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Deloitte story: Camilla de Maeyer | International Transgender Day of Visibility


International Transgender Day of Visibility - ‘Being yourself removes many barriers’

'I always knew that I would have preferred to be borndifferently. But for a very long time I didn’t know howto express myself', says Camilla de Maeyer, Consultant Customer Strategy at Monitor Deloitte. Two years ago, she took the leap and came out as transgender. 'It was scary, of course. However, being yourself removes many barriers. I never liked my name, now I love introducing myself. And I used to be incredibly shy, but I’m much more open now.'

Although the trans journey of Camilla (25) is still ongoing, she actively wants to share her story. 'Sharing personal stories is what creates a safe environment. And a safe environment is necessary to be able to be who you are. It took me a while to get there, but I want others to experience the same freedom as I do now', she smiles. 'Growing up, I always had this lingering feeling. I vividly remember my mom letting me dress up as Snow White when I was three years old, which was completely normal for me. At school, I mostly played with other girls, because that felt more natural. And in my twenties, I started buying women’s shampoo and cute girly shoes. But it wasn’t until I was 24 that I sat myself down. My feelings could no longer be hidden. It was time for the big confrontation.'

Sharing the struggles together

The first person Camilla came out to was her then girlfriend, now wife. 'I was so nervous, but she was incredibly chill about it. It didn’t really come as a surprise to her. Still, it meant a big change for our relationship. From day one, she has been an unbelievable source of support. She took me shopping, taught me how to use make-up and helped me experiment with different pronouns and a new name. We shared the struggles together and grew even more close. Luckily, almost all of my family and friends reacted warmly and understandingly. But I did have to educate a lot of people.'

'Being transgender is not a choice, no one does this for fun', she continues. 'For some of us, the process is inhumane. The accessibility of trans care in the Netherlands is, in a word, terrible. Waiting lists are endless, in part because we have to go through several psychological evaluations. If you are referred today, your first appointment will be in 2027. After a long journey of trying to accept yourself, that is of course a huge blow, and simply unnecessary. Recently, I went to change the gender in my passport. Someone I didn’t know asked me all these questions about my femininity, like I needed to pass a test. Cisgenders, people whose gender identity corresponds to the sex they were assigned at birth, never have to defend themselves. If you constantly have to defend who you are, you will feel like you don’t belong. Why would we want to create a society that is not for everyone, that is not inclusive?'

This doesn’t change anything

For Deloitte, inclusion and diversity is key. Creating an environment in which you can be your authentic self, without feeling the pressure to hide or excuse yourself, is extremely important. 'Only six months after my coming out, I started working at Deloitte', Camilla says. 'The first months, I put up a mask again. That was nothing new to me, but it still didn’t feel right. I knew now how it felt to openly be myself and I couldn’t go back anymore. I started looking around and discovered Deloitte has an explicit trans policy, which is amazing. Through the Proud at Deloitte network, an employee resource group to support the LGBTQ+ community, I met Jason, a wonderful trusted advisor. He helped me take the right steps to come out to my team. We organized an info session with the main take-away: ‘This doesn’t change anything’. And that is pretty much how it went. Fortunately, all my colleagues are smart and progressive. But being yourself starts with opening up, first to yourself, and eventually to the world.'