Jun 13, 2022 · 4 min read

Celebrating Pride Month: A Future for Every LGBTQIA+ Person

A group of smiling CZI employees who are part of the PRICZM employee resource group.
CZI’s PRICZM employee resource group aims to educate the CZI community on LGBTQAI+ issues and foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.

Pride Month is here!

This month (and every month) we’re focusing on promoting the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community. PRICZM, one of our employee-led resource groups, will also host several internal events that center the theme of “A Future for Every LGBTQIA+ Person.”

To celebrate Pride, we asked CZIers to share photos and reflections on moments that made them proud.

Our Pride Month Reflections

Lacey Veal, DEI Program Manager

Lacey is a Black woman wearing a black dress. Her wife is a white woman and is wearing an off-white pant suit. They are holding hands barefoot on the beach.

When I was 17, my mom asked me, “Are you a lesbian?” I quickly said, “No! Why would you ask me that?!” She responded, “I was just wondering.”

Little did she know, I had been wrestling with that question since I was a little girl..

Fast forward 10 years when I called my mom and said, “Remember when you asked me if I was a lesbian? Well, the answer is yes.”

Her response: “Girl, I already knew that.”

I accepted myself and stepped into my truth. I told my parents, extended family and friends I was indeed a lesbian. Everything in my life shifted in the best ways, and I fully embraced who I had always been. My life expanded beyond what I could have imagined, including meeting and marrying my amazing wife.

I am forever out and proud!

Kindra Wyatt-Pascall, Email Campaign Manager

Kindra and her wife smiling and holding a bouquet of flowers.

My wife and I got married last year in North Carolina. As recently as 2014, the year we got together, our union would not have been allowed. I feel proud to stand by her every day and be able to face the world together. This is the future that every LGBTQIA+ person deserves.

Rodolfo Melgoza, Digital Campaigns Manager

Side-by-side photos of Rodolfo, his husband, their baby and two dogs, next to a portrait of Rodoflo and his husband holding their son.

I was 17 when I accepted that I was gay. At the time I thought that meant I would not be a father. But, a few years ago, my husband and I started a conversation about becoming parents. That was followed by us beginning the IVF process. In 2021, an impossible dream became true: I became Papa. As I held my son’s little hands, my life changed. I felt PRIDE for our family.

Jandi Lira, Workplace Operations Manager

A photo of a young Jandi wearing a San Francisco 49ers hat and jersey next to a headshot of Jandi as an adult.

I’m proud of who I was as a child. Even with all the social “norms”, I was never afraid of expressing myself or dressing the way I wanted — even if that meant shopping in the boys section.

Support and acceptance from my family during those early days allowed me to be ME. Because of that, I’ll always be unapologetically proud of who I am.

Daniel Palombo, Workplace Operations Lead

Side-by-side photos of Daniel holding a rainbow Pride flag and Daniel smiling while wearing a floral shirt.

This picture was taken at the end of my first time marching in the San Francisco Pride Parade. It was really one of the first times I felt like I was a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and it made me realize this collection of individuals was so much more than what I’d been taught growing up.

I remember coming home that day feeling a true sense of pride, not only in myself, but the amazing community I was now a member of.

Glyn Burleigh Sheard, Director of Learning and Development

Glyn in a blue suit smiling and walking down the aisle while holding hands with his mother.

This photo captures the proudest day of my life. Not only did I marry my love, but my mother walked me down the aisle. We were both holding back joyful tears and holding hands to steady each other.

Christian Orion, Executive Assistant for Operations

A headshot of Christian smiling.

Self-discovery has been a powerful and necessary journey — made more meaningful because I had the support that I needed to avoid falling into a trap filled with the misguided perceptions of what it means to be “different.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at CZI

We want everyone — regardless of age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, or perspective — to feel excited to work at CZI every day. PRICZM and our other employee-led resource groups are critical to making this happen — by creating safe and inclusive environments for everyone.

Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

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