4 Tips on How to Celebrate Your LGBTQ+ Identity While Working on Your Career

Being able to open up about your identity in your career can be scary to think about. You don’t know how people might react if you tell them, but on the other hand, if you don’t open up you might feel as if you’re hiding an integral part of who you are and you're living a double lifestyle. Because of this, coming out in the workplace can make you worried - but you don’t have to be! It’s time to celebrate your identity in your career.

1. Do your research

Research the organization you're applying for. Are they LGBTQ+ friendly? Before applying, take a look at their anti-discrimination policy and look for keywords like sexual orientation, gender, and gender expression. This is the first sign to know whether they're inclusive or not. If the organization is not LGBTQ+ friendly, then you know right away it’s not the place for you. Any organization that's not accepting of your identity is not an organization you need to be a part of. Period. Look for a place whose values equal yours.

2. Make your resume your own

Don’t be afraid to use your preferred name instead of your legal name on your resume. If you haven't legally changed your name you'll still have to use your legal name for background checks and other legal documents you fill out but, on your resume, it's not required. Also, if you've been an active member in any LGBTQ+ clubs or organizations, mention that in your experience section! This shows that not only do you take pride in your identity, but you're also able to work with a diverse group of people.

3. Question the interviewer

Even though this can be risky (and nerve-wracking), when the time comes for you to ask questions during the interview, ask about their diversity initiatives and policies in place. Ask about their approach to situations where discrimination takes place specifically when it affects people who identify as LGBTQ+. This way you’ll know how serious they are about anti-discrimination and if they actually stand behind the policies they've already put in place.

4. Educate others

If they have it, evaluate the LGBTQ+ training that takes place. If there is none, try suggesting that they incorporate it. Simply by opening this dialogue, you're paving the way for those who will come after you - and for those who might not be out yet. 

Bringing your pride into your career is the first step to making the workplace more inclusive, conscious and, most importantly, LGBTQ+ friendly. So go out and be proud!