When Jack Dixon was ready to share his big news with his Geek Squad co-workers, he wasn’t sure what kind of reaction he would get.
With a childhood photo of Jack holding a baby doll in one hand and a pellet gun in the other as the backdrop, his manager made the announcement: Jack had made the courageous decision to transition from female to male.
The room erupted in applause.
Jack grew up in a home where he was expected to wear dresses on Sundays. He spent most of his youth embracing more traditionally masculine practices — an identity that became more affirmed as an adult.
In addition to the outpouring of support he’s received from his team since his big announcement — including a scrapbook of affirming notes from his call center teammates — Jack has also been able to tap into a wide collection of benefits Best Buy offers. That includes specific health care coverage for transgender and gender non-conforming employees.
“It was unbelievably awesome,” Jack said. “We can be who we truly want to be here. We don’t have to be someone else to be happy.”
Support for all
Jack joined Bri Birtley’s team as a Geek Squad Agent about four years ago. The two work on a team tasked with helping Best Buy customers resolve complex order issues.
When Jack approached Bri to inform her that he was going to begin hormone treatments to assist in his female-to-male transition process, Bri was excited for Jack and focused on making his transition process as smooth as possible at work.
Fortunately, Best Buy had resources for her as well. In recent years, the company has created a Workplace Transition and Gender Identity Toolkit with guidelines and resources for supporting an employee through a gender transition.
“I felt like a lot of the question marks were removed,” Bri said. “It eliminated a lot of the uncertainty and made me much more confident and proud to work for a company that cared enough to put something like that together.”
Working with their human resources partner, Bri and Jack were able to create a plan for the entire Geek Squad call center to ensure Jack’s transition would be as smooth as possible for all. This included time for the team to learn what they should expect going forward, such as the names and pronouns they should use when talking to or about Jack and the physical changes they may see in their colleague in the coming months.
Employees were given plenty of time to ask questions — something that was really important to Jack, who wanted to make sure his colleagues were given the same safe space he was to talk through their feelings.
“No matter who you are, there’s always support at Best Buy,” he said.
Rebecca Johnson contributed to this story.
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