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What Pride Means to Us

| Director of Marketing and Communications  
Nicole leads Paradigm’s marketing efforts, helping the company extend its impact and amplifying awareness around important diversity and inclusion topics.


Every June, we honor Pride — a month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, acknowledge the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and recognize the important work that still needs to be done for full equality.

We thought this year, the 50th anniversary of the seminal Stonewall Uprising, warranted deeper reflection. See what the folks at Paradigm have to say about what Pride means to them:

“I believe in liberation for queer and trans people. Freedom to flourish, to express our genders in myriad (and not necessarily normative) ways, to craft alternative forms of kinship and community, to love whom we chose to love, to reside in both private and public spaces without fear, to have access to work and healthcare and legal protection from discrimination. These basic rights are not a reality for many, especially those with additional marginalized identities (e.g., trans women of color, queers with disabilities, sex workers, etc.). Pride commemorates the activism of our queer, trans, and gender non-conforming elders who stood up against the police when they raided the Stonewall Inn in June 1969. Pride originated as a protest and a riot. It feels important that we not forget these roots. Pride is an opportunity to learn about LGBTQ+ experiences, to show up for those who are most vulnerable, and to take action at both individual and societal levels to support queer and trans people. As a proud queer and non-binary person, Pride is also a time for coming together to revel in all of the brilliant, creative, and joyful ways that we exist.” — Tash Wilder, PhD, Senior Consultant, They / them

“Pride is very meaningful to me, personally, and I’ve seen it be incredibly meaningful for people who are not a part of this community but deeply wish to be involved and understand why this time is so important. Pride is a time where I get to celebrate the often taken for granted freedom and right to be myself and it’s a time for others to feel the elation that comes from experiencing that freedom.” — Natalie Johnson, Co-Founder & Managing Director, She / her 

“At least 11 trans women — Black trans women — have been killed this year: Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle Tamika Washington, Paris Cameron, Chanel Scurlock, Chynal Lindsey, Ashanti Carmon, Zoe Spears, Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Claire Legato, and Layleen Xtravaganza. This is an epidemic. For me, Pride is a reminder to continue to educate myself on how to be a better ally. It’s a reminder to me that none of us are free until the the most marginalized among us are free.” — Safiya Castel, PhD, Consultant, She / her

“Pride month is a special time to celebrate and support the people who identify as LGBTQ+ in my life, to commemorate and reflect on the history of the LGBTQ+ movement and how it has positively shaped all of us, and to remind ourselves to keep fighting for equality.” — Aimy Ngo, Director of Strategy & Operations, She / her

“Pride is about continuing to stay committed to allyship. Always learning and working to improve my allyship skills — using more inclusive language, introducing myself with pronouns, being open to feedback, asking people about their experiences, following more LGBTQIA+ folks on social media, amplifying voices, donating and supporting LGBTQIA+ writers, actors, activists, leaders, and keeping intersectionality and marginalized communities in mind when I learn from, advocate for, and appreciate the LGBTQIA+ community.” — Megan Kollar Dwyer, Consultant, She / her

“Pride is about is about love and dignity — people being free to love and not being devalued by anyone for who they are. Love is one of the greatest joys in life and everyone should be able to experience it fully and freely — and to be loved and respected by others for who they are. Pride is also about remembering that we still have a long way to go in our fight. Around the world and still in our country, people are treated without dignity because of who they are and discriminated against because of who they love.” — Carissa Romero, Co-Founder & Managing Director, She / her

“Pride is a time to celebrate the bravest people I know, the ones who showed the world who they truly are despite fear, stigma, and hate. It’s a time to celebrate the bravery of those that paved the path before them and a future where being out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t require bravery at all. My life is more beautiful because of the queer people in my life who live and love authentically; Pride is a time for me to thank them for that and for the more beautiful future they are creating.” — Katherine Ullman, Data Science Lead, She / her

“Pride, for me, means continuing to be an ally to my friends who are out and also working towards a future where more people feel safe and comfortable being out. As an Asian American, I believe Pride means challenging the homophobia and transphobia in my community and supporting my friends who don’t feel comfortable coming out to their families or who, after coming out, don’t feel accepted by their families. This month, and throughout the year, I’ll continue to learn more about the LGBTQ+ experience so that I can continue to educate my community about the importance of loving and supporting our LGBTQ+ family members and friends.” — Angela Ju, Senior Consultant, She / her

“Pride month means lifting up the LGBTQ+ community. Pride is about supporting my family and friends who are part of this community and honoring their courage in all things. And while this month is a time to celebrate, I also want to reflect on the struggles that countless people in the LGBTQ+ community have faced and continue to face — in society, at work, and at home. For me, this month is a reminder to continue learning how to be a better ally, keeping in mind that allyship can mean different things to different individuals.” — Jasmine Huang, PhD, Data Scientist, She / her 

“Pride is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come on the path to inclusivity and admire the everyday heroism on the part of LGBTQIA+ individuals that got us to where we are now, while acknowledging how much more work remains. The freedom to love who you love openly and be fully yourself is essential to being human, and it is so easily taken for granted by those of us who have not had these things challenged. Pride is a time to reflect on this, to reaffirm commitment to becoming a better LGBTQIA+ ally, and to bolster advocacy for a better, freer, and more inclusive world.” — Ryan Godbey, Senior Consultant, He / him 

“Pride is an opportunity to celebrate, recognize, support, value, love, and honor LGBTQ+ people and their experiences. It’s also a reminder of the long, ongoing, and often painful activism that has led to where we are today, and the activism that must continue. For me, it’s also a time to reflect and ask myself, what am I currently doing? What must I do better moving forward?” — Rachel Herter, Senior Consultant, She / her

June 24, 2019

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