I always thought it was beautiful that Pride was the term used to celebrate LGBTQ+ because Pride by definition is the “emotional state deriving positive affect from the perceived value of a person or thing with which the subject has an intimate connection, and can be inwardly or outwardly directed.” Within the definition itself, “positive” is what stands out to me the most because for a very long time and quite honestly, even occasionally now, there are times that it is difficult for me to feel that way. It is not because I am ashamed or anything like that, but there is always a fear that exists in my gut, wondering how someone I meet will perceive me, how a future workplace environment will be like and whether or not I will be supported simply for being me.
I am very lucky that at Career Edge, I have wonderful colleagues, who are now more so friends to me than just people I simply work with. They are extremely loving and supportive, and I have never struggled with being open and honest about who I am. However, I know for a fact that that is not the case for many of the individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. Just a few days ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law protects LGBTQ+ workers from discrimination. It is a win for the LGBTQ+ community, but it is also heartbreaking to know that it took this long, in this day and age, and took this much of a fight in order to come to a decision as simple as whether or not someone will be protected from discrimination simply for wanting to live in a manner that is true to who they are.
There is still a long way to go as there are still many issues that exist within and outside of the workplace, especially in the areas of health care benefits and needs as basic as the use of bathrooms and locker rooms, so I want to encourage everyone at this time, and not just during the month of Pride, to see how you can be a better ally and live true to the words of Love is Love. Whether it be love for yourself, a loved one or a fellow colleague, let us all strive to be better allies so that we can all take Pride in ourselves and the people in our lives.