Pride at ATCO: Em
Em , Senior Advisor, Rümi, is a strong supporter of increasing the conversation around DE&I. Em is a big advocate of living authentically and embracing their identity.
Here’s what Em had to say around Pride, representation, and being true to yourself:
What does Pride mean to you?
For me, Pride is the ability to live authentically, which I recognize might mean something different to everyone. Personally, I like to be very vocal about the fact that I am trans and queer. I feel that these parts of myself have uniquely shaped my experiences, and I want to be an example to others who may not have queer influences in their life. To me, Pride is living how you want to live, loving who you want to love, and most importantly, being who you want to be.
Why do you think representation matters?
Diverse and intersectional representation is everything. Let’s take the example of representation in media. Far more than we realize, people use the lens of the media they consume to form their visions of what the world looks like. Although we can’t control how the media represents queer and trans people, what we can do is show our community that we exist and that we are real and normal human beings.
How do you show your Pride at work year-round?
I personally choose to live out loud about my transness and queerness. I was as excited to tell my friends at work that I’d bought a house as I was to tell them I’d finally started the hormone replacement therapy I’d been waiting for. Both examples are something that I’d been looking forward to for years, and something that moved my life forward and made me feel more complete. One needn’t be more private if I don’t want it to be.
What’s your advice for ATCO employees who want to be better allies to the LGBTQ2+ community?
Listen, learn, and action. The ‘listen and learn’ part is important, but the ‘action’ part is often what gets overlooked. The other thing that goes along with action is responsibility.
Put in the work and understand how your words and actions affect the people around you. The more you demonstrate that you are willing to learn and adept, the more people will feel safe and comfortable at work, and in life.
Do the work because it’s the right thing to do. It’s always been the right thing to do. And more specifically, it’s the kind thing to do. And don’t mistake that for ‘nice.’ Nice is passive. Kindness is active, purposeful radical. Kindness takes work, learning, growth, and introspection. But in the end – it benefits everyone.