Live Proud: Former Service Member Overcomes Adversity To Live Her True Self
July 3, 2013
In honor of AT&T's incredible Live Proud campaign, we're highlighting the story of one of the company's LGBT employees, Sheri Hattan.
From a release:
Throughout her life, Sheri felt the need for acceptance from her family and peers--a common fear that many of us face, whether you’re straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, lesbian or questioning. A former Army Radio Operator and Mechanic, Sheri felt that she couldn’t embrace who she was while serving her country from 1987-1990, for fear of losing her job or being ostracized by those around her.
Despite adapting well to military life, hiding who she was proved too heavy a burden, so Sheri left the military after her first tour. Within a couple of months of returning to civilian life, Sheri finally had the courage to come out to her family. She recalls her mother’s teary reaction--“I’m not upset with who you are, I’m upset with the challenges you’re about to face from society.”
Sheri’s mother’s concerns sadly proved to be true. Just a few months later, Sheri says that she was fired from a job because her manager disapproved of her sexual orientation. Though this was something unexpected and discouraging, Sheri kept her head high and moved forward. Today, she is happily employed as a Customer Care Representative at the AT&T Call Center in Pueblo, Colo., helping customers each day.
From battling self-identity to societal acceptance, Sheri realized the importance of having a strong support system in order for her to move forward with her life. She joined LEAGUE at AT&T, an LGBT and allies employee organization and the oldest Employee Resource Group (ERG) in the country. More recently, Sheri was elected Vice President of the Colorado Chapter for LEAGUE at AT&T. Through her dedication to the organization and passion for helping empower the LGBT community, she hopes that one day others like her will know that they are not alone.
For more on Live Proud, visit attliveproud.com