Published By Amber Smith June 27, 2023
Home. Wherever Whoever you are.
For nearly a quarter of a century, June has been the month in which the spotlight is on celebrating diversity – specifically the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month was first designated in June 2000, and this month parades and celebrations in cities across the world will attract millions of attendees.
Here at National Corporate Housing, diversity isn’t just a one-time conversation, or a one-month-a-year embrace. It is part of who we are, and a critical piece to growing National into the best company we can be.
As part of our own Pride Month activities, we asked National employees to share their perspectives on inclusion, acceptance and the meaning of Pride Month. Here’s a few excerpts.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Madison Reiber | Brand Manager: What Pride Month means to me is celebrating a group of people who haven't always been celebrated. It allows visibility and awareness, along with people in this community being able to feel a part of a group that allows them to be their authentic selves.
Tom Colucci | Senior Vice President, HR: I'm very grateful for the additional visibility during the month of June, but one of my favorite photos is one titled 'Pride is All Year Long.' That captures it for me, as I'm proud all year long.
How do you celebrate Pride Month?
Madison: I usually try to attend the local Pride parade where I live. It has grown so much over the years and is such a fun time, and one that really brings the community together. If I cannot make the one in my city, I try to go to other ones around the Midwest.
What is one piece of advice you'd give your younger LGBTQ+ self?
Kirsten Charlton | Business Development Representative: Be kind to yourself.
Tom: Stop worrying about your sexuality, as no one else is! It’s not as interesting to other people as you might think it is.
What is one tip you'd give family members of LGBTQ+ individuals?
Madison: Keep showing up for them and vocalizing your support to them. Sometimes the negative voices we hear can drown out the positive ones. Don't be afraid to ask questions. We all want to be understood. If you are willing to learn more, we are happy to share.
Kirsten: Start from a place of love – you’ll figure the rest out.
What is one thing you wish people understood more about you/the LGBTQIA+ community?
Kirsten: Every story is different – as you learn more about the community, make sure to spend time learning about the individual people you come across too.
Tom: Being gay is not a choice, it’s a blessing in my opinion. I have had the most wonderful relationships with my husband, my family, my co- workers, and my friends; some of which go back as far as kindergarten! I wouldn't want to be any other way!
Madison: We are more alike than we are different.
At National, we are proud to be an organization where everyone belongs. Here, you are home. Whoever you are. Cheers to Pride Month!