Bea Sweet joined the Goodwill retail crew at our Columbus location in November 2021. Although she has the support of a few friends and her co-workers at Goodwill, Bea has experienced the judgment and stigma associated with coming out as a transgender person. She began living as a woman almost seven years ago, when she was 41 years old.
“It took years for me to build the courage to be who I really am, but I got tired of living as not myself,” Bea said. “I’ve known since I was five years old that I identify as a girl. People judge me all the time. It’s rough.”
With the exception of one aunt, Bea’s family is no longer a part of her life. Although she is hurt and wishes things were different, she is also excited about her future.
“Life is a lot better,” Bea said. “I feel more complete. I recently talked to a surgeon about my sex reassignment surgery and have started taking the steps to make that a reality.”
Bea also lives with schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, which make it difficult to maintain employment.
“Sometimes it’s rough coming to work, but my supervisors at Goodwill support me,” Bea said.
Despite these challenges, she has excelled in her role, first as a donation attendant, and now, as a wares producer. Bea is responsible for assessing donations, pricing them and preparing them for the sales floor.
“Goodwill is a good place to work,” Bea said.
Goodwill supports courageous employees, like Bea, who are willing to share their stories to help inspire others facing similar circumstances. One of our top priorities at Goodwill is to be welcoming and inclusive to all who come through our doors. In addition, we provide support to individuals who face adversity in employment as well as their personal lives.
If you’re interested in joining our team, apply at goodwillindy.org/careers.