With beaming Pride, I invite you to join me in marking the most colorful time of the year. Wave your rainbow flags, join parades, and amazing street parties because June is the month when we recognize and honor the diversity and inclusion of the LGBTQ community.
Wonder why these fun things happen only during Pride month? I get it. I believe diversity and inclusion should be celebrated 365 days a year! However, there is a historical reference to why June is full of rainbows. While the LGBTQ community has been fighting for equality for much longer, the history of why June is Pride is a commemoration of the unrest in New York City that happened at the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. Stonewall Inn gave the movement a boost. Increased visibility and equality across the globe have taken on even greater significance in the past decade. Varying country-by-country, we’ve seen same-sex marriages legalized, laws to end sexual orientation discrimination passed, and openly gay men and lesbians allowed to serve in the military. We have come a long way.
The year 2020 may curb some of the street celebrations of this month, and there are still ways we can stay engaged while showing support for and solidarity with the LGBTQ community.
Sharing the stories brings enlightenment
Joining the celebration is one thing. Sharing a personal story with the world is another. It takes courage. And it is these stories that make it real. The stories matter. The journey to self-discovery, coming out to family and friends… the world needs. The stories matter because we matter. And it is through our stories that others put a face to the reality. It is about opening our lives to educate others.
I never had a coming-out story. It wasn’t something I thought about. It simply happened. But when I was in high school, I was confused and a big part of me did not want to accept who I was becoming. I was in denial. I thought of my sexuality as a mere phase. When I had the chance to open myself up to the world and eventually became part of the LGBTQ organization in my university, that’s when I realized there’s nothing to be ashamed of who I was becoming. I became more comfortable with how I expressed myself. More confident in how I dealt with people. Moreover, I am lucky to have such a supporting family and friends who helped me become the best version of myself.
I joined my first Pride parade in 2018 and became more visible on the HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns in the LGBTQ community. Last year, I worked with our business leaders to encourage people to donate to the Home for the Golden Gays, or simply The Golden Gays, a non-profit organization that provides support and care facilities for elderly LGBTQ people. My commitment this year is to join more conversations online and remain vocal about why the LGBTQ community deserves more recognition now, more than ever.
I recognize that introspection, before showing support to the community that I belong to, is extremely important. I dig deep and remind myself of what I am fighting for. By remembering those noteworthy things I’ve done for my community, I’m confident that I am doing my part.
Pride is inclusive
More than a celebration, Pride is inclusiveness. It’s about promoting everyone’s visibility in our society. It’s when we form a safe space where each one of us can thrive.
Pride is about accepting individuality and moving forward as one global community. When we instill the value of respecting each other and sharing our stories, our future becomes a world where every voice matters. I aspire to live in a world where youth shouldn’t have to come out, but rather is simply accepted.
As an organization, when we allow people to bring their whole, authentic selves to work, we create an environment where everyone is at their best and our clients will be in good hands. Watch how TTEC connects with pride globally.
I encourage you share your stories with us. Join and spark healthy discussions within your circles. Leverage your social media reach by sharing your insights and tag #ExperienceTTEC to become a part of the global conversation. Here’s a great place to start, watch Mike Polley, TTEC’s executive sponsor for LGBTQ+, during The Talent Show, Powered by TTEC.