Messages of support from colleagues: Coming out at work

Since my Managing Director’s email to the company I work for announcing my being transgender, I have had overwhelming and undreamt of responses of support, respect and truly insightful sensitivity. These responses also affirm for me my deepest knowing and affirms that the reason that I so publicly share my journey, is that no matter the specifics of my journey, the eternal path to authenticity is one shared by many, and connects and mutually-inspires us to continue onward, no matter how difficult or different the contents of our journeys are. Also, as I’ve said in the post linked above, this is not the reception that most transgender people get, so in acknowledgement of that and in gratitude, I share the messages of support I have received, in the hopes that it might inspire hope in others facing the same situation, wishing for them the same kind of support I have received:

  • “Gem, Nats, how wonderful that we can be part of this courageous journey and that you feel comfortable with the company as secure base to share in this authentic and moving way. I am proud of you and also happy for what the company has become, whose 170 Leaders will all be with you all the way.” – CEO of the company
  • “Wow Gem, this is a wonderful share of a very personal nature and one that must have taken much character and guts. I wish you all the absolute best with your journey of serious self actualisation. May your journey be blessed.” – Senior Partner
  • “Hi Germaine, I truly solute you for your courage to find your voice and being open to share this about yourself. I am here for any kind of support but am confident that you have a whole team and company that is with you on their journeys so know it will be a supported one. The more we as individuals find our voices under which ever circumstances (all relative) the easier it gets for the rest. I am grateful for your courage!” – Partner
  • “Dear Germaine, Thank you for your honesty and absolute authenticity. Thank you Natalie for welcoming the share, I appreciate your authenticity to acknowledge Germaine’s letter as well. Germaine, all that I can say is – I love you and I possibly echo others’ voices too. You are part of this family and therefore you should be able to feel safe and have the voice to express your individuality. I hope that as your soul journey continues, may you find great peace and joy. May the many challenges that rise up periodically be an opportunity for you to express your continued authenticity. Take care always.”
  • “That’s absolutely superb, Germaine! Thank you for sharing your journey and for being an inspiration. I did a meditation, reflexology and yoga retreat in Magaliesberg over the Easter weekend and had the privilege of meeting Jabu Pereira who heads up http://www.iranti-org.co.za/. His work and journey is simply amazing. It also made me realize that it’s not easy being transgender, particularly in our culture. So I just want to say that you are incredibly brave and I am in full support of you. In my humble view, nothing is more important than owning who you are and being of service to something bigger than yourself. I have no doubt that through your journey you will inspire others to embrace who they are too and in so doing create an impact that you may not even realise! You have certainly inspired me and for that I say a BIG THANK YOU! I leave you with one of my favourite quotes…image002
    Stay cool and have a great weekend!”
  • “You are just amazing, after reading your mail I realize that life a is journey and a beautiful one at it. Thank you for sharing, you are who you are and that’s you. Wishing you all the very best and I am thrilled that you are finding your voice and accepting who and the best you are and can be. Well done, you have set a voice to those whom are not bold enough and can’t except who they are especially in our space. You didn’t have to explain to anyone about yourself as we are all individuals, you took a step further and that’s admirable to say the least! A beer soon will be nice, cheers to you and your partner.”
  • “Ag jirre my daahling, jy wees mos ek is lief vir jou soos jy is! Dankie vir die deel. Ek weet dit gaan vir jou moeilik wees, but I’m there for you baby! All the way.” (Translation: “My darling, you know how much I love you! Thank you for the share. I know it’s going to be difficult for you, but I’m there for you baby! All the way.”)
  • “Hi Gem, A short note of full support. In this new territory there are bound to be inadvertent faux pas, and having read your note about the Self and the Other again, we are probably despite our best intentions, sometimes bulls in china shops. So I am conscious of the danger of arrogance in this, please call it if you see it. Open to learn how to best be of support where and how I can. All the best in the journey.”
  • “You are amazing dude. If only more people had the courage to be their most authentic selves.”
  • “Hi Germaine, Wishing you strength and peace on your journey.”unnamed
  • “Dear G, You are incredibly brave and I wish you all the best on your amazing new journey! Lots of love, support and hugs, xxx.”
  • “Hi Germaine, Wow, so immensely impressed with your journey. I do believe that the journey you are on is possibly one of the hardest a person can do given the society that we live in and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I have wondered myself as I was never quite sure, so thank you for being brave enough to share and provide clarity. I will do my utmost to remember the male pronouns etc., but ask for your tolerance incase I forget from time to time. Sometimes I am a Loskop. Wishing you all the luck in the world – it is never easy, but so happy that you are on your way to finding and being your authentic self – nothing is more important in this world than that. Many thanks.”
  • “Hi Gem, I have such admiration for you, I celebrate in your step by step process, I celebrate your authenticity.  You are awesome. High Five my Germaine, thank you for the share and know that I have always been comfortable with you. I will follow you to see how you progressing and certainly I am one of your biggest fans. Lots of warm regards.”
  • “Hey There, I am thinking of you and all that you going through and support you 100%. You can always email me or wattsapp me if you wanna chat.”
  • “I think that you ROCK. Well, I always did think that – ever since I first met you. You are a role model and an inspiration to me and all those other folk who are sometimes not bold and/or courageous enough to live the life that they were born to live.”

And many other messages and support in person from people I work closely with whom I told about my transition before starting 6 months ago. My experience of corporate companies is that they are normally places that shy away from the personal, and treat their employees as numbers there to affect the Bottom Line. To find a company where the personal journey to authenticity is seen as an asset to the company is nothing short of a miracle. Truly, truly blessed and grateful…

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