My LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month 2017 Blog 1 of 2! Actually Nine!

In June 2016, President Obama declared the Stonewall Inn, where the late June 1969 riot against police brutality of LGBT people took place, the USA’s first LGBT National Historic Monument. (Photo from CNN)

New resource from added for 2022 “Ways to Support and Celebrate Pride Month.”

This year, I will kick off LGBT pride month by providing short summaries and links to nine blogs I wrote since last year’s Pride that have LGBT diversity content. LGBT Pride should be every month, all year!

And be watching for my 2017 LGBT Pride Month Blog 2 later in June when I will be reviewing a new book written by a leading LGBT consultant and writer being released within the next week or two!

1) June, 2016 – On the last day of LGBT Pride Month 2016, I published a blog about the great privilege of being able to attend the US Department of Labor’s LGBT Pride Month event with US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and US Senator Tammy Baldwin in Washington DC on June 28th!

2) September, 2016 – I published my third blog in a 3-part series of Muslim diversity in the US – “The Intersection of Islam and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.)” It includes lots of interesting links.

3) September, 2016 – “The Nightmare Continues – Five Impacts of North Carolina’s Infamous HB2.” As a diversity consultant working with many businesses and organizations across North Carolina, I share two broad economic / business impacts and three individual / personal focused impacts of this horrible state law. (since partially repealed)

4) October, 2016 – I was very pleased that our annual North Carolina Society of HR Management Conference scheduled young, dynamic transgender author and activist Janet Mock as this year’s kickoff keynote speaker. Such an important topic in today’s corporate world – “A superb transgender awareness keynote from Janet Mock.”

5) November, 2016 – I published a Transgender Day of Remembrance Guest Blog, a reflection on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, written by my new staff member transgender activist and speaker Elaine Martin. This very somber and thoughtful piece reflects on a segment of our population who disproportionately lose their lives to violence.

6) January, 2017 – “Yes! Virginia is for all lovers (and all employees and businesses)” is about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s first executive order as a new governor promoting LGBT equality.

The São Paulo, Brazil LGBT Pride Parade is now perhaps the largest in the entire world. (Photo from Wikipedia)

7) January, 2017 – In this time when many people in industry consider millennials as entitled, spoiled and unwilling to work hard, I published this interview with an outstanding millennial community leader. Out and proud gay man Jackson Cooper is believed to be the youngest executive director in the country leading a performing arts organization in the US.

8) February, 2017 – In my latest blog about North Carolina’s infamous anti-LGBT HB2 law, I share two recent business perspectives: from a season senior executive and from a recent college graduate.

9) April, 2017 – On April 6th, I attended a breakfast meeting of business leaders with the new North Carolina Governor as the speaker. In “Power Breakfast with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – Part 1 of 2” I summarize the general comments of Governor Cooper around diversity, education, health, economic development, and more. And in “Power Breakfast with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – Part 2 of 2” I provide the details of Governor Cooper’s comments about HB2, diversity, and support for LGBT citizens.

I wish all my readers a Happy LGBT Pride Month and hope you find these blogs useful and perhaps even inspirational.

An LGBT Pride Month Event with US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Senator Tammy Baldwin

US Senator Tammy Baldwin and US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez on the stage at the US Department of Labor's 2016 LGBT Pride Event.

US Senator Tammy Baldwin and US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez on the stage at the US Department of Labor’s 2016 LGBT Pride Event.

NOTE: This blog contains several links including to other previous related blogs. Please do explore them. In addition, here is a link to the video recording of this event on Youtube!

For the past two years, I have been invited to attend the US Department of Labor’s LGBT Pride Month event. Not living in Washington DC, I am not normally able to attend, but this year I was in DC for two days of business at the time of this event. What a privilege to be able to attend this event on June 28, 2016 in our nation’s capital with two outstanding high ranking US government leaders.

(NOTE: two years earlier I had attended a meeting with Secretary Perez and a dozen other “faith leaders” representing the North Carolina Council of Churches. Link to the blog about that meeting.)

The 45 minute discussion was held like a “town hall meeting” with Secretary Perez starting with a five minute address and then interviewing Senator Baldwin. In his introduction, Mr. Perez quoted author Charles Dickens about it “Being the best of times and the worst of times” eluding to the US Supreme Court ruling on marriage a year ago followed by the recent massacre at the Pulse Bar in Orlando. He also mentioned the absence of nationwide employment protections for LGBT people and said that a gay person could get married today and then go into work tomorrow and get fired. (NOTE: I actually wrote a blog with that title – link.)

This year's US Dept of Labor LGBT Pride Month poster featuring a quote from out NBA basketball player Jason Collins.  (Link to my blog about Collins' coming out as gay)

This year’s US Dept of Labor LGBT Pride Month poster featuring a quote from out NBA basketball player Jason Collins. (Link to my blog about Collins’ coming out as gay)

Mr. Perez then introduced Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first openly out LGBT US Senator. He praised her for what she has done and how she had also done it with “Midwestern kindness” in an overall caustic political climate. Here are some of the key points Senator Baldwin made her comments:

• She personally realized the importance of universal healthcare coverage for all Americans early in her life. She was raised by her grandparents, and when she suffered through a rare and long childhood serious disease, she was not covered on their insurance since she was a grandchild. Then later in college, she had many classmates who were unable to obtain health insurance.

• She shared her journey as an out lesbian politician; from her county commission to the Wisconsin state house to US House to US Senate. She spoke of the importance of working for all constituents and building relationships. She also mentioned she was very fortunate in that a few out gay politicians helped pave the way for her and served as role models.

• The day before this meeting, she was fortunate to be in Greenwich Village, New York City, where President Obama designated the Stonewall Inn (gay bar in New York City) as an historic National Monument. (National Park website information about this new National Monument.) Stonewall was the location of the 1969 rebellion against police harassment of LGBT people and considered the birthplace of the American gay rights movement. Senator Baldwin poignantly spoke of how in the gay community, bars are actually places of safety and sanctuary, especially for people rejected by their families and communities for being gay.

Living in North Carolina where our politics is quite regressive (see my recent blogs about HB2 and hate in NC, and about alternative actions to boycotting our state,) I am encouraged by these excellent diversity and inclusion embracing leaders at our national level working for the benefit of ALL Americans.

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On a personal note, once again I got hopelessly lost driving in DC and arrived a little late, missing the introduction by Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Outreach and Recruiter Director for Presidential Personnel, the White House’s first openly transgender staff member.