What Pride Means To Us: Championing the LGBTQ+ Community and its Allies

In June, the U.S. and over 100 countries around the world celebrate Pride month. Pride recognizes the history, voices, and impact of the LGBTQ+ community while providing members with the opportunity to be their true selves in an affirming atmosphere. Though the month is filled with various celebrations, Pride is most importantly a call for unity, visibility, and equality for the LGBTQ+ community— offering a chance to recognize the setbacks and advances made in the past year. The first Pride Month took place in 1970, a year after the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, a pivotal moment when the LBGTQ+ community stood up against centuries of discrimination.

Although Pride is recognized worldwide, it can mean something different to each member of the community. The following statements are personal accounts from the Pride Alliance employee resource group on what Pride Month means to them:

Tom, executive sponsor

Pride is an opportunity to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Pride is also reminder for allies that we have a responsibility to support the LGBTQ+ community in feeling that individuals can truly bring their whole selves to the table at Peraton. For me personally, participating in Pride events over the years like Capital Pride has been an important way for me to show my support to family members and close friends in the community while also having a fun time celebrating.

Andi, co-chair

For me, Pride raises awareness and understanding; increased visibility of transgender people prompts conversations, education, and empathy that can lead to more inclusive and accepting environments. By being visible, we can help families, friends, and allies understand and embrace other transgender loved ones, that should lead to a stronger support system for all.

In addition, having that visibility through Pride can also push diversity in all types of media that may influence cultural narratives and help shape a more inclusive society. Visibility can also reinforce that transgender identities are valid, encouraging other individuals to embrace and express their authentic selves. Honestly, by increasing visibility, we can build a more welcoming and inclusive world for trans people, allowing folks to live with greater dignity and respect.  We may not be there yet, but the hope is that years from now, we won’t need Pride months for visibility because the diversity celebrated today is just a welcomed part of everyday life.

Nicki, co-chair

The dictionary defines pride as “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority.” What I love about Pride, however, is its focus on others: a recognition of the LGBTQ+ community who for too long has been made to feel like they had nothing to be proud of in who they are. Pride is all of us advocating for their equal rights and celebrating of every member of the community.

Rebecca, communications chair

Pride is important to me because it is an affirmation of my identity, providing a community of belonging and validation. It celebrates the progress and resilience of LGBTQ+ individuals, offering visibility and representation that empowers me to be my authentic self. Pride events advocate for equality and raise awareness about ongoing struggles faced by the community while also serving as celebrations of achievements, acceptance, and solidarity. Participating in Pride helps me feel connected to a larger movement striving for justice and acceptance.

Sean, outreach chair

To me, Pride is connectedness and a community where often marginalized individuals can find their voice in a safe and inclusive place. No one should have to fight for inclusion, but it happens and through Pride no one has to do so alone.

Alan, Pride ambassador

Pride is a way of standing with others who may feel vulnerable, outcast, or marginalized simply for being who they are. It is not only accepting, but fully appreciating the unique gifts of everyone; welcoming and caring about everybody. Standing with Pride is a stand against those who create artificial barriers to keep them out of the rest of the community.

Trying to group all humans into being all one way, (heterosexual), or all another way (LGBTQ+), with no in-between, fails to recognize the rich spectrum and beauty of the human experience. Pride helps me understand and accept myself. There is nothing wrong with me. I am not defective. In fact, I am proud of who I am and what I have to offer the world.

Learn more about the Peraton Pride Alliance and other our other employee resource groups that are committed to creating a diverse and equitable workplace.

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Peraton is a national security company that drives missions of consequence spanning the globe and extending to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. As the world’s leading mission capability integrator and transformative enterprise IT provider, we deliver trusted, highly differentiated solutions and technologies that protect our nation and allies from threats across the digital and physical domains. Peraton supports every branch of the US Armed Forces, and we serve as a valued partner to essential government agencies who sustain our way of life. Every day, our employees do the can’t be done by solving the most daunting challenges facing our customers. Visit peraton.com to learn how we’re safeguarding your peace of mind.

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