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  • Writer's picturegarrison gibbons

Perfomative Behavior at Work

After I entered the workforce post-college, I quickly realized I was *performing* at work. I was being open about my sexuality. I often shared details and stories about my partner. I wore clothing I felt comfortable in. I was doing everything I thought I needed to do as a queer person, and, in turn, I felt generally accepted. It took me sometime to realize my behavior was actually performative. I was using performativity to broadcast my identity in order to make sure I fit in. I was overcompensating to make sure I felt safe at work. It was a heightened version of my reality in order to avoid retaliation or rejection. I wasn’t truly bringing my authentic self to work. After a lot of self-discovery and examination, I can finally say I bring my authentic self to work, without strictly focusing on performative behaviors. This requires a workplace culture that is inclusive — meaning not only do they say it, but they also create a culture of belonging, allyship, and safety. I work every day to make people feel welcome to be themselves at work, unapologetically. I work every day to inspire people to live their authentic truth. I work every day to bring myself to work.

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