Hello, My name is Lys Fletcher and I am a Transgender Non-Binary person. I use they/them/theirs pronouns. I want to share how I came to be a Trans activist, as I am very passionate about sharing my story.
I came out pretty late in my life at the age of 28. It took me a long time to not only feel comfortable with who I knew I had always been, but also to share that with people. It is often a very personal experience when finding yourself for the first time – especially as an adult. So, I started with the people closest to me to see how it felt when I told them “I am Trans”. Saying those words out loud made it real for the first time and finally allowed me to breathe. It was as if I had been holding my breath my whole life and could only now finally exhale.
After knowing how truly incredible it felt to be the real me, and to have others still love and respect me while living my truth, I knew then that I wanted to be “out” in every aspect of my life. At this time I was very established in my career and I worried coming out at work would be a big obstacle. However, before I knew it I was on a call with my then boss and just said “I am Trans”. Again, I exhaled heavily as I awaited a response. I was met with caring, love and the urge to want to better understand how I could be supported. I was blown away…I had just assumed that I would be rejected, laughed at or just skipped over – but that was not the case. I know that unfortunately, this can be a rare occurrence when Transgender people come out publicly in their lives, and I am very lucky this was my experience. With the support I was given, my voice became louder and stronger for Trans rights in the workplace.
I started working at Thunder in June of 2022. I was excited to take on a bigger role in my career as a project manager. As a growing company, I saw a need for more LGBTQ+ trainings and awareness at Thunder. With this in mind, I happily helped start ThunderTogether, our internal equity group, to help spread awareness and knowledge and to create safe spaces for people to feel welcomed and appreciated for who they are. I stand tall in my pride as a Trans/Non-Binary person and to take up the space here at Thunder, to have a voice and help others be whoever they are.
I say these three things to myself at the start of everyday – ‘I am brave, I am proud and I am visible.’
The work never stops and we must all do our part to promote awareness, education and acceptance of Transgender people. This can even be achieved through everything from simple acts of kindness, like using correct pronouns and respecting people’s identities, to advocating for policy changes and supporting organizations that work for Transgender rights.
There is still much more to be done to ensure that Transgender people are fully included and supported in society. This means creating safer, more inclusive spaces in schools, workplaces, healthcare, and other public services. It also means challenging discriminatory laws and policies that limit the rights of Transgender people, including access to healthcare, legal recognition and employment protections.
On International Transgender Day of Visibility, let’s celebrate the bravery and resilience of the Transgender community and commit to building a more inclusive world for all.