Exercise has always been a major part of my life. As a kid, my siblings and I would roam the parks near our home, playing soccer, catching frogs, and chasing each other on bikes. Into my teens and 20s, long-distance running dominated my time, but I also played volleyball and went to weekly spin classes. I still run track and long distance several times a week today, but for the last five years my primary sport has been competitive kettlebell lifting.

Exercise has been many things for me. It’s been a way to relieve stress. It keeps me feeling happy…

Here’s a few of the sentences that have appeared in some of my recent emails and text messages:

  • “Sorry to bother you…”
  • “Of course! I’d be happy to help…”
  • “Just checking to see…”
  • “Whenever you have a moment, I’d appreciate if you could…”
  • “I know you’re really busy…”

As a kid, I was assertive, forthright. I was also quiet and thoughtful, with my nose stuck in a book most of the time. But those identities didn’t feel incompatible. I was never afraid to ask for something. I knew what I wanted and I communicated that, and I never felt like…

We put a huge emphasis on workplace culture. Browse any careers page of a website and employers will often talk about how great the culture is before diving into compensation, benefits, and job openings. You’ll be met with photos of smiling coworkers, testimonials from employees, and probably even a shot of the office pooch (probably adorned with a title along the lines of “Chief Happiness Officer”).

The focus on culture makes sense to me: our sense of belonging within a workplace drives our desire to stay. Longer employee tenure drives down costs due to turnover and retraining. …

exposure and education are critical for accepting different races, genders, and sexual orientations

For me, work was one of the most challenging spaces to navigate sharing pieces of my sexual identity. I’ve worked in places with wildly different cultures, from ones that actively discuss and champion religious, sexual, and political differences, to ones that are very much “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

From startups to small businesses to universities, each workplace varied in some of the ways you might expect (and some you wouldn’t). One of the most interesting revelations was that the cultures I expected to be the most inclusive often…weren’t.

TL;DR: I’ve Found No Way To Gauge How My Boss or Colleagues Will React

As an employee, freelancer, and volunteer, I’ve freelanced in highly conservative workplaces…

Let’s face it: veganism has terrible PR. I’ve been eating a mostly vegan diet for 10 years, but I honestly don’t talk about it with people unless I know them really well.

For a lifestyle I volunteered for in an effort to reduce my environmental footprint, that may sound pretty horrible. But it’s true.

I chose to live a plant-based life because, as an ecologist, I deeply understand how deeply meat production is impacting our environment. I also believe it’s my responsibility to live consciously, for both my fellow humans and the environment.

I did a lot of research before…

Like most coming out stories, I didn’t do it all at once. In all, it actually took me about 20 years to acknowledge —then accept and share — who I was.

Mostly I was afraid I wouldn’t be accepted, but there was more than that, too. For years, I didn’t even know I was bi; I grew up in Edmonton, surrounded by a predominately straight, white community. People who identified as gay, much less bisexual, didn’t really exist. At least, not openly.

Looking back, it’s hard to see how I ever thought I was straight. My first sexual experiences were…

Growing up, I was taught it was tacky to talk about money. Even within my own family, my parents never discussed how much money we had. We could have been Kardashian-level rich or barely scraping by; I would have been none the wiser.

In a weird way, this attitude of money secrecy gave me a perplexing relationship with the stuff. On one hand, I firmly believed that my salary wasn’t reflective of my personal value. …

A year after a girlfriend of mine married a woman, we were having a conversation about sexual orientation during which I offhandedly referred to her as gay.

“I don’t identify as a lesbian,” she said, somewhat defiantly.

I paused, my head running through thousands of thoughts that contradicted what she said. She was in denial. She must be. Had she not noticed she had married a woman? And speaking of which, how hurt would her wife feel if she heard her say that?

I didn’t press on the topic much more than that — in truth, I didn’t really know…

Recently, my girlfriend and I binged The Haunting of Bly Manor. While I don’t love the horror genre (meaning I sleep with the lights on during “scary season”), my partner lives for it. So when the fall rolls around, we sit down and watch all the good (and bad) new horror films that come out.

If you haven’t seen Bly Manor yet, I won’t leak too many spoilers. What I will say is that there is a same-sex female relationship.

As a person who grew up in the 90s in a politically conservative part of Canada, I wasn’t exposed to…

Perhaps it’s the result of publications in magazines like Forbes and Huffpost, or the claim that servant leadership creates more productive employees, but more and more startup executives are beginning to define themselves as servant-leaders.

In theory, I strongly support servant-leadership. I believe that when you nurture your team and give them room to grow, they’ll exceed your expectations. A manager’s job is to facilitate growth and learning while helping their employees establish boundaries, learn how to receive — and give — constructive feedback, and find their place in an organization. …

Brigitte D

Lover of books (mostly fantasy/sci-fi), piano, running, and learning new things. Mostly writing about tech &LGBT+ stuff.

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