Unqork Celebrates Pride Month

Pride Month banner

Pride is a time to embrace the increased visibility and self-affirmation of LGBTQIA+ individuals. We hear from LGBTQ+ Unqorkers and allies about what Pride means to them. 

As President of the Unqork the Spectrum ERSG—which promotes visibility and allyship for all LGBTQ+ individuals and their families—I am *extra* proud this June as we help to highlight stories from folks across our community. During Pride Month, and all year round, being our authentic selves has brought us closer together and we’re excited to celebrate both in our community and at work.

Pride itself stems in our refusal to be invisible and it has grown over 52 years into a commitment to bring equity and inclusion to those in our community that do not yet have their deserved seat at the table. In light of setbacks, such as the recent wave of anti-trans sentiment across the country, Unqork continues to stand in solidarity with transgender and non-cisgender individuals—especially our black and brown trans sisters whom are disproportionately targeted by violence. Our commitment to educate, contribute, and support remains strong.

Our mission is to include, support, and celebrate the contributions of every single LGBTQIA+ employee, client, and ally. To commemorate Pride, my fellow Unqorkers reflected on what Pride Month means to them.


 

Mary Griseto, HR Business Partner

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Mary GrisetoPride Month is an undeniably joyful time each year. I take the opportunity to reflect on my coming out journey and the struggles. Being able to fully celebrate who I am and who I love is something that I do not take for granted every day—but especially in the month of June. This Pride month, I’m remembering those that came before me that tirelessly worked to ensure Pride could be a celebration, those that have not found their comfort in being their authentic self, and those that continue on the coming out journey. Coming out is never a one-time conversation, you have to navigate it in some way almost every single day. No matter where you are on your journey, I’m proud of you and you’re loved!  

 

Josie Tran Beaudoin, Associate Solutions Engineer

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Josie Tran BeaudoinPride Month means visibility. It means being able to celebrate my true self without any discrimination and holding my wife’s hand when we go to events. It is also a time to be thankful. Thankful for being part of a community and remembering the people who sacrificed so much to make our community the way it is now. But our fight isn’t over. We need to continue to be out, loud, and proud—even more so in the month of June.

 

Christian Lewis, Client Director - Financial Services  

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Christian LewisFor me, Pride Month is an annual reminder of the importance of community; growing up, I was fortunate enough to have friends (most of which are LGBTQ+ and have come out over the years) that have become my extended and chosen family. We all live across the country now and during pride we typically find a way to get together—this time of year always feels like a reunion. As we grow older, I think the month has gained more and more importance as we are able to learn the history of those whose shoulders we stand on. There’s a lot more progress needed and this month reminds us that we can all contribute to the greater good if we stick together.

 

Meredith Norton, Account Development Representative - Healthcare  

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Meredith NortonPride Month brings me validation. That the feelings I held when I was younger were not wrong. It also makes me think of the kids out there who are struggling with their own identity and how much Pride can mean to them. To know they are just as much human as everyone else on this planet. We are visible no matter how we identify!

 

Laurence Brouillette, Director, GTM Product Operations & Development  

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Laurence BrouillettePride Month to me is about celebrating all the different communities that are part of the larger LGBTQ+ community; embracing our shared experiences while also celebrating our differences. It’s a reminder to continue to be proud of who you are, be kind and open to others, and to love one another. 

 

Sabrina Bailey, Payroll Manager

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Sabrina BaileyPride Month to me is all about uplifting others and celebrating the struggle and successes of members of the LGBTQ+ community. It means embracing love, community, and showing up to stop the shame and stigma around someone being authentically his/her/their self. It’s more than just rainbows and celebrations (although, come on, it’s the best!). It’s standing up, having tough conversations, creating safe spaces for these conversations, and making sure that whatever is said and done this month echoes and carries itself over into the entire year. 

 

Jourdan Snyder, Director of Account Development

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Jourdan SnyderThis June will be the 12th Pride Month I’ve celebrated in NYC! So to describe what Pride Month means to me, it originates from the first one I celebrated where I had an awesome opportunity to ride a float in the parade. Beyond being completely overwhelmed by the sea of cheering people, it was the first time in my life where I felt like I truly belonged. I found my ‘people’. So Pride Month to me has not only been about celebration but also about giving me the feeling of family and acceptance. Throughout the years this feeling has only grown and I’m extremely thankful for the leading pioneers before me and currently, who help continue to pave the way for this now joyous month.

 

Connor Leighton, Paid Media Marketing Manager

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Connor LeightonPride month to me is about celebrating the community that I am lucky to be a part of. It’s important to me to be very open about my identity so that those who are struggling with their own can see someone who has been able to overcome that struggle. I want to be the person who I needed to see when I was growing up.

 

Katy Mongeau, Executive Assistant to CEO, CFO, & COO

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

In my opinion, shame is the most damaging of all feelings in our world today. So much pain in the LGBTQ+ community, among so many others, is rooted in being shamed by others or being made to feel ashamed of ourselves. Pride is a time to uplift each other in an act of protest, liberation, and support, and a time to celebrate the rich history of our community and all of the acts of bravery and kindness that have led us this far.

 

Kyle Christiansen, Sr. Solutions Architect

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Kyle ChristiansenPride is visibility of our community to the world, encouragement to those that may one day join, and a reminder of what it took to get where we are today. I find great joy in seeing pride celebrations and traditions becoming mainstream, as it makes me feel that my family belongs in this world.

 

Julio Gaucín, Engagement Manager - Financial Services

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Julio GaucínPride Month is a celebration of the long road we have collectively traveled to get to where we are today. Although there is still work to be done, Pride unites us all under the same vision of equality, respect, and kindness. As an ally, this month is a reminder to expand my awareness on the issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community and how I can help.

 

Brian Karimi-Pashaki, Head of Technology Partnerships

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Brian Karimi-PashakiI weave Pride into my daily life by being an out-and-proud leader and bringing colleagues, clients, investors, partners, and friends into the lived experience of being a gay man in 2021. But June is a special month where we—as a community—learn our history, reflect on past successes, mourn the members we have lost, celebrate our trailblazers, and forge our plans for a more open and accepting future for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. Community is really the key word for me: we have moved the culture through unity and fearlessness. And so we reflect on that. We invest in that. We aren’t interested in complacency. 

About the Author

Christian Lewis

Christian is a Client Director for the Financial Services team at Unqork.

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