Coming Out at Work: Showing Your True Self

It's so important to be able to be yourself at work.

In my first job after graduation, I was unsure about my place in the working world and whether I should be honest about my sexuality.

Initially, I decided to keep quiet and to stay "in the closet." However, this approach took a heavy psychological toll--I became withdrawn from my team, and it negatively impacted the quality of my work.

When I finally summoned the courage to "come out," the difference it made to my working life was amazing and immediate. I felt empowered and confident. I realized that people were almost universally positive and encouraging, and I never, ever looked back.

Because of the positive impact on my own life, I feel it's my personal responsibility to help people in the same situation that I was in. I don't want anybody to feel they cannot be open about their sexuality at work and to be negatively impacted as a result. So, I decided to get involved with the LGBT Network at work.

Being part of the network in various capacities, including co-lead and mentor to clients looking to follow our example, has helped me become more confident. I have become increasingly aware of the importance of inclusion and diversity within any workplace, as well as how being a diverse organization makes good business, as well as ethical, sense.

If you're thinking of coming out, my advice is: Don't be afraid. Have faith that people will respect you for being the person you truly are.