June marks Pride Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals on history worldwide. Akron Children’s supports and encourages all employees, patients and their families to be their authentic selves. To celebrate, we asked several employees to share what Pride Month means to them and how others can be stronger allies.
What’s your job title and how long have you worked at Akron Children’s?
I’m a Senior Business Intelligence Developer in the Analytics and Business Intelligence Center. I have been at Akron Children’s less than a year, having started in August 2021.
As part of the LGBTQ+ community, what does Pride Month mean to you?
Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots of 1969. The people there were tired of being harassed and jailed for merely expressing their authentic selves. The riot was a sign of “having had enough” of that harassment. So, instead of hiding in the shadows, these brave souls stood up for themselves. I am grateful to them and all who came before and after them, so that I can peacefully live an open and out life with my wife and family.
How do you celebrate and recognize Pride Month?
While I used to march in the Pride parade, now I don’t (not for any reason except, time, energy and busy-ness). I do believe it is important to remember what used to be and to continue to make progress for the rights of all people to be their authentic selves in our communities, in our workplaces, our churches if we choose to go, and at home.
What is your involvement with the LGBTQ+ Employees and Allies Employee Resource Group (ERG), and how has it shaped your experience at Akron Children’s?
Being a fairly new and 100% remote worker, I have just recently started attending their meetings. I am very happy to know it exists and that Akron Children’s believes it is important to support our community. I would not have come to work here if I did not feel the support of me and my family.
How can others be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community?
Speak up and come out, either as a LGBTQ+ Ally or as an LGBTQ+ person. We need to be seen and heard so that myths and stereotypes can be silenced, and we can be seen for who we truly are — sons, daughters, wives, husbands, fathers, mothers and friends.