By Charita Marie
My name is Charita Marie. I am a feminine-presenting, cisgender, bisexual woman and I am out at work. While it feels great to say that I am out at work, let me also state that this has not always been the case. I think a part of me felt that I had enough strikes against me in corporate America and therefore felt no need to add yet another. I am black and I am a woman, two attributes that already cause me to feel that I have to work harder than my counterparts to prove myself. I didn’t want to open myself up to being judged on yet another thing. But somewhere along the way I grew tired of hiding. I had to remember to utilize gender-neutral phrases such as “partner” instead of “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” and “they/hem” instead of “he/she” and “him/ her.” When peers were telling stories of their weekend or vacations I could never tell my complete story. I was exhausted and decided it was time to stop. I work for a company that not only continually asks their employees to bring their whole selves to work but encourages it and provides resources to assist. I decided it was time to test the waters and haven’t looked back since!
Thus far I’ve found everyone to be supportive (at least to my face) 🙂 and for that I am grateful. My company has an LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group that is very active. I definitely have found my people with them and enjoy making my presence known. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to “see” me. When I am with a male partner people assume that I am straight. When I am with a female partner people assume that I am a lesbian. Very seldom does anyone consider bisexuality as an option. I hope to continue to challenge what individuals and society envisions when they think of LGBTQ+ members and assist in the elimination of bi erasure.
I love every part of me. Therefore, I will never again do myself the disservice of hiding some of the best parts of me. I will continue to bring my whole self to work and assist with dispelling stereotypes about the bisexual community.
Charita Marie (she/her) lives in Dallas, Texas, and works at a Fortune 500 company as a treasury manager. Charita is quite social and in her personal time enjoys hosting social events such as brunches, wine walks, and game nights.