No one talked about sexuality when Bryce Kiguchi was growing up. His family was Catholic and avoided talk along those lines. “It was more of a taboo topic. We basically swept the issue [him being gay] under the rug,” said Bryce, who is a Learning Specialist in Sitel Eton.
It didn’t help that he also went to a Catholic school where discussions of sexuality were scarce. Such silence, on the parts of both his family and school, kept him from living authentically. “As I grew up, I learned to build my walls up and act according to the expectations of the people around me.”
It came to a point where Bryce “could no longer feel anything.” “It was a dark chapter in my life when I lost all emotions,” he said. “I felt like I had nothing more to lose.”
But hitting rock-bottom has a way of bringing out our more courageous side. In his early 30s, Bryce came out to his family. Much to his surprise, the rejection he was expecting didn’t come. “All I felt from them were love, acceptance, and support. People do change!”
Home isn’t the only place Bryce has found acceptance. Sitel, his company for more than 15 years already, has proven to be a champion of LGBTQIA+’s good. “Sitel has always shown support to the LGBTQIA+ community. I’ve attended many LGBTQIA+ related webinars and gatherings, thanks to Sitel.”
It was also in Sitel that Bryce experienced a milestone in his life as a gay person. “In 2019, I went to my first Pride march with my Sitel family. It was the kind of support I needed exactly. It was the first and hopefully, not the last.”
While Sitel is already a welcoming place for the LGBTQIA+ community, Bryce said a lot could still be done, especially in terms of education. “There are no courses on MyAcademy about LGBTQIA+. Sitel can provide resources to better educate the workplace about basic LGBTQIA+ concepts—sex, gender expression vs. gender identity vs. sexual and romantic preference, etc.”
Bryce also believes that with education, the Philippines, although among the most LGBTQIA+-tolerant countries in the world, could make itself a truly for equitable society for all. “Being a tolerant country is not enough. There has to be understanding and acceptance. This can only be achieved through awareness and education.”
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