In my world - in San Diego, as an attorney, and a very experienced professional - I cannot imagine being closeted (meaning, keeping my orientation a secret). But I know this is not everyone's world. I encourage all Sony employees to feel comfortable being their whole selves at work. If you do not trust us, your coworkers, to know who you are, then you are not really sharing your whole being. You leave much of your passion, strength, innovation, and creativity at home if you do not come out at work. Sony, more than ever, needs all of those amazing skills from all of our employees. Please consider coming out to one coworker. Maybe to one friend. When that goes well, you might consider sharing with another coworker. Eventually, you will find that it is not that big of an issue to most people. People are involved in their own lives. You may be surprised with how little of an issue it will be when you come out at work. Remember, if no one came out, no one would know that LGBT employees are important contributors at Sony.
It is important to show your support for all of your employees and coworkers. One of the ways that a manager can do this is to start using non-gender specific pronouns when talking and in meetings. Instead of a male manager saying, "I am going out to dinner with my wife this weekend," try saying, "I am going out to dinner this weekend with my spouse, or my partner." This simple change makes room for other people to use similar language without people assuming they are LGBT. Do not assume that everyone on your team is straight, or that everyone has straight parents, kids, or relatives. Make room in your world for people that are not like you. Use more gender-neutral language - firefighter instead of fireman, person hours instead of man hours, team instead of guys. Start an Ally Program! This is a program where employees sign up to be an Ally and display a card or sticker at their desk. The Ally sign let's all employees know that they are safe - especially the LGBT employees - to talk about their lives, to bring their whole selves to work. It is most important for the straight employees to participate in an Ally Program because our LGBT employees do not know who will be supportive of them if they come out. Having that sticker or sign can open the door to letting an LGBT employee feel safe to contribute and be fully present at work.