LGBThursdays: How to Come Out at Work

If you’re LGBTQIA*, coming out to your employers, coworkers, supervisors, and other staff on your team is definitely a personal choice. Some LGBTQIA* people may never feel the need to bring it up, for whatever reason. It may not ever come up in conversation or become an issue. However, many people feel the need to be honest about themselves, or may have specific reasons that require them to be honest – for example, if a transgender employee is facing discrimination for this reason by another coworker, and needs to tell their supervisor, or if a person in a same-sex relationship wants to invite their significant other to a work get-together.

Coming out at work is tricky business, because LGBTQIA* individuals still face workplace discrimination despite all of the community’s recent triumphs. Even in states, cities or counties where discrimination for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal, employers can find other reasons to fire an employee to hide behind the truth: discrimination.

If you’re like me, and you want to enter a professional workforce, but you’re really looking to work long-term at a place where, if there’s a work party, you can invite your same-sex spouse, or if you mention your wife and kids, nobody throws up their arms, these tips are for you:

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Fashion with a Heart: Wearing to Support Non-Profits and Social Justice Organizations

There’s only one thing I’m more passionate about than the arts – and that’s helping others. Whether it’s through donating my time or my money, I love non-profit, service work and social justice organizations that are dedicated to helping someone else. (Even if – okay, especially if, that someone is furry.)

I remember when my obsession with helping people and animals really began. I was eight at the time, and I found a local cat outside who looked hurt. His ear was bleeding, and he was scared. I suspected that his owners – my neighbor – abused him, so I coaxed him into my arms and snuck him into my house.

When my mom found me with the black-and-white ragamuffin a couple hours later, it warmed her heart that I cared so much – but she told me that we had to return the cat to its home. Fortunately, several weeks later, the wife showed up on our doorstep holding the poor cat. “Can you guys take him in, please? My husband says he’s going to drive down the highway and drop him off on the side of the road if I can’t get anyone to take him in.” The cat looked worse than before, and we instantly said yes.

We nursed our new cat, Drew, back to health and kept him safe. He was always afraid of certain things, like yelling and people raising their fists, but I was just glad that we could help him. Because of this, my love for helping animals and people alike was born.

These days, I’m known by those around me for my writing, my fashion sense, and the way that everything I do is really colorful and sparkly. Only the people who have actually spoken to me know how much I still care about helping non-profits. But the absolute best thing is when I can have the best of both – when my fashion and crafts can also be supporting causes that I care about.

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