In honor of Pride Month, we have highlighted members of the LGBTQ+ community at Bidtellect to hear about their experiences and advice on how to best support and celebrate Pride at work.

headshot tyler hazlewood with text

Pride is more than just a rainbow flag.

What has your experience been like in the workforce being a part of the LGBTQ+ community?

Being “out” in the workforce is different for every person. After struggling with coming out in college, I was nervous to be my authentic self in the workforce. I quickly learned, however, that our industry is full of allies and people who treat everyone the same way. It has been so peaceful and stress-free to be who I was created to be and not have to hide it for fear of termination or mistreatment.

 

How can team members in the (virtual) office be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?

Ask questions and understand situations that people that are LGBTQ+ have gone through. Be visible and proud of being an ally. Let those people in the LGBTQ+ community know that you support the community.

In what ways do you believe companies should be celebrating pride month? Do you believe there are ways companies should not be celebrating pride month?

Don’t only teach the history of Pride Month (i.e. the 1969 Stonewall riots that jump started the gay liberation movement in the U.S. and ultimately led to yearly celebrations of Pride), but also teach where things currently stand in terms of equal rights to all employees. Pride is more than just a rainbow flag. If organizations are going to celebrate Pride month, tell stories about the history of Pride and showcase people that have paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as ones who continue to do so in our current times.

What does it mean to embrace LGBTQ+ pride?

Be willing to learn, confront your own bias or privilege, encourage family and friends to be allies, learn from your possible past mistakes where you may not have been supportive, intervene when needed, get involved, and get educated. Treat people of the community with respect and the same way you would want to be treated.

How are you planning to celebrate this year? 

Pride Events in Dallas with friends, plus a Bidtellect Dallas Office Pride Lunch!

headshot alex williams with text

I believe that truly embracing pride is to be fully accepting of yourself and others. It means knowing that all people deserve the same respect as anyone else. This means being comfortable with yourself and allowing and promoting others to feel the same way about themselves.

What has your experience been like in the workforce being a part of the LGBTQ+ community?

I’m very proud of who I am as a person.  In the past, anytime I encountered any sort of issue in the workplace regarding an aspect of my character, I relied on that confidence in myself to push through it. I also have a very open sense of humor, so if “gay jokes” were thrown around the workplace, I might have laughed along – but you’d better believe I cracked a joke that got right back at them. 😛

How can team members in the (virtual) office be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?

Vote to support people who care about human rights. You can be as nice as you want to your LGBTQ+ coworkers, but if you’re voting in support of a legislature that infringes on their rights, then your kind words are meaningless.

In what ways do you believe companies should be celebrating pride month? Do you believe there are ways companies should not be celebrating pride month?

Rainbows everywhere. (Only partially kidding.) The celebration of pride is very commonly focused on this one month, which, in my opinion, isn’t the best approach. This leads to a sense that the organization is only responsible for this support in one given month. In order to support our LGBTQ+ community, we need to make it clear that we support the LGBTQ+ community year round. This could be as simple as making it clear in our organization that discrimination is not allowed.

What does it mean to embrace LGBTQ+ pride?

Once again, rainbows. (Also only partially kidding.) I believe that truly embracing pride is to be fully accepting of yourself and others. It means knowing that all people deserve the same respect as anyone else. This means being comfortable with yourself and allowing and promoting others to feel the same way about themselves.

How are you planning to celebrate this year? 

I’m going to keep doing what I always do. I will keep on living my life authentically and I won’t be ashamed of who I am. I’m going to live my life proudly.

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