Happy Pride Month!
Over the years, Pride Month has evolved for me from a celebration of a community that I only knew from afar to a celebration of my amazing family. From my nieces and nephews, who march proudly with their two moms during a Pride parade, to my brother-in-law, who celebrates the beautiful art of drag, I have experienced firsthand the pride and struggle to walk in this world with joy as your authentic self. And, now more than ever, it’s time to fight for the joy to be.
This year’s theme from NYC feels particularly apt: ‘The Fight Continues.’ These three words are incredibly powerful. “The Fight” is a constant reminder that it truly is a fight to change mindsets, policies, and social assumptions. And although we have made some strides today, it only “continues” and, in many ways, still has a long way to go.
It’s this inclusion and representation that is so close to my heart. Even in our increasingly progressive world, the STEM industry has remained distressingly exclusionary, especially regarding women of color and LGBTQIA+ members. Still, only a fraction of higher ed students studying STEM are women. The number is even smaller for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, who often find STEM inaccessible and sometimes outright hostile.
Diversity, inclusion, and representation are more than just buzzwords. They speak to real people with different perspectives and experiences. Unfortunately, the STEM world isn’t where it should be in terms of inclusion. Girls of color, especially LGBTQIA+ girls of color, deserve support and opportunities to help them overcome adversity and become a powerful voice for inclusion in their own right. They, too, belong.
At Techbridge Girls, we’re joining forces with educators, parents, community members, and like-minded partners to continue to fight for a world where all people can feel comfortable in the workplace and not fear coming out because they may lose their job. We want to create a classroom where all students can confidently explore ideas and express their true selves. We envision a society and a culture that recognizes the power of diverse ideas and perspectives. To achieve this, we each need to do our part to create this world and ensure the many diverse, beautiful and brilliant voices are not just heard but recognized as equal seats at the table.