Lam: You identify as LGBT. Are you out at work, and if you weren’t at some point, how was it before and after you came out?
Bobadilla: I am out at work. I did not have a coming out process. In many ways, I took it for granted that people knew I was gay. I never necessarily hid it or promoted it. I say: "I'm me," and that's a part of who I am. As time developed, it was understood that it was part of being who I was.
I understand this is not the case for many individuals in the workplace, unfortunately. That is something that I desire to change, so employees are not discriminated against based on sexual orientation at work. Our firm has been a welcoming workplace of work for LGBT individuals.
Lam: Was this part of the reason about why you picked this firm 18 years ago?
Bobadilla: I would love to say yes, but I honestly do not think so. I loved what I did as an assistant district attorney, I did not want to leave that employment. I will tell you that I know Galloway, Johnson's commitment to diversity is one of the reasons I stayed and grew with the firm.
Lam: How does your work or profession relate to your personal identity?
Bobadilla: A lot of folks who know me think my identity is one and the same with what I do. I always say, I am blessed, because I get paid to do what I love. I know that's not very common, so I truly am happy. When I am at work, I can be fully who I am and encouraged for my talent. It's hard for me to separate the two: My profession is related to who I am.
Lam: Has your work changed your perception of American society?
Bobadilla: I call myself "a child of the firm," because I grew with the firm. My co-workers, the type of work I do, the area in which I work, and the exposures I have had influenced my perception. I was not held back, but rather I was encouraged. When my career became more successful, I was encouraged to do even better than what I was doing. I wasn't suppressed in any way.
In my view, being an LGBT, Hispanic female in the South certainly has its challenges. What I have noticed is there are a great deal of individuals in this world, who continue to fight for equality—for every individual to be viewed and evaluated on her merit. Over the years, especially the last few years, many wish to change society and make it more inclusive. There are certain challenges we face, but I still think because of the path I've walked and what I do that there are so many good people in this world. And without those [people], I do not think our society would be where it is today. My perception is that there's an incredible amount of good [in our society] that will overcome the negative.
Lam: Do you plan on staying at your firm?
Bobadilla: I have been here 18 years. I am a shareholder in the firm, and being part owner I certainly do not wish to go anywhere else. I hope to continue doing the work that I do with this firm. To me, what makes my employment fulfilling is that my career does not stay in a stagnant position. As I grow, so does my career.
This interview is a part of a series about the lives and experiences of members of the American workforce, which includes conversations with a pretrial-services officer, a white-collar crime therapist, and a speechwriter.