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The LGBTQIA+ community is full of powerful stories, and for Pride month this year we’re celebrating stories of finding your place, taking up space and choosing your family.

This takes on added significance this year, as we recognize the challenges the LGBTQIA+ community is facing. That includes a rise in violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people.

We asked LGBTQIA+ employees from across the company what Pride means to them.

How do you celebrate Pride month?

  • Claire D.: “Pride Month, for me, is a time to reflect. Reflect on my current journey of transition, reflect on the many queer friends I have made and love dearly, reflect on those in our community we have lost or who suffer unjustly in an often harsh world. And, more than anything, reflect on how we as a community can change the world to be a better, brighter place for us to live our lives. Asking where we can direct our attention and what we can do to help one another.”
  • Tim G.: “Pride month is such an interesting concept. My celebration of it has changed from year to year, depending on access to other people in the community and access to various gathered celebrations. First and foremost, I always do my best to go to at least one Pride parade, as I think it is the best time for all of the community to come together.”
  • Jaylen P.: “Pride month, to me, is the time to slow down and appreciate how far we have come, bring others in to educate, and empower those who cannot accept themselves and show them there are people like them in the world. … Knowing that Pride started as a protest, to me gives the Queer community a fire to keep alive and thriving. One month will and is never enough to celebrate how far we have come and to help us refocus on what we still have to do to ensure all have equal rights.”
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What does the phrase “chosen family” mean to you?

  • Grey M.: “Chosen family has always meant the world to me. When I came out as gay, I had a parent who was not accepting and shamed me for it. I found acceptance in my friend group who gave me the courage to come out as trans back in 2019. They have truly created a safe space for me to embrace me and love the things that make me who I am that I used to feel I had to hide.”
  • Meghan M.: “My chosen family means the world to me. They have journeyed with me and cheered me on the entire way — through breakups, makeups, college, marriage. They are the ones I want to share my life experiences with.”
  • Andrea L.: “I am blessed to have my chosen family and they, me. Chosen family means safety, support and love because that is what we give each other. Within this community, I have blossomed more than I ever thought I could.”

What do you want to see next for the LGBTQIA+ community?

  • Alexander R.: “In the future, I would like to see more bridges built between members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Even as far as we’ve come in recent years, I still come across a lot of gatekeeping and erasure for the minority within the minority (the BTQIA+ part of the community). I want to see more positive representation for those of us who don’t neatly fit into the ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ box.”
  • Avery B.: “I desperately want us to come together to support everyone in our community and support them wholeheartedly and accept them for who they are. Bi, ace, enby erasure needs to go. We also need to offer our unconditional support and love to our BIPOC members who so often experience racism in our community and from society as a whole. Yes, marriage equality passed. But there is still so much more to be done for everyone as a whole and we need to work together to change hearts, minds, and legislation.”
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