Proud to Be Me
Written By: Tim Vesperman, LGBTQ+ Strategy & Business Development
June is the month most cities celebrate Pride. It honors the world changing events of the Stonewall Riots where the Pride movement gained momentum. Here are some of my thoughts on Pride. I took my inspiration from the letters LGBTQ+. Enjoy!
Listen to others but focus on really hearing what they are saying. Taking time to listen for understanding, helps us be better human beings and allows to us respect each other’s differences. Asking others about who they are, what their pronouns are, or listening to their coming out stories are all great places to start. Search out someone this month and learn their story.
Give to organizations that support the LGBTQ+ communities. National organizations like GLADD, HRC, PFLAAG and NGLCC all actively fight for equal rights and the right to be ourselves. Also consider supporting local LQBTQ+ chambers or other local organizations that support all causes from AIDS to Transgender issues. LGBTQ+ local chambers can help identify LGBTQ+ businesses which you can support. Find one this month!
Be your authentic self. Learn to be comfortable with who you are. Be genuine and others will be comfortable around you. People can instinctively feel others who are confident and comfortable with themselves. Surround yourself with employers, organizations, and friends that support you being you! Find a Pride symbol and wear it proudly this month!
Think about the history and journey of gay rights. Think about how you can learn and educate yourself on why this is important. Take a minute to be curious about the history of the Pride flag, what the colors stand for, or the Stonewall Riots. Take a minute to visit the Legacy Project website to see the collection of the LGBTQ+ personal journeys of famous citizens. It is fascinating to see who is honored and their stories are inspirational.
Question how you can be a better citizen of the world by understanding cultural differences. Many companies have ERG or Associate resource groups that support LGBTQ+ issues. They are often a great way to build new relationships. Also, make sure to thank the straight Allies who support these groups. Take time to better understand the journey of others and question how you can be a mentor to help others.
+ Happy Pride Month! I hope you never lose sight of this historic journey and continue to press forward so everyone can be who they are, where they are. We are fortunate to live in a time and country where we can be our genuine selves.