Melanie Jackson, Business Analyst, IS and Pride Co-Lead
“My experience of coming out as trans(gender) was perhaps unexpected. I grew-up in all male environment and attended a boys’ school. I later developed a successful career building up an engineering company; employing a team of people whom I had spent the late 1980s, 1990s through to 2001 with and had grown to trust. However, in that time I knew that all wasn’t right in this somewhat male dominated world.
“It was knowing this I sold up my business and went back to university. During this time, the distraction of continuing with the career in motorsport and focusing on a business degree was not enough. Coming from a rural farming background I knew that being trans was not a good revelation. To this end I decided after graduation and completing my last motor race in 2001, and seeking support for my transition, I decided to travel around the world.
“Having started in Canada in September 2001, I wrote what was my coming out letter to my parents, written on a mountain top café on a very difficult and painful day. While this felt like it would be the end of my world so far, this was no the to be the case. Whilst it was a difficult experience, their reply was accepting and was one of the many positive experiences I had around coming out – all of which have significantly outweighed the negative experiences that I had feared would be the case.
“I have had many positive experiences over the past 14 years, including the ten years I have spent working for National Grid. In this time I have played a role in shaping the Pride employee resource group, from putting together last years’s conference event ‘Building a more inclusive, engaged workforce’ with Business support, and again for next month’s event ‘Proud to Enable Diversity in National Grid’ as well as supporting the company’s entry in this year’s London Pride parade.
“I hope that that having the positive view of what can be achieved with inclusion and diversity at National Grid helps others to find their courage to tell their story as well and what can be achieved with their own talent and determination.”