sharing personnel information with us yesterday, I deeply admire the courage and authenticity you have shown us.

And the most moving note of all, which brought tears to my eyes. It is from a man who has been with the company for many years:

I’ve always had respect for your genuine-nature. I’ve seen you as honest and open, more so than most people at your level. It’s an intuitive sense I get based on your demeanor. I wanted to pass that on since it’s an admirable quality and a thought I’ve had many times.

That degree of respect got a big bump up today. What you did was highly courageous – and I very much appreciate your candidness. I get goosebumps thinking about it. It’s hard for me to describe the positive feeling I get when someone else is open with something that makes them vulnerable. I think there’s something in our spirit or our being that just causes us to connect at a deep level in those situations.

It sounds like this will give you an opportunity to make a positive difference in others’ lives with the DC organization.

I really hope this change serves you well. I hope you get affirmation in your decision.

From an employee in our program management area:

Just wanted to mention that I personally applaud your address with the associate resource groups and your personal experience and correlation to the one which you will serve as Executive Sponsor. I respect and appreciate such a courageous gesture. It sends a great message to me. I have patiently been waiting for the ARGs to be started here. I’m actually finishing up on my doctoral dissertation on military resource groups. I hope to be actively involved in some capacity with that particular ARG here at the company. Again, my hat is off to you and wish you the best with the LGBT ARG.

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