I sit here tonight after spending a few weeks working in other Lowes stores in my area doing a reset. I worked with numerous people from each store and the ability for me to just be a part of the team is amazing. This brings me to some amazing thoughts that have run through my head recently. Acceptance can sometimes come with a cost and in the workplace it can be the difference between a good day, and a miserable one.
Every day I wake up and go into work to a job I enjoy, as the person I should be without fears of rejection but Lowes has done more than give me a good job. I have become a much better a person from the relationships and friendships I have there. Everyone I see on a daily basis feels as a part of my family, and not just another coworker. I can smile, even on the worst days knowing that i can go to a place where I like every single person inside those 4 walls.
This has been my experience everywhere in the past 5-6 years. From my time at BC3 and Lowes, nothing but full acceptance has been given to me. So where is my moral in this story… Let me tell you that what I have did not easy. I have spent years cultivating relationships and doing all I could to help others be comfortable with who I am. I took care to the concern of other friends and I gave time to those that needed it.
Now that I have talked up how amazing my company has been let me hit the reality of life. This is an exception and not the rule. I have friends who have lost their jobs and are unable to find employment to support themselves or their family’s. I have friends who have been shunned by family and friends. Sure, I may know a few like me who have great friends and a good job but the vast majority don’t.
I’ve yet to figure out why I have been so lucky in my transition but I do feel the need to tell others about the great things in the other side. So many transgender people go through their lives fearing rejection and judgement. The look at others in society and wonder where the next physical or verbal attack. There is an answer to this and I learned it at Lowes.
Immersion in things you fear or don’t know. Being uncomfortable around someone different then you is common, but the rea education is immersing yourself in the diversity. Everyone should have. A friend from every demographic in their list of friends. In the same regard, being a transgender person on that side of the friendship be transparent. Be willing to answer the questions they have. Be understanding that they don’t know and your responses are what will educate.
Be real, be open, and be happy. The ones who love and support you will always have your back. When you transition, everyone transitions with you. I was lucky enough to have amazing people from family to Lowes to support the last 5 years of my life. Here’s to many more.