Pride Month is recognized in the United States every June to honor the LGBTQIA+ community and acknowledge their many contributions throughout history.
In honor of this celebratory month, TBI is proud to feature some of our employees who are part of our diversity and inclusion committee, RESONATE, so they can share what Pride Month means to them. Today, we feature TBI's Support Manager - Orders, Justine Jackson
What is your role at TBI and how long have you been with the organization?
I am TBI's Support Manager, Orders, and have been with the organization for almost 5 years.
June is Pride Month. What does this month mean for you?
To me, Pride Month means never letting the efforts of Marsha P. Johnson, notable activist and trans woman, be forgotten. She was a major player in the Gay Liberation movement, which started in 1969. Alongside her was Sylvia Rivera, who fought for transgender rights and created S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) to help house homeless LGBTQ youth.
To me, these activists demonstrate the power and effectiveness of activism in the face of discrimination. Who knows where we would be today had they not taken efforts to change the narrative.
Who are some of your LGBTQIA+ role models?
As a first-generation millennial, I am old enough to remember when Rupal achieved international fame in 1993. Megan Rapinoe is a notable LGBTQ+ ally and played a significant role in spotlighting the pay gap between men's and women’s soccer.
What advice would you give to people wanting to support members of the LGBTQIA+ community?
Do your research, be open-minded, listen, and ask questions. It’s OKAY to be curious! Stand up to those who make homophobic jokes, defend your LGBTQ+ friends and family if you see others being rude or mean to them, and understand that irrespective of gender, love is love, and when it’s between two consensual adults, it’s a good thing!
What is an example of positive change you'd like to see in the future for members of the LGBTQIA+ community?
LGBTQ people still face significant discrimination medically, despite the acceptance of LGBTQ persons with the inclusion of allies, being on the rise. I’d like to see an increase in access to affordable, high-quality, nondiscriminatory health care services and insurance benefits options for LBGTQ people.
Do you have any favorite LGBTQIA+ foundations that you'd like to spotlight?
I am a personal advocate for The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project provides 24/7 crisis support services to young people a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Any time I see a product that donates the proceeds to The Trevor Project, I buy it. Youth issues tend to get overlooked as young people are often thought of as being dramatic, emotional, or not really in tune with their needs, and I firmly believe our youngest LGBTQ+ community needs the most support, to ensure they live long enough to know that it can get better.