Coming out proud.

By: Ricardo J Gattas-Moras

This Sunday is National Coming Out Day. Learn more about the importance of this day and how you can support the LGBTQIA+ community through action and solidarity.

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October 11 marks National Coming Out Day, a day dedicated to creating a world where living openly and honestly is possible by raising awareness of civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Founded by activists Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary, National Coming Out Day began in 1987 on the 32nd anniversary of the March on Washington. Coming out is a special and important milestone for the LGBTQ+ community. As members of the Prism ERG, we celebrate all of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.

Celebrating our flags.

One of the most important symbols of the LGBTQ+ community is our flags. Harvey Milk, an iconic figure in the LGBTQ+ community, challenged Gilbert Baker to design a symbol of pride for the gay community.

On June 25, 1978, at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, the Rainbow Pride Flag flew. Each color represents an aspect of queer pride. With the growth and evolution of the LGBTQ+ movement, each community came up with its flag. There are now flags for the lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, asexual, intersex and genderfluid pride flags. Philadelphia integrated black and brown lines as a symbol of equality and inclusivity to represent people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. Another adaptation, Progress Pride Flag, was created by Daniel Quasar. He added the five-colored chevron to include the trans community, people of color and those lost to AIDS. Here is a detailed overview of each flag.

The importance of pronouns.

One of the best ways to support LGBTQ+ community members and colleagues is to respect their gender identity through pronouns. Using pronouns creates safer and more inclusive spaces for people to be themselves knowing that other people will respect their identity. Take a look at this brief video that outlines the purpose and importance of pronouns.  Check out how you can add pronouns to your company signature.

Show your support.

To celebrate National Coming Out Day, the Prism ERG created a celebratory card. While we hope our community and ERG members share our Coming Out Card far and wide, we are also looking to our allies to come out as our friends, colleagues and supporters. Whether it be your gender identity, preference or just as an ally, please share on social media and through your networks using the hashtag #ComeOutWithPrism.

Click here to download

Click here to download

Click here to download

Volunteer to make a difference.

At Verizon, we are proud to foster an inclusive culture so that every V Teamer feels empowered to share their authentic selves and bring their whole self to work. Looking beyond our walls, we have a number of virtual volunteer opportunities for you to get involved and support communities and partners in need of our help.

Update your About You Badge.

Are you a member of the Prism ERG? Stop by About You to update your profile to include your Prism badge and any others from our sister ERGs. To update your badges:

  • Visit your About You Work Profile
  • Click the Edit icon next to Badges
  • Click “Add/Update”
  • Employee Resource Group Badges are available for you to choose from

Coming out is a defining moment for every member of the LGBTQ+ community. For those who have come out, we celebrate you today and hope you continue to have the opportunity to embrace who you are in every aspect of your life. For those who are still in the closet, we honor and see you. If you decide to come out, you have a community that will welcome you with open arms. We are here, and we are proud.

A version of this article originally appeared on VMG’s The Street from Abby Alagao.

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