Speaking the language of inclusion
My name is Dan Dukes and I am Trans.
Its taken a long time to have the courage to say that out loud with confidence and pride.
Having grown up in the 1960's where men were "men", and women were seen and
not heard, it was impossible to be my authentic self until much later in life.
Race, gender identity, and diversity were not topics of discussion around the dinner
table in my middle-class family. As a young girl I did not fit in with those around me
and I did not have the internet to Google for the answers I so desperately needed.
I was very lonely, depressed, and lost. I turned to alcohol at age 16 and continued as a functioning alcoholic until 1998. After crippling debt, a failed marriage, and health
issues, I finally said "enough is enough" and had my last drink. I now have over
20 years of sobriety and life has never been better.
In my private life I have held many titles including wife, husband, daughter, son,
sister, brother, aunt, uncle, lesbian, and trans-man. In the business world I have held
the titles of Designer, Manager, General Manager, and District Manager.
It was 2008 when I started my most personal challenge and started the process to transitioning from female to male. As a Transgender man I have navigated family life, relationships, health issues, and the workplace. I have been in Restaurant management for over 20 years and have worked in the private sector as well as in Higher Education.
I have become an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and an accomplished speaker.
I have finally achieved my goals to become an advocate for the Trans community.
My messages of inclusive communities, workplace acceptance and gender equality
are filled with TRUTH, hope, humor, and inspiration.