Skip to main content

Coming Out to the Corporate World

Processed 5C80FEAE 26AA 4AEB 951B 89078034B480

Navigating the professional landscape as a lesbian often requires a daily negotiation of identity, where the decision to "come out" can be both empowering and daunting.

Despite having better legal protection than in the past, society still largely conforms to what I consider to be a heteronormative structure, and that remains especially true in the corporate world.

The onus of whether or not to disrupt that heteronormative structure falls squarely on the shoulders of the LGBTQIA+ workforce, who regularly have to make split second decisions about how much personal information is safe to reveal. This is something I've dealt with head-on since entering the workforce in 2012. 

When I first arrived at Cox in 2016, it was because a good friend from my previous job referred me. I'd spend the first half of my time at that previous job passing as "straight" because it was a small team, and it was easier to stay silent than correct others assumptions. It can become exhausting trying to decide how much of myself I'm comfortable sharing for the first time – so I was excited, albeit trepidatious, when my friend said there were other queer people on my new team. And although there will always be people who make incorrect assumptions, I felt a newer sense of community by virtue of working alongside other people like me.

There are many reasons why I choose to stay at Cox. One of those is Cox's Inclusion, Diversity. & Equity (ID&E) strategy, which helps create a workforce where everyone feels accepted. I'm proud to tell my friends and family I work for a company that offers gender transition guidelines, and provides insurance coverage to support transition treatments for employees and their dependents.

Cox also has an active Pride employee resource group (ERG), which a coworker invited me to join when I expressed interest in walking with Cox's company float in the annual Atlanta Pride Parade. I quickly learned that the Pride ERG at Cox is much more than a company checking a box and calling themselves "diverse" – there is a very real effort to provide ongoing resources and knowledge to LGBTQIA+ community members and allies alike. 

My favorite way to get involved is still by immersing myself in the parade experience during Pride weekend in Atlanta. I have been fortunate enough to walk with Cox's float alongside my wife, colleagues and friends, and even my family after my cousin came out and wanted to spend his first Pride experience with us. It is a special moment, marching the streets of downtown Atlanta surrounded by a community I hadn't dared to dream of when I was younger, feeling supported, loved and empowered. It is positive experiences like these that inspire my drive to make the world a safer and more welcoming place for everyone.

As I continue to navigate my professional career, I'll continue leading with my authentic self and taking comfort – and pride – in knowing I've been part of a company who not only allows authenticity, but encourages it.


Interested in a career at Cox? Explore our job openings and join our Talent Community today! 

Related Articles

View All Stories
Cox employee at ATL Pride Parade
Life at Cox

Learn About Pride, Cox’s LGBTQIA+ ERG

Veterans Hiring Event
Life at Cox

Cox’s Pledge to Veterans and Military Spouses