With everything going on in the world, we’re reminded how important it is to celebrate Pride. This month some of our SmartBear family members have bravely opened up to give us their insights, which we’re releasing as a series of blogs throughout June. It centers around what this month signifies, what has and hasn’t changed, and what being out at work means for them.
Name, preferred pronouns, role at SB:
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a protest. It is me standing up against assimilation because to assimilate would mean that in order for the world to accept me and my community, we need to be like everyone else. That is discrimination and a form of hate. And I protest that. I am proud to be me and not someone else. That does not mean, however, that I or anyone else need to be the same to be treated as an equal and with love and respect.
What does it mean to you to be out at work?
This is the greatest form of protest for me. I make it very clear even from before day 1—I put it on my resume and let it be known during an interview— that I am an out and proud queer individual. Because my identity is a hidden one, I want to be sure that everyone knows I am not here to blend in. That may be in the form of what I wear (heels, blouses, and fun accessories), how I decorate my desk (a mini pride parade of rainbow stuffed animals), and even how open am about talking about people I date or the drag show I went to the night before. I stand up for myself and those with the courage to be different. And I will call you out on things you say that try to tell us otherwise.
This year’s a bit different, but are there particular Pride-related events you’ll be attending?
The BLM vigils and protests. These have felt more authentically Pride than past year’s events. I don’t love that we have to do it, but we are here, and we need to stand for what is right to create a just world for all.
What do you think people can do this Pride Month to raise awareness about important issues? Any history LGBTQIA+ lessons you’d like to share?
Listen. Learn. Donate. Volunteer. Speak out. And Protest.
We are in this together with our Black siblings. As we protest and sometimes get put into jail, I would like to take this time to urge everyone to research felon voting rights. Mass incarceration has led to hundreds of thousands of folks not being able to cast their votes, uplifting candidates that would best represent them.
Lastly, what’s your favorite Pride song or queer anthem?
We Are Family by Sister Sledge. It reminds me that the sooner we all realize that we’re family—related, but not the same—the sooner we can learn to love and accept each other for who we are.