As we honor and recognize Pride Month, it’s personally important to acknowledge the unique intersections of my identity and celebrate the resilience of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. At BenchSci, I am proud to work for an organization that allows me the choice to self-identify my sexual orientation, race, and other aspects of my identity. Self-identification also serves as a catalyst for visibility, helping to increase representation and recognition of the diverse range of other Black LGBTQ+ individuals. By embracing and owning our identities, we contribute to a more inclusive and accepting society that values and respects the complexities of human existence. Recently, BenchSci released our second DEI Year in Review where we expanded the self-reporting categories that we share externally.
In many cultures and countries, coming out can be an incredibly daunting and even frightening experience. Homophobia and discrimination are still prevalent, and individuals who openly identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ may face rejection, harassment, and even violence. Social movements such as boycotts and protests against the queer community are becoming increasingly common across North America. In the US this year a shocking 555 anti-trans bills have been introduced (compared to 174 total in 2022). These cultural and societal barriers create an environment of fear and secrecy, where individuals may feel compelled to hide their true selves for fear of backlash or harm. Honoring Pride Month sheds light on these oppressive conditions and the urgent need for global advocacy and support for 2SLGBTQ+ rights. It serves as a reminder of the bravery and strength required to live authentically in the face of adversity and encourages solidarity and compassion for those who may be in more hostile environments.
I am proud to support and announce the launch of BenchSci’s second Employee Resource Group (ERG), QueerSci - an employee-driven community for our 2SLGBTQIA+ team members. QueerSci aims to foster an inclusive workplace for 2SLGBTQIA+ people that treats everyone justly, according to their circumstances. With the values of Community, Culture, Career, and Commerce, QueerSci is committed to creating a space of community for queer BenchSciers, to help grow their careers, and support them to represent BenchSci in the course of doing business. We will be working with Executive Sponsors to advocate for the needs the 2SLGBTQIA+ community across the business and give visibility to their lives and work.
Pride Month is a time to recognize the contributions and struggles of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals throughout history. It is a time to embrace and express who we are, appreciate the beautiful complexity of our identities and champion the power of self-love and acceptance. Finally, honoring queer pride does not stop in June. It is a reminder of the ongoing work that needs to be done to dismantle systems of oppression and create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.