lgbtq non binary out at work

I wore heels to work. Here’s what happened.

I’m a non-binary dude and I work a corporate 9-5 job. It was just an ordinary morning for me. Get up. Yawn. Charge phone. Just the usual. Then I caught my golden three inch bad boys lookin’ at me across the room. So I thought okay let me just put them on and see how I feel. Ooo I feel like Cinderella.

Then my skin got itchy, I had a lot of fear. Because times are more stupid right now with mass shootings and stabbings at my bus stop. Cringe. But I chose to wear the heels anyway. I also felt like I was putting the company’s Diversity and Inclusion mettle to the test. You see a lot of companies market safe space and non-discrimination, but don’t mean what they say or practice what they preach. So I was particularly interested in exposing the truth.

And sure enough. The truth was found.

If there’s one thing that I know for sure about this experience it’s that not every job space deserves your whole self. It would be nice to show up without fear. But not every space is as open and inclusive. I get this. I know from years of being the victim of bullying and having family try to press me into a heteronormative mold by signing me up for a youth police academy and convincing my mom and siblings to scare me into manhood. No bueno.

I wore these golden heels to practice what I preach. Put color in motion and fearlessly devote myself to feeling good. Timing is everything. When I arrived at work, the office was quiet. I hear typing in the distance and just focused on my normal routine. I’m a corporate treasury management assistant for a bank and people assume there’s little to no room for self-expression. But my story changes that. I got to the cafeteria – a more public space mind you compared to my desk and received my first compliment.

I like your shoes. You’re so brave.

A happy co-worker on floor 5

So the day went on and on and on. I like your shoes. Woah, Bernard. Where did you get them heels? Work it!

The response from my workplace was encouraging. People in other departments at lunch ? oozed compliments. These shoes make me feel elevated, supported, and above all radiant. Like Hermes’ slippers to relay messages from the Gods and Goddesses.

Ya know what message you need the most right now if I can be so brazen. It’s not some complicated formula to reach six figures. It’s honestly the best way to prove to yourself and others that you have purpose.

Practice what you preach. Get results. And keep power leveling your personal brand to set a new baseline. Repeat as necessary.

I’m grateful that I built an entire brand from my bedroom 7 years ago to give me the confidence to show up at my day job with more verve and positive spirit. And I’m grateful it was a bitch to get hired (I was unemployed for a year and racked up so much credit card debt) looking for the right opportunity because it taught me about making myself a priority. And I’m grateful that just because crap is blowing in every direction doesn’t mean we give up on love or the light of own diversity. Your unique individuality has a purpose and I’ve been coaching a whole city to understand that purpose is evolutionary and very much alive.

But am I really brave considering my privilege as a white male?

I think this quote could answer that.

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

Brené Brown

No matter your skin color, economic upbringing, or job title, I believe you are entitled to self-expression born from self-love. No religion, mandate, or societal gender-controlled assumption can rob you from your worth or purpose as a deeply gorgeous human being. Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes so I (an introvert and abuse survivor) will accept the compliment completely and channel it’s essence forward in my own coaching practice and events I serve.

If you remember anything from this job win, know this.

Radical unapologetic waves of support is available to you right now. Activate it. Do something today that lights you up and sets your old tired unmotivated whiny scrappy self ablaze in the most beautiful abundant transformation. Ever.

The point to all of this now that I have some time to chill out and reflect is that if you have a penis and want to wear heels. Go for it. If you wanna wear combat boots and pink skirts – the world needs it. When you are your most confident self at work you show up better and brighter. And you don’t need some over-the-top story of discrimination to validate your freedom of expression. Believe me I’ve been there trying to righteously reclaim my worth by playing the victim but that’s not always owning your truth. That’s a rookie move to manipulate the masses. It’s a temporary bandage and doesn’t heal the deeper wound.

Friend. There are good spaces and good people on this earth that are ready to welcome you and celebrate your true colors regardless of what’s considered to be normal, conservative, professional, or traditional.

Never forget. We are in this together. Evolving as a collective.


Ouch. If you can’t wear heels than feel into these bad boys and imagine for a moment you’re standing here with me. Taller. Happier. And more alive to create the life and work you want. And so it is.


  • Bernard Charles

    color psychologist

    Bernard Charles wrote the best selling book in phenomenology called Rainbow Revolution and created the world's largest color therapy card deck, The Color Mage Oracle. His work has been featured in Soul and Spirit Magazine, Thrive Global, Bustle, Positively Positive, and WHIRL Magazine. Bernard is a lifestyle coach and color psychologist. When he's not filming inspirational videos on Facebook, you'll find him casting spells in World of Warcraft. Bernard carries a fresh unconventional attitude when speaking on diversity, spirituality and color psychology. Visit his virtual home at to learn more.