Being Out in the Workplace
The panelists from "Being Out in the Workplace," (pictured from left to right) Nick Shannon, Danny Valentin, Christine Baker, and Adam Birnham. (photo by William Biersack)

by Anthony Krueger

On February 27, at 7pm in Aquinas Hall room 163, “Being out in the Workplace” was held. Allies and the Career Center came together to put together a panel of Mount Alumni to speak about their experience being LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender) and out in the workplace. The event was groundbreaking and innovative for Mount Saint Mary College.

Allies president, Chelsea Gorski Halpern stood up in front of fellow students and faculty to introduce the four panelists who were more than excited to be sitting in front of the crowd of about 45 people. The panelists were Nick Shannon, Danny Valentin, Christine Baker and Adam Birnham.The excitement to be back on campus and participate in such a progressive experience shined through as each panelist took their turn in answering 15 questions asked by the audience.

The purpose of the night was to get a feel for what being LGBT and out in the workplace meant. Each panelist made it a point to say that it always continues to get better. There may be moments that seem totally awful but in the end you will be happy. Being LGBT does not separate you from those who are heterosexual. A point made over the course of the two hours was that in the workplace it doesn’t matter who you go home to, it simply matters about the work effort you put into the job you may find yourself in. Baker made the point to always make sure to be who you are and express yourself as you feel comfortable.

The night was filled with stories of the past, hopes for the future, and advice on how to be your true self and the best employee you can be.

In response to these two questions: What was your first thought about tonight when asked to come?; How did your time at the Mount prepare you for the “real world”? The panelists said how wonderful and exciting this event was to them. They felt that is showed great progress for our institution and they were happy to be a part of it. As for their experience at the Mount, each explained it as being an engaging experience that prepared them and supplied them with ample experience for that next step in life.

Special Thanks to the Career Center and Allies for holding this prestigious event. Just remember if work ability is what counts in the workforce, the same should be said for all other aspects of life.