I was fascinated by and impressed with a young man I met in my work as Executive Sponsor for our LGBT Resource Group that came to a ‘Lunch & Learn’ meeting to introduce the new Resource Group.
After going through my presentation and opening up the session for questions—there were only two people attending, he began to talk about his life: “I’m the T in LGBT,” he said. He went on to describe that he had been transitioning for the past three years and only started working for my company six months earlier. Everyone thought he was a man and there has been no need to discuss his transition with anyone. He went on to talk about how the focus was often on the LGB, but he was the T and he was there. What impressed me was his self-assurance, his ease in talking to me and the other woman who attended, both of us older, and at the same time he was telling us something that was private, and had not been shared with his co-workers.
My generation, men and women who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, were very quick to align with L, G, B or T. There was no Q for questioning when I grew up. I was interested to see on the website for the LGBT Resource Center at my son’s college that they made a point of saying that they intentionally did not use the term LGBT in their new mission, vision or values statement, but instead chose to use the term, marginalized genders and sexualities. They went on to write that they believed that it was impossible to truly represent the diversity of sexual and gender identities with the moniker, LGBT.
I was also excited to see that over 400 people at my sons school, students, faculty, staff and alumni who have signed on to spread a message of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning, and asexual communities on National Coming Out Day, October 11, 2014. It is a very powerful and strong message to youth who are just beginning to understand their sexual or gender identity.
Shakespeare wrote: “O brave new world, That has such people in ’t!” I stand in awe of the youth of today who are standing up proudly for their sexual or gender identity.