I was a new teller when a gentleman walked in wanting to open an account.
I remember him taking a step in the doors and scanning the row of CU employees ready to serve him.
He eventually chose me.
As I was opening his account and asking him for his ID, he hesitated, and I could see his face show concern.
He leaned in and said:
If you take this and make a copy for my file, will you please keep this file at your desk?
I admit, in my mind I wasn’t sure why, but I said of course knowing that my number one duty was to serve the members.
Once I scanned the ID and set his new account all up, I thanked him and said that I would be happy to assist him with whatever he needed from our credit union.
He thanked me several times.
The sincerest thanks that I have ever gotten truly.
As I was collecting all of the paper items for his file, I flipped the ID photo over the correct way and was instantly moved to tears.
The ID the man had given me had a female name on it.
My newest member was transgender, and he felt safe enough to share that with me.
He chose ME.
I ran from behind my desk outside to where he was getting into his car.
I leaned over the window and said:
Thank you. Thank you for trusting me, choosing me, and knowing that I would take care of you. I understand how huge that is and I am honored to serve you.
Tears welled up in his eyes and he replied:
I have kids. I don’t want them made fun of. To my knowledge nobody knows, and I just want to live my life and my kids not be harassed. Thank you for being you. I just knew.
By that time my eyes matched his with tears and I grabbed his hand and said:
You are safe with me.
That moment impacted my life so much.
It led me to want more education on the LGBTQ+ community.
It helped me realize the fear and intimidation there must be when you walk into a place of business where you have to show your ID and don’t know who to trust.
He chose me and that made me realize that I needed to choose to be a stand up, well-informed, well-educated person.
I just wanted to share with you the moment that I chose to take PRIDE in making myself a well-rounded ally.
..or as my friends Lisa and Angela say, a “Capital A Ally!”
It was a defining moment in my life, and it changed me in all of the best ways.
He chose me and it was my responsibility to choose him back with PRIDE.