Celebrating Pride Month 2024: Kati Lucas

June 11, 2024

We’re continuing our celebration of PRIDE Month at Compass Group. Meet the extraordinary Kati Lucas, Director of Dining Services at Baylor College of Medicine at Morrison Healthcare, who provides guidance on how to be supportive of the transgender community.

“I am a trans female, a wife and a mother. My wife Ashley and I have an awesome daughter named Harper who lives with Down Syndrome and is just a lovely tiny human.

“In March, I celebrated my 10th anniversary with Morrison Healthcare. I’ve served on MHC’s Inclusion Ambassador Program for several years and assist with our monthly diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging toolkit projects and our Diversity and Inclusion Action Council. As a United States Navy Veteran, I’m a member of VetNet, a Compass Group Empowerment Resource Group.

“When you begin to transition, you can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel – but there’s the hope of the light at the end of the tunnel. Transitioning is a long process, so you must give yourself some grace and be patient; nothing happens overnight. Be open and honest with the people in your life; they are going to have as many questions as you do. Please remember, that no one transitions alone; your family, friends and colleagues are all transitioning with you at the same time.

“While you’re getting used to your new self and life, all the people in your life are getting used to the new you, too. In the beginning, if someone in your life misgenders you or accidently uses your former name, it’s not out of malice or spite, so you must be patient with them, just gently correct them, because it’s an adjustment for those people in your life as well.

“The transgender community is very small in America, something like 0.6 of 1 percent. Most people have never met – or may never meet – a transgender person, so there are a lot of misconceptions about our community. Just keep in mind that you may be the only transgender person that someone ever meets, and their entire opinion of the transgender community may depend on you, so treat people the way you want to be treated. It will surprise you just how accepting and kind most people are.

“Being transgender and transitioning comes with a lot of questions and, at times, a good bit of stress. Be compassionate and give your transgender colleagues some grace when they need it. Be courteous and know that it’s okay to ask your transgender team member kindly worded questions. After all, it’s a learning process for you, too.

“Know that for a lot of transgender people, there can be self-doubt at times, and it’s important to be as supportive as you can. You should always be willing to stand up for your transgender team member even when they are not there. Finally, treat your transgender team member like you would anyone else! They want nothing more than to be treated with respect.”