June is Pride Month, a global celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, (Questioning), Intersex, Asexual, and (Agender) plus (LGBTQIA+) community. Representation at work is a crucial aspect of the work we do every day at Community Transit. For Dylan (he/him), Community Transit’s diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, it’s something he thinks about every day. Dylan helps the agency create a more inclusive place for employees and the people we serve every day.
“Pride to me means celebrating how far the LGBTQIA+ community has come in the fight for equality,” said Dylan. “It is also a time to appreciate the trailblazers who paved the way for where we are today. Pride also means acknowledging the current issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community, specifically the trans community.”
Pride is also personal for Dylan.
“Pride is a time to reflect on my journey as a gay man. Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community has been a factor throughout my life. From navigating where I fit in while I was growing up to now, and how I want to live my life.”
He takes pride in who he is today.
“But it doesn’t stop me from worrying about whether strangers will like me. Not whether they like me as a person, but rather if they have a prejudice about something that is fundamentally part of who I am.”
That experience has taught him to be a more open-minded and empathetic person.
“I have learned to accept people for who they are. I hope people feel they can be their full, authentic selves with me, wherever they are on their journey.”
Dylan says he’s grateful that celebrating people’s unique identities — including Pride — is part of his work. This includes supporting learning, education, and storytelling that highlights the diverse identities of Community Transit employees.
“There are so many ways to be a good ally as a community member, as a friend, or as a coworker, and that comes in many forms,” he said. “Allies can learn about the issues that the LGBTQIA+ community faces, which ranges from anti-transgender legislation to erasure of LGBTQIA+ history. They can be advocates for policies. They can speak up when someone is being harassed or discriminated against. Or being an ally can be as simple as wearing a Pride pin as a way to show people in the LGBTQIA+ community that they are seen and supported.”
Wondering how you can be an ally during Pride? Dylan encourages people to support the Pride celebrations in their communities. “We’ve rounded up a list of Pride events that people can get to on transit,” he says. “Simply showing up is a great way for allies to show their commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community.”