EA supports employee through sex change

EA supports employee through sex change
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

May 10th 2012 at 3:28AM

EA sports' Kelly Worrall opens up about her transgender journey

She says there were questions.

Which bathroom would she use? Would people stare? Would she be safe?

But after a year of preparation, EA sports producer John Worrall became Kelly Worrall.

"Very proud of our employee Kelly Worrall who made a smooth ‘trans’ transition," said the company over twitter.

"That time leading up to the actual transition was very important to me," Worrall told The Vancouver Courier.

"It was a time where I felt reassured because I could see the steps that [EA] was taking to build the environment where I would be protected, and that was my big concern."

The British Columbia studio produces such testosterone infused titles as FIFA, Fight Night, and NHL. In such an environment, one might expect a great deal of resistance to a transgender person.

The company began the process with a presentation which briefed employees on Worrall's decision and the company's harrassment policy, and moving on to a broader picture of groups that can be classified as transgender, characteristics of "transsexual" persons, and finally a picture of Kelly.

When she returned from her abscence, Worrall said her reception was "amazing".

"It’s becoming OK to be trans," she explained.

"Five years ago it really wasn’t. And now that it is, people are starting to come out, and they will gravitate to the places that embrace them, and so as a company, you have the opportunity to reach a new market by being open.”

So do people stare?

"Yes," says Worrall, "there's nothing you can do about that."

But thanks to a positive plan from her employeers, and the compassion of her co-workers, Worrall can enjoy a smooth transition in an inclusive workplace.