From China to Austin, these defining moments helped Qing Liu find her pride

By Poornima Apte

Qing Liu had been a student growing up in the city of Xi’an in China. She was class chair or president from elementary school to college and remembers being the daughter that “never caused any trouble.” So she worried her identity as a lesbian would not sit well within that narrative. It didn’t help that she didn’t see any openly gay celebrities in Chinese pop culture who looked like her.

It was only in her early 30s, after she moved to the United States in 2014, that Qing came to terms with who she was. “I realized that maybe some parts of me are not what I planned for myself, but confidence comes from accepting who I am,” she says.

Coming out later in life had its advantages, Liu says, who now leads learning and development for global sales organizations at Dell Technologies. Shortly after joining the company, Liu built the courage to prepare her mother, her sole surviving parent, for the news. She traveled to China to be with her mom for a “candid conversation.” At first, Liu’s mother did not understand what her daughter was saying because she lacked the vocabulary to process what a gay identity meant. Liu helped ease the process by introducing her mother to a Chinese resource group for parents of gay children.

Qing is grateful that her mother came around quickly. “I often tell my friends that my mom did much better than me because she came around in several months, while it took me several years,” jokes Qing. “My mom is so loving and wise; she gave me space to tell my story.” Qing’s mother was also reassured that her daughter was thriving in life with a promising career, so it “helped” [her] get used to this new reality.”

By the time Qing brought her then-girlfriend to China a few years later, Qing’s mother was all on board, cooking special meals and traveling with them.

I realized that maybe some parts of me are not what I planned for myself, but confidence comes from accepting who I am.

Qing Liu, learning and development business partner, Dell Technologies

A passion for diversity

Travel has always been important to Qing She took a gap year after her undergraduate degree to visit the US and loved the country’s diversity. “I got to see this country as a complex culture with different subcultures and styles,” Qing says of her formative experience, which had her wondering if she would make a better life in America.

Post-college, Qing worked with Lenovo, the Chinese electronics multinational and then moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, working on overseas business development for a Chinese aircraft manufacturer. While Qing didn’t have any religious upbringing, she has always been curious about various religions “as they influence the ways of thinking and living.” In Indonesia, Qing enjoyed waking up every morning to the peaceful sound of Azaan (the first call to prayer for Muslims) from a nearby mosque.

After her experiences in Indonesia, Qing became more committed to living in a diverse environment. “I just love meeting people from different cultural and religious backgrounds. On the surface, people might be different, but if you’re curious enough and get to know people on a deeper level, you realize we can all be understood and connected,” Qing says.

Realizing she was “more aligned with American cultures overall” and looking for work-life balance, Qing decided to pursue a master’s degree in business administration at Penn State University, which gave her a full-tuition scholarship.

On the surface, people might be different, but if you’re curious enough and get to know people on a deeper level, you realize we can all be understood and connected.

Qing Liu, learning and development business partner, Dell Technologies

Furthering visibility at Dell

In the summer of 2015, Qing was an MBA intern in Dell’s Channel Marketing team and was struck by the company’s inclusive culture. “One of the very first events we attended was when we saw all the employee resource groups (ERG) at Dell, and Pride was one of them,” Qing recalls.

But one specific memory from her internship brings Qing to tears: She had completed her project and was making the rounds, presenting it to various executives. Qing remembers walking into a female executive’s office and noticing family pictures on the desk. The portraits showed the executive as part of a lesbian couple with kids of her own. “That was a defining moment for me,” Qing says, choking up, “to just see this executive and she was out at work and that it was okay.”

That singular moment helped reinforce the importance of visibility, of helping others on similar journeys find reassurance in seeing women like her out publicly.

At first, Qing was hesitant to come out in the workplace. “But I realized I could not be my authentic self without mentioning my personal life. My personal values ​​are to be authentic and transparent—that’s who I am,” she says. Coming out at the workplace turned out to be a non-event. “For most people, it was not even a big deal. The culture and environment here are just so accepting,” Qing says.

In addition to leading learning and development for Dell’s global sales organizations, Qing is a part of the for the North America Central Region Pride ERG, which hosts networking volunteering, community service and networking sessions for Dell employees, and community events for

Qing Liu, learning and development business partner, Dell Technologies

Fertility benefits at Dell

While Liu works on increasing visibility for the LGBTQIA+ community, she is grappling with a more private challenge: figuring out the complicated path to motherhood and family.

“I just turned 37 last month. I knew in recent years that I wanted to become a mom,” she says. “If I am lucky enough to meet a partner down the line, we can have a family, or I want to have the choice to be a single mom,” Liu says. The problem: Egg retrieval and in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures can be challenging and costly.

Liu was delighted to learn that Dell provides access to fertility benefits through Progyny for US team members, which includes support and expert guidance, along with fertility and egg freezing, and fertility preservation. “I can freeze embryos for the future and hopefully start a family,” Liu says excitedly. “

Fully herself

For now, Qing is focused on being the best version of her authentic self.

In the MBA program, she was unconsciously striving to be seen as someone with a “model Asian analytical mind” and shied away from pursuing communication-oriented marketing jobs. But she has since turned the tables on that thought process. She is a certified Dale Carnegie trainer, helping people nurture fulfilling relationships and enhance leadership qualities.

“You just have to embrace who you are fully,” she says, “It’s an awesome feeling.”

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