As June is Gay Pride, February is Black History month, and other months are designated for different groups, it can be easy to fall into the trap or narrow tunnel of one identity. For now, it’s good to have these months to feel good about ourselves and educate others, but we can’t think that’s it. Because when we do, we miss out on opportunities to develop relationships with people who are different than us
Beyond LGBTQ, Finding Commonalities In Our Multiple Identities
Every one of us has multiple identities. Those multiple identities influence our thoughts, perceptions and behaviors every day in our lives at work, and in our communities.
Our multiple-identities are like panels that make us each separate but connected beautiful diversity quilts
The late Dr. Roosevelt Thomas stated Diversity is any collective mixture characterized by differences, similarities, and related tensions and complexities.
We each have our own collective mixture, and our beauty is in our complexities, in knowing who we are as people with our own multiple identities in relationship to others, and being curious and willing to know a whole person in all of his or her multiple identities.
When we accept all of who we are and our own beauty, we can see the beauty in others. If we define ourselves in terms of only one dimension of diversity, we define others in terms of only one dimension. We limit our involvement with people who look different than us, and we limit our ability to create real inclusion where we work and live.
When we define our world and the people around us by what we read, what we hear, and what we’ve learned in the past, our interaction with them is based on a label and that’s how we treat them, whether they are a co-worker, a customer, or a member of our community.
June is Gay pride month, and with the downfall last year of DOMA, more and more LBTQ people are coming out. We’re no longer hiding who we are, and we’re coming out in other ways, in our self-confidence and willingness to engage and be seen as full participants in our own success and the success of our organizations.