To celebrate National Inclusion week 2018, every morning Tribal has shared one story from a Tribalite talking about their experience as someone who is considered diverse or different, and how this has impacted them. Below, is Jade's story as an LGBTQ person in the workplace.

I’m a two spirited, half Asian, introvert who was born in Luton, schooled in Harpenden, an art & tennis loving lesbian. (Phew, glad I got that off my chest).

It feels like a confession.

But it shouldn’t right?

It’s just what I identify as.

To feel comfortable in your own skin & beliefs is extremely important in the workplace because it’s fundamentally who you are.

A Stonewall report reveals coming out at work is still a problem. An astonishing 35% of LGBT people at work have hidden their identity in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination and a further 51% for trans staff.

The corporate come-out can of course be really awkward at times. Here are some of the most memorable remarks I’ve received:

  • You just haven’t met the right man yet.
  • Yeah, everyone kisses girls!
  • Thought so, you do have a gay walk.

When your identity hits an ‘other box’ or in my case a few of them, you kinda get use to a few oddball comments and questions.

As life grows ever more complex, I hope people continue to be unafraid to be themselves. Meet awkward times with empathy but also confidence in who you really are. I’d say 95% of my agency life has been met with kindness and I am truly thankful for that.

There was a time when I was 24yrs old when I had an artistic (it’s important to mention) photograph of a naked woman as my laptop screensaver. At the start of a client board meeting, I plugged in my laptop and to my horror the photo projected full whack on their big screen! What came next was the most awkward silence EVER.

Kindly the group account director said: ‘Jade’s not only a great art director she’s also gay’ everyone smiled and we all moved on.

(Thanks Bill).

This quote springs to mind – “True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.” – Daniel Goleman

Happy National Inclusion Week all.
Jade X