An enterprising person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life. —Jim Rohn
Believe it or not, in early 2015, I was honored to be one of Tagg’s Enterprising Women recipients.
From 2015 to 2018, “Heather” was publicly included in the top 1% of real estate agents in the D.C. metropolitan area by Five Star Professional. I love my job. From this perspective, I was so nervous to come out as transgender within my profession that relied so heavily on personal referrals—fear can take over when you do not have a sense of how things will unfold.
My coming out was going to involve a very public ownership of my transgender identity versus coming out to family and friends in private. I, personally, do not believe there is a right or wrong way to come out as transgender. I told many clients face to face and others via text or email. I even pieced together a mass email. Even so, I still face the challenge of coming out to peers and colleagues on a daily basis. I have included some snapshots of the dialogue and means I used as an example. For anyone struggling to come up with the actual words, feel free to use mine as a launching pad. I chose to keep my messaging as simple and straightforward as possible. After all, I was not asking for anyone’s permission—I was just informing them of my new name and gender.
People will surprise you—both positively and negatively. Stay the course, offer the information, allow yourself to be vulnerable and then move on from it. It does get easier as time passes.
While most of my career contacts are supportive, coming out as transgender in any professional setting is a risk and takes a toll. I have not heard back from the majority of my contact list since sending out my update. However, I am encouraged by my newfound confidence and my ability to live an authentic life.
So, what’s next? Be visible, be proud, and be enterprising. Be ready to undertake something that is challenging. Be ready to motivate and encourage others. Be ready to educate those in need of direction. Consider the opportunities that lie ahead. As I mentioned in my last article, I can live in a world I design. So can you.