The Importance of Pride Month to Our Employees: Part 2

June 22, 2020

We are continuing to feature some employees as they share their perspectives during Pride Month. We recently sat down with Kevin J. and Gin H. Read on to see what they had to share!

Kevin, J., HR Generalist

Outside of his day job in human resources at HQ, Kevin enjoys hiking, attending concerts and traveling with his friends. Together, they explore new cities – specially to attend Pride festivals!

Pride Month means visibility – Pride Month and the activities associated with it are meant to bring visibility to the existence and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a chance for members of the LGBTQ+ community and our allies to celebrate that we are proud of who we are and what we have to offer. It provides us with a platform to express care and love for one another and allows us to make a statement that we will be true to ourselves and live unapologetically.

Within my first few months at Republic I asked to help coordinate having a Republic truck in the Phoenix Pride Parade. Republic’s support at this event meant a lot to me. Another example was during Pride Month, a few HR leaders wore their Pride gear to celebrate our LGBTQ+ employees. That was when I knew I was working at the right place. As a gay man from rural North Dakota, I grew up thinking I was the only gay person for hundreds of miles, I struggled with thoughts that the world would never accept me. Fast forward to today living in a city and working for Republic Services, not only do I feel accepted… I feel celebrated!

Gin H., Field Procurement Manager for the Northeast Area

Gin is currently in a doctorate business degree program with a specialization in Global Supply Chain Management. She and her wife also lead an online ministry interacting with people from around the globe. And in her spare time, she loves to cook, read and travel.

Pride month is a place for non-straight and non-cis gender individuals to come together in solidarity to acknowledge what others have done for us in fighting for our rights and freedoms as a community. It is also a time of acceptance and affirmation for people who feel, or have felt, rejected by family, church, friends and society because they were different because of sexual orientation or gender. It’s a time to remember that they are a part of something bigger and that they are not alone. Last year, my wife and I went to NYC for World Pride wearing t-shirts that said, “Free Mom Hugs.” There are hurting LGBTQIA+ people out there who just need a hug. My wife and I live by the motto “Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.” I believe that Pride Month exemplifies that for us.

It is obvious to many people when you see me that I am a lesbian, and there have been many times in my life where I have been treated differently. Republic has done a good job working toward having a diverse workforce. More women and more people of color are either being hired as leaders or rising as leaders. There is work to be done, but we are making progress. Celebrating Pride Month is a fantastic start. It is important to remember that LGBTQIA+ people are like anyone else, and yet we are also all different but equal. Let’s celebrate and embrace our differences and learn from each other.

I can honestly say that, since I have started to work at Republic Services I have been treated with respect and professionalism. I think that, like anyone else, we all want to feel loved and accepted for who we are, not the color of our skin or who we love. I am Gin, a Republic employee who loves to cook, read, and travel – oh and I just happen to be gay. I love talking about my wife and family like anyone else. I am truly living the dream, even if it looks different than most other people’s lives. And that’s okay. My wife and I believe that the U.S. is not a melting pot. It is a salad bowl. Every culture, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender is different, but it adds flavor to the salad.