June marks Pride Month, a 30-day long celebration to commemorate the lives, experiences, challenges, and strides of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
In honour of the month, our very own Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Isaac wanted to share his experiences and what Pride means to him – as well as some fantastic resources for those looking to become more involved.
Isaac: Raised in Truro, Nova Scotia, navigating being a transgender, queer person in a rural community has been a difficult task. My journey began at the age of 10, and since then I’ve faced many challenges, but have also met some incredible people and am thankful for the community that has allowed me to grow into who I am today.
Pride month is an important time, as it is one where we are able to be visible and celebrate our identities and uniqueness. Pride for many, however, is a 365-day event and I believe it is incredibly important that if you can be safely visible, to be so and encourage the dialogue around inclusion for those who cannot. The more discussions we have, the more space we make for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and all underrepresented groups.
I am open about my transness for individuals who are not able to be and I personally consider it a great privilege to be able to be visibly transgender and queer in my workplace – to be able to share my story and experiences with others. I’m thankful for the many organizations that are dedicated to paving the way to ensure everyone can be active members in STEM.
What can you do?
A super simple and easy way to be an ally is to add your pronouns into your social media bios, in your email signature, and bake it into your everyday interactions with people. Many social media channels, such as LinkedIn and Instagram, include an area in your profile where you can add your pronouns, which makes it super easy to include and show off! Remember, ally is a verb – you need to do something to be an ally!
If you are in a position of authority or are a key decision-maker, make sure your organization has clear policies in place to protect your 2SLGBTQ+ staff from discrimination, bigotry, and hate speech. Be a role model for your colleagues, call out people misgendering others, and be active in celebrating all forms of diversity 365 days a year.
Celebrating Pride in Tech
Many organizations and initiatives are leading the way to celebrate pride and make space for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals in the tech sector! Check out some of the resources below to learn more.
- QueerTech – A Montreal-based nonprofit that advocates for and empowers LGBTQ2S+ professionals in the tech sector by facilitating learning, mentorship, and job opportunities.
- Venture Out – Canada’s largest tech & social impact nonprofit organization connecting LGBTQA2S+ people in tech to career opportunities, mentors, and each other.
- LGBTQ2S+ VOICES in IT – A conference showcasing and celebrating the IT accomplishments and talent in the LGBTQ2S+ community on June 23rd, 2021.
- Pride in STEM – Celebrates November 18th as the International Day of LGBTQIA+ People in STEM!
- QAtCanSTEM – A visibility and community building project aiming to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion for Queer folks in STEM across the Atlantic Provinces (and beyond!).
- 39 LGBTQ+ STEM Innovators and Resources – Published by Columbia University’s Engineering Boot Camp programs, this resource highlights inspiring, innovative individuals and organizations that have supported, celebrated, and/or made significant contributions to the LGBTQ+ tech community.
Resources for individuals looking to learn more or support the community in Nova Scotia
Happy Pride Everyone!