This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York (June 28th, 1969). This small (slightly violent) event created a national movement of activism and protests nationwide for the equal treatment and protection of the LGBTQQIA community.
I have a theory on potential reasoning for the violent acts — gay icon Judy Garland died just six days prior (on June 22nd) –- people were likely in mourning. If Beyoncé died today, I might take a week off and would be a little on edge. I just cried hearing her voice sing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” for the new Lion King remake.
Progress has been made from the Equality Act (which extends civil rights protections), from same-sex marriages to seeing LGBTQ couples on TV. It’s positive depictions that help steer towards acceptance and even love. Unfortunately, in the workplace, our work is far from over. Illinois is one of the 33 states that has protection for the LGBT community. That means there are still 17 states that have NO protection for those individuals. In Texas, where I was born, and Georgia, where I went to college, I can still be fired for being gay. There is no law protecting the LGBT community from workplace abuse or harassment in those states – which makes me sad. Feeling safe and protected at work is something I think about when I choose to work for any company. I don’t want the pressure of hiding a part of myself because I work for an intolerant workplace. Being in the closet is not fun. Though, I am a lucky person. Not only do I get to work with incredibly talented and smart individuals, but they are also open-minded and tolerant co-workers. So, I did not hesitate when I decided to come out on my first day of working at Avionos in March of 2018.
I was happy with my decision to come out. I love that I get to work at a place that I do not have to be afraid to be gay, and my colleagues accept me for being me. #PRIDE #lovewhereyouwork