Be Brave. I shouldn’t have to change myself to be loved by family and friends. What if I lose everything? These are only a few thoughts that ran through my mind as I struggled with knowing I was “different” at a young age. There is a difference of “coming out” to the world and “coming out” to yourself. The road to self-acceptance and self-love is not easy for the LGBTQ+ community. “Coming Out” brought fears of the unknown reactions. More thoughts ran through my mind. How would my family react? Would I even have a family after? Will I lose friends? I’ve worked so hard for my career; will my place of work look at me differently?
Not just discussing diversity in the workplace but showing and promoting diversity is extremely important. Prior to joining the multifamily industry, my career path did not take me to places that openly discussed their acceptance of LGBTQ+ team members. This was one factor that impacted my decision to look for my career home. Then I found the Multifamily industry. What a breath of fresh air. From day one, I never had to put a mask on. I never had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. I found the freedom to be myself from the company, that I still work for today, almost 9 years later, Olympus Property. To be honest, the industry in general has been welcoming to me, for being me! Bringing my whole self to work every day allows me to be happy not only in my personal life, but my professional life. Covering up who you are in any aspect can be emotionally draining, lead to poor performance, and ultimately lead to mental illnesses/depression. I am proud to work for an industry that promotes diversity, allows leaders to support others in the growth of themselves both personally and professionally.
BE SOMEBODY TO YOU. Open your heart and be yourself. The rest will fall in place.
About the Author: Geoffrey Gonzales, CAM, CAPS is a Regional Manager at Olympus Property. Since joining the industry in 2014, he has held key onsite positions from Leasing Consultant to Business Manager and currently supports his team as Regional Manager all within Olympus Property. Prior to joining multifamily, Geoffrey, held multiple leadership roles in other industries, and has a true passion for training and coaching others. Geoffrey holds his CAM and CAPS credentials from NAAEI and multiple awards including AAGD’s Sapphire Awards 2018 Rookie Manager of the Year and Olympus Property’s 2019 Business Manager of the Year. Geoffrey currently serves on AAGD’s Education and NextGen Committees where his number one focus is helping train, educate and develop others to reach their goals.