This morning I attended a breakfast hosted by my company’s Political Action Committee (PAC) for a local political candidate. There were about forty of us in the room. One of the cool things about the meeting was looking around the room and realizing how many individuals from the company’s LGBT Associate Resource Group were attending the event. I counted five gay men, including myself, which I thought was quite wonderful. And of course, there might have been other LGBT people attending, but who are not out at work.
In the years before I was out at work, I would have never known any of these men were gay. But I have met most of them through the forming of our company’s LGBT Associate Resource group a little over a year ago. Two of the men I had known and worked with, but did not know they were gay until I myself came out at work.
Years ago when I began to get interested in family history I began to build a family tree of my extended family. Until that point, I had thought our family was small. Each of my parents had one sibling and my mother’s sister had never married, so I only had one set of cousins. As I began to reach out to extended family members to build out the family tree I felt my family got bigger and bigger and I began to see family in a whole new way. I felt connected to the people I had once barely known.
Sitting in the PAC meeting this morning, looking around the room, and realizing how many gay men that I knew were in the room had the same effect on me as when I built out the family tree. Through my getting to know other LGBT men and women across the company my perspective on being gay and being out at work has grown and expanded. I continue to marvel how present we, LGBT men and women are at all levels of the company, but particularly in the management and leadership of the company. It is very exciting and cool to feel this connection and recognition as a member of this very special group.