Pride at Small Change Big Change: Hello world, this is me.

Happy Pride Day
Hello everyone! Happy Pride month. My name is Jen, my pronouns are She/They, I am the new program manager at Small Change Big Change.

Pride at Small Change Big Change: Hello world, this is me.

Hello everyone! Happy Pride month. My name is Jen, my pronouns are She/They, I am the new program manager at Small Change Big Change. As someone who has spent years and counting navigating the complexities of identity, I have never really thought my story worth sharing until now. Within my role, my ongoing mission is to build resilience in young people, I do this by driving fundraising programs across the Australian Telco Industry to fund youth programs and services across Australia. The more I deepen my feet into my position I find myself reflecting on my own story of resilience, purpose and continuous journey finding it. I hope this helps to give you some insight and create more representation of lgbtqi+ people in the workplace and beyond.

From Fine Arts to Telco

Early in my career I became an entrepreneur in the fine arts community, curating local exhibitions and supporting emerging artists. It was a vibrant, creative space, but it also came with its fair share of challenges. While I recall this period being significantly pivotal creating some of the happiest memories and proudest moments in my career, I also remember being called a “brave” young person who secretly struggled immensely with anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Later, I transitioned to the telco industry to what felt like a completely different song and dance all together. The magnificent complex machine of a matrix global corporate. I worked my way from casually answering calls in the mail room to contractually leading project financial change management for national fixed wireless rollout programs. Despite the success I found and the potential I saw in myself, I often struggled with my own confidence to ask for help and guidance. The eventual loss of self along with other drastic societal changes (think pandemic) led me to question my place in the world and whether I was truly making an impact through the work I was doing.

The Intersection of Confidence and Sexuality

Being a child of the 90s as a first-generation Australian in a household where the television was the questionably educational portal to the world outside our suburbia, discussions about sexuality were non-existent. I internalised enough homophobia in my youth that it almost felt like coming out as bisexual at age 20 was a delay. Since then, I often found myself adhering to what is now recognised as ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ aka comp-het, where societal norms pressured me to conform to heterosexual expectations. It has taken time for me to understand that part of my struggle with confidence was intricately linked to my sexuality, particularly the way I would present myself to prioritise the comfort of others. I conditioned myself to avoid mentioning my bisexuality from having previously been objectified, bullied and interrogated further forcing my workplace persona into a functional form for others.

The Power of Impact in Places We Create

At this point in my career, I recognise my privilege to be able to work in safe and nurturing environments where I don’t need to hide parts of myself for fear of prejudice. Though I find the privilege is easy to provide for others, I never take for granted that I too can come to work and bring my fullest self. I realise my confidence and productivity relates to my identity as a whole and unsurprisingly how organisational values shape my employee experience. Respect plays a big part of how we operate here at Telco Together Foundation; I am respected in the way I am trusted and supported to create value and deliver in my own individual way – right through to this rather proudful blog introduction.

The ability to be authentic in my identity at work and feel respected gives me confidence to share new ideas, welcome critical feedback, drive change, simply be a better and more balanced person whilst making positive impact in the work I do and the worlds I live in. It truly is amazing how far small instances of kindness can take someone in their life journey.

Paving the Way for Resilient Young People

As we celebrate Pride Month, it’s important to recognise the role of parents, guardians, and allies in supporting young people’s journeys. Help boost their confidence by holding space and discourse for lgbtiq+ individuals and experiences in your workplaces this month. This will help employees to create safer environments both within and beyond the workplace.

Here are some practical tips you can share to parents this month, inspired by ReachOut’s Parents & Guardian resources, to boost their confidence in creating a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for young people:

  • Educate Yourself – Learn about the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities to better support the young people in your life.
  • Open Communication – Create a safe space for open discussions about feelings and identity without judgment.
  • Challenge Stereotypes – Actively address and correct prejudices or stereotypes within your household and community.
  • Encourage Connections – Help young people connect with supportive peers and groups that affirm their identity.
  • Seek Professional Help – Consider counselling or professional support if needed to help navigate complex emotions and experiences.

For more resources on supporting young people’s sexuality, visit ReachOut’s guide here, and learn about being a good LGBTI+ ally here. Happy Pride Month, I hope you are celebrating in whatever way makes you feel more at home with yourself and thanks for stopping by! If you’d like to chat further feel free to reach me via

Till next time,

Jen Lau Masman

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Pride at Small Change Big Change: Hello world, this is me.