For over 50 years, June has been known as Pride month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. The first celebration was a march held in NYC to honor the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a turning point for LGBTQ+ rights.
Pride is also a great opportunity to support your employees who identify as part of the community. Showing your support is crucial because “20% of LGBTQ+ Americans have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity when applying for jobs.”
LGC is committed to creating an inclusive work environment that fosters diversity and equality amongst our workforce (internally and externally). During Pride month, we wanted to highlight some of our incredible employees who in the LGBTQ+ community and learn a little about them and their thoughts on Pride month.
Every week throughout the rest of June we’ll be posting a Q+A with each employee. To kick off this blog series, we’re chatting with Catarina – get to know her below.
Meet Some of LGC’s LGBTQIA+ Employees
Name: Catarina Duguay
Position: Assistant Director of Marketing
LGC employee since: April 2019
Hey, my name is Cat! Even though I typically celebrate Pride every year, this one is special because it’s my first Pride sharing how I identify, which is as a proud bisexual woman. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started learning about and exploring more of my sexuality. I’ve loved getting to know myself better and even though I don’t necessarily believe in labels, I think it’s so important to be proud of yourself and live your most authentic life.
What does Pride month mean to you?
For me, Pride month means “normalizing” being LQBTQ+. As in, showing the world around us just how many people identify as being in the community. And how many allies there are. When the Stonewall riots happened, homosexuality was illegal in 49 out of 50 states. That was only 53 years ago. It was less than 20 years ago that homosexuality was decriminalized in a handful of states. And now, in 2022, it’s like we’re starting to work backwards. According to Wikipedia “…more than 300 bills have been introduced or passed in 36 states to restrict the rights of LGBT people” this year alone. To me, Pride month means standing up loud and proud and showing we’re not going anywhere.
What are the benefits to being openly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community?
LGBTQ+ youth are 4x more likely to consider/commit suicide than their peers. How do you think they feel when they see bills being introduced in 2022 that are actively trying to take away their rights? By being openly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, it provides a positive example and outlook to LGBTQ+ youth, especially those who don’t have a good support system. It shows that it’s okay to be who you are, and there are people who will accept you.
Do you have any thoughts on how employers can better support the LGBTQ+ community?
I believe that being supportive is a continuous process. Understanding how to create a safe and comfortable workplace involves listening to what these employees need – and that’s not a one–time thing. You need to keep listening and learning and growing as the community grows. I know this is a little vague, so one actionable item that will help employers better support their LGBTQ+ employees are by being mindful of using inclusive language.
Keep an eye on the LGC blog for the next part in this series!