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TikTok executive presents as non-binary

A TikTok executive came out publicly as non-binary on Monday in a post shared on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Vanessa Pappas, chief operating officer of the social media giant, revealed that they “mostly go through V” in their personal lives and have recently started using both them/them and her/her pronouns.

“Since representation matters, I recognize the importance of language in identifying and affirming gender differences,” said Pappas, who has served as COO of TikTok since May 2021.

Pappas, who is pansexual and in a same-sex relationship, added that they identify as “both female and non-binary.”

“I don’t care if you don’t use V or them all the time, but I appreciate the effort to recognize my preferences,” Pappas said.

Pappas said they decided to come out publicly because of their professional stature and after talking about “the importance of acknowledging diversity” with their children.

“As a parent, I also want to set an example of how it’s okay to represent yourself in a way that you most identify with, to be proud of and to celebrate such a difference,” said Dads. “In my position, I am also aware of my ability to bring greater visibility, discussion and ideally acceptance within my community, whether at work, with family or friends.”

Pappas’ announcement was well received on social media by LGBTQ people and their allies. However, as an openly LGBTQ executive, Pappas is an outlier.

As more Americans identify as LGBTQ than ever before, corporate boards and executives are overwhelmingly heterosexual and cisgender.

To date, only a handful of Fortune 500 companies have LGBTQ CEOs. And only 26 of the 5,670 board seats of Fortune 500 companies are held by LGBTQ people, according to research published last year by LGBTQ business group Out Leadership.


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