IMPACT June 2022: Pride

IMPACT would like to wish a happy conclusion to pride month to everyone here at the end of June! To celebrate, and acknowledge the contributions and struggles faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, we asked members of the community and allies at Kipu what pride month means to them:

Phil Smith

“Pride is being part of something and connected. Being connected to a community where we can experience acceptance and nurturance. It’s about remembering those who have gone before us, as well as protecting and celebrating every person that has been marginalized. It’s about letting everyone know there is nothing wrong with them, they are beautiful and wonderful just as they are. It’s a time to demonstrate hope, help, and healing. It’s a chance to highlight our love as well as resources for all those who need it.”

Courtney Higgins

“Pride month means taking the time to focus on moments in my life that I take for granted as an ally. It makes me feel grateful to have a child in the LGBTQ+ community who is open and honest with me. Pride month always reminds me of the ways I can improve to be a better a parent and friend to all of my LGBTQ+ family.”

Richie Abujasen

“Pride is a celebration of how far we have come but also a reminder and a realization of how much still needs to be accomplished and we can’t lose sight of that, it is the ability to stand up for my fundamental right to love and supporting all who are judged, questioned, or shamed for who they choose to love. Having the ability, comfort, courage to live my truth, and knowing it’s ok to be myself.”

Mercedes Net

“As an ally of our Pride community here at Kipu, I have always helped them feel welcomed and part of my family. I have a gay son (who is married and has two children), a gay sister, and a gay niece.  If we open our hearts and minds to the people we love, why does it have to be different to the people we spend most of our time with?

“The most important thing we have to do in our lives is to treat everyone equally regardless of who they are or who they love, it is that simple!”

Joaquin Montero

“Pride month is a time for me to reflect on what I can do to be a better ally and be more inclusive. There is such a rich history of those that fought for equality in this community that everyone should learn about that shows the human spirit of perseverance, and it is a constant reminder that we all play a part in this.”

Bill Adams

“We work in a diverse organization. With that, there are diverse viewpoints and opinions about well, everything. One of the most important things I feel is necessary to navigate this life is to not take this life too seriously. As an openly gay man, I have had opportunities in my career to work in largely accepting environments. I have also experienced individuals who, due to their own choices and convictions considered my soul as damned – and they let me know it. I don’t condemn people for their lack of understanding, as frustrating as it may be. That would make me a hypocrite.  What I hope is that my being an out, gay man in my now late 50’s can actually cause some to reconsider their convictions.

“KIPU has been and remains one of the most welcoming employers I have experienced. That doesn’t say that there isn’t more that could be done. We know that June is a month where LGBTQ Pride is celebrated, but what about the other eleven months? How could KIPU impact the quality of life for LGBTQ folks throughout Florida – by participating in advocacy on a larger scale?

“I love my job. I love the obvious diversity Kipunians are as a group. There is nothing that needs to be done to make my experience of working at KIPU more comfortable for me. I probably have come to a stage in my life where I don’t waste my emotional energy on people and institutions that don’t honor me as I am, so I feel honored as a valued member of this organization and am grateful to use my skills to impact the results it produces.”

Reflection Corner

We are celebrating pride month through uplifting voices in LGBTQIA+ community, working to be diverse and inclusive company, and acknowledging the struggles the LGBTQIA+ faces. We also want to continue hosting discussions with other marginalized communities to make Kipu a more inclusive and more transparent workplace. We also acknowledge that many individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community struggle with addiction and behavioral health issues. As a company, we aim to help migrate the disparities they face within our community. 

Embrace Pride all year long through:

  1. Listen to LGBTQIA+ voices
  2. Understand current challenges in this community
  3. Have open conversations and encourage dialogue
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