Originally posted on the Pride at Accenture community Facebook page
After seeing all the vibrant Pride Month photos from all over the world, I was inspired to share my own story of Pride—and of acceptance, at home and at work.
I am originally from the Philippines, currently working in the U.S. through Accenture’s Global Careers Program. While the Philippines is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in Asia, we still have a long way to go when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. For this reason, I chose to remain in the closet for years.
When I came out to my family on Christmas in 2014, the one thing that stood out the most for me was my dad’s reaction. When I finished telling my story, he came up to me, hugged me, and told me, “The person who is able to capture your heart one day will be the luckiest person in the world because your heart is pure and just. I can’t wait for that day to finally see you free and at your happiest, because you deserve it.”
I broke down when he said that. Not only did it lift the weight of the entire world off my shoulders; I also hadn’t realized how much I needed to hear that validation from my father. Unfortunately, he passed away three months later from a heart attack. When he died, I promised myself that if I found the right person, I would take that big step to finally come out all the way.
An outpouring of support
I came to the U.S. in the fall of 2015 to work on a client delivery project. What I didn’t expect when I entered the country was that I would also find the love that I so longed for. This is going to sound so cliché, but he came into my life the moment I finally stopped looking and learned to love myself a little more.
In May 2017, my now-boyfriend and I became official and mutually decided to come out to everyone in the most millennial way possible: by posting our relationship status on social media. While I expected to lose friends in the process, I wasn’t expecting the outpouring of support I received from my Accenture family, both in the U.S. and the Philippines.
It’s amazing how one can ask for what they need in countless ways, even by not asking for it at all. In my case, I did not only find true love in the most unexpected way, I also found love which resonated in my colleagues’ unwavering support for me.
The encouragement I’ve received made all the difference. I feel safe in an environment where I can grow and flourish. Accenture is truly a supportive workplace, committed to a culture of inclusion and diversity, where people feel free to be their true, authentic selves.
Advocating for authenticity
I vowed to never be ashamed of who I am, and to advocate for authenticity wherever I go. Today, I serve as one of the Accenture I&D Campus Leads for the University of Michigan. I also just recently joined the Chicago Pride at Accenture Employee Resource Group (ERG) to lead the corporate citizenship space, keen on making a difference in the greater LGBTQ+ community. I continually look for more opportunities to inspire people to be proud of themselves.
This year, I celebrated Pride Month for the first time, finally feeling the love, happiness and freedom that I’ve been longing for and deserve. And that is something that I am truly proud of.
Be your true, authentic self and do work that makes a difference. Find your fit with Accenture.
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