— Google

4 Googlers on coming out at work — and in life

“Coming in” before coming out

Jean Illyria (she/her), who works in our Singapore office with Google Customer Solutions, says she first used technology to come out as a trans woman. “If you’ve ever played a role-playing game, you’d know how it feels to experience the world through this third-person view, responding to events and making decisions for your virtual character based on a story you’ve crafted for them,” she says. “The experiences you have are real, the emotions you feel may be real, but it’s all very much unreal. My life felt like a game, so naturally, I first came out while chatting in a game. The anonymity and the appearance of my virtual person seemed to make it much easier.”

Ever since surrounding herself with people who accept and support her, Jean has been able to focus on living life to the fullest. “Coming out may seem like a huge milestone and a rite of passage for LGBT folks, but don’t come out just for the sake of coming out,” she says. “Instead, focus on what coming out would do for you, and consider the costs and benefits of doing so for your individual situation. Start by prioritizing what’s been dubbed as ‘coming in’: Learn to accept, embrace and celebrate your identity for yourself.”


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