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Pride Toronto 2019 - Got me thinking again...

Pride Toronto isn't that far away now, though with the weather here, it feels like it should be a couple of months still. It's an event that often has me thinking...

I've been to a number of Pride Parades over the years, but in more recent ones, since moving out of the city I haven't attended. The event has changed a lot, though, becoming more corporate as many businesses extend an effort to demonstrate that they're a supporter too. I do applaud that, and I think many businesses have the right intentions, but I'm not convinced that inside the walls there is really the true support where it counts.

My company is remarkably good at being inclusive, has openly supported transgender people in some of our locations, not to mention the rest of the LGTBQ spectrum. What is support though? I think it's more than just providing funding for events like Pride, though that is very valuable. I think it's more than creating an internal support network, again very valuable. What feels missing to me is seeing the LGTBQ people advance to the much more senior positions.

I'm not out at work, and I have thought about it more than once these past few years, but I haven't come out because there's a very real part of me that is sure that to do so would effectively halt my progression. I'm in a fairly senior position, so being halted there wouldn't leave me feel wanting financially, but I would still prefer to continue to move forward and I honestly think that would basically stop.

Why?

The fact is, people still snicker at us, we make the cisgender world uncomfortable and they react to that. They may avoid it to our faces, but the snickers are still all too common. We've all heard them when those, that have thought they were safe to do so, let their true feelings be known. There's an old saying: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It applies here. Especially true in the business world, one that still sees it as a "man's world" where advice to women who want to succeed is basically to tell them to be a man. Men in power often fail to understand why any of us would voluntarily give up the biggest key to power.

So, as it goes, I remain in the closet at work.

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