Celebrating shared diversity is what Pride Month is about during June. It’s a time to recognize and honor the struggles and achievements of our LGBTQ+ community. It’s also a time to recognize we’re all in this together.
Diversity and inclusion are essential elements of our culture at System Soft. And it’s important those at System Soft in the LGBTQ+ community feel they belong.
We’re proud to foster equality in our workplace, where everyone is free to be authentic pursuing career goals, honing talents, improving skills and taking care of our clients. We inspire everyone to be their full selves, both at work and in the communities where we each live and play.
We believe when we draw and celebrate the wisdom of a workforce recruited from all segments of society, we can better understand and meet the needs of our clients. This allows us to strengthen our culture and increase our ability to meet their business needs. When you create an inclusive environment, everyone wins.
With resolve to ensure safety and respect for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and global communities, we take great pride highlighting and emphasizing their contributions to the technology industry, as well as other major fields and professions.
We especially revere trailblazers within our local communities and recognize those in the LGBTQ+ community making a difference at System Soft. Join us as we celebrate Pride Month and those who make an impact.
Our first employee spotlight shines on Michael Keenan, a Senior Video Specialist at System Soft. Michael’s been leading the video production team since March 2021. He’s accountable for planning, producing, executing and editing video projects for all internal video content.
Michael, who hails from New York City and now lives in the Tampa Bay area, proudly answered four questions about the influences and celebrations of Pride Month. So, here’s a bit more about his thoughts in his own words.
What’s something you’re excited to do in celebrating your identity and Pride?
I usually get together with friends and go to local events in my area.
My favorite was the time I received access to a float in the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and pulled together a fun personal video tribute. I usually like to do something creative that’s Pride relevant.
[Watch Michael’s video.]
What’s something you think people can do, especially during Pride Month, to gain awareness about important issues impacting the global LGBTQ+ community?
Definitely check in on your LGBTQ+ friends and celebrate with them.
Although it’s a time for celebration and reflection on how far we’ve come, for many, it’s also a reminder of how much adversity they’ve faced. So, reaching out and wanting to celebrate with them will light up their hearts.
Also, local LGBTQ+ centers are a great place to learn about events and charities supporting the community. Even if you can offer to teach cool stuff or help out with local events at these centers.
About what one LGBTQ+ community misconception would you like to educate others?
First, we’re not all just glitz, glamour, sex and partying for days. We are also a hard-working community that shares family values and relationships and makes our surrounding communities better.
Second, homosexual men are not all to be presented as sparkling unicorns who sneeze rainbows, and lesbian women are not all butch, testosterone-jacked hippies. Not that there’s anything wrong with these representations.
However, if I had a dollar for everyone who’s said to a lesbian, “You don’t look like a lesbian” or about a gay man, “Oh, I would have never known he was gay,” I’d be pretty well off.
We come in all arrays of colors and are not defined by one representation.
Third, being around your children will not “turn them gay.” Hiding the fact a family member is gay from your children is not the answer. Telling them they can’t hold hands in front of their children is not the answer.
The answer is: “Some people love one another differently than others.” And leave it at that; no need to explain the biology or sexual habits behind it. Your child will move on and continue playing with their next favorite toy.
Lastly, we’re who we are strictly out of love. Us loving one another does not hurt anyone or themselves. So, let people live their lives to the extent in which they’re not hurting themselves or anyone else in the process.
What does it mean to you that System Soft is celebrating Pride Month?
It’s absolutely refreshing, and I am full of gratitude I am part of a work family, which not only doesn’t discriminate, but celebrates love!
Pride Month Journey on Social
Throughout June, follow and interact with System Soft’s commemorative journey on our social media. Across our platforms, we will highlight famous quotes, fun facts, infographics and inspirational stories. Check out our LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
We will also spotlight other System Soft employees who are part of the LGBTQ+ community on our blog, as we hold fast to a commitment of our mission and core values, appreciating the support and kindness we give to each other.