As Pride Month continues, Your Part-Time Controller, LLC (YPTC) continues to uplift and celebrate its members of the LGBTQIA+ community. While this mission doesn’t end with June, several YPTC staff members took the opportunity to reflect and share their thoughts on the topic of Pride. Below, they discuss the importance of, what it personally means to them, and how YPTC’s Culture of Equity supports Pride year-round.
I came out ten years ago when I was in high school, and I remember being concerned about how my identity would impact my life as I got older and entered the workforce. YPTC makes such a genuine effort to support our employees as individuals and include folks from all different walks of life, so I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed in a place where I am comfortable being who I am with no reservations. On a personal level, Pride Month is a reminder to be grateful for the incredible community that I am a part of and all that we have accomplished and overcome. At the same time, I try to reflect on the work that still needs to be done to achieve true equality and find ways to contribute.” –Annie Clark, Human Resources Generalist
“Pride is being proud of who you are, as you are. Neither better nor worse than anyone else, just equal and proud.” –Steve Serino, Associate, Philadelphia
“I’m a transgender woman who came out just shy of her 60th birthday after living as a gay man for most of my adult life. More than anything else, my 30+ annual Pride celebrations have reminded me to be grateful for everyone that lifted me up on my journey, and they’ve inspired me to do the same for others.” –Lauren Scruggs, Associate, Houston
“Working at an employer that embraces and celebrates diversity was important to me when I went about my job search. I am happy to have found YPTC. When I look around at my colleagues, I see diversity in all its forms, including sexual orientation. YPTC actively engages its employees through its Equity Committee to promote an equitable and inclusive culture. Additionally, I’ve been fortunate to work with a client that is an LGBTQIA+ service organization. As my husband, our two children, and I celebrate Pride Month, I feel fortunate to be able to come to work at YPTC and be my true, whole authentic self.” –Barry Johnson, Associate, Washington, DC
“Before I define what Pride means to me, it’s important to reflect on what it isn’t and, therefore, why it is essential. The opposite of Pride is shame: the struggle, the darkness, the fight, the closet, the exhaustion, the heaviness, the loneliness, the fear, the self-questioning, the self-hatred, and the exclusion. The journey to Pride goes through shame. Pride is creating a chosen family, being out, marching, options and possibilities, lightness, belonging, safety, self-recognition, self-worth, and inclusion. Honestly, it is having one less thing to worry about. I’ve often asked why there isn’t a “straight pride” month. My answer is simple, folks do not and have never felt shame for being straight. My wife, Jill, and I spent the first 15 years of our relationship without the ability to get married. Imagine being in a committed and loving relationship and not having the option to “put a ring on it” or file joint tax returns. We protested in New York City. We marched on Washington. Like most gay and lesbian couples in the 90s and the aughts, we had our marriage equality bingo card. We took our rainbow dauber and marked every time a state ‘allowed’ us to marry. In 2011, New York became the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage. Woo! We could file a joint tax return in New York. In 2013, to oversimplify, the Supreme Court decided that if one’s state allows you to marry, the federal government must allow you to file a joint federal return. Woo! Two joint tax returns! In 2015, in another landmark decision, again oversimplifying, the Supreme Court said that if a same-sex couple is married in any state, all the other 49 states must recognize the couple as married. Looking back, this history seems like fiction. So many years, small steps forward, and many steps backward to reach marriage equality. So back to why Pride is essential. Pride made the best day of my life possible: November 8th, 2014, when Jill and I were married in front of our loving and supportive family and friends in a very traditional Jewish-Filipino-Catholic-Lesbian wedding. Pride is essential because when Jill and I travel outside of our geographic bubble, we both carry a paper copy and a picture of our marriage license on our phones. In an emergency, we are very aware of the possibility of needing to prove that we are legally married and each other’s next of kin. There has been so much progress; yet still many more victories to win. Happy Pride!” –Kate Urmeneta, Associate, New York City
YPTC proudly supports the LGBTQIA+ community and people of all orientations and gender identities. To learn more about our culture and focus on equity, click here. And, as Kate said above, Happy Pride!