This piece is a part of our employee spotlight series for Pride Month. This spotlight interviews our Jr. Product Marketing Analyst, Emerald McCormick. You can watch our other Pride at Cloudbreak spotlight with Jannette Rodriguez Otero here.
Every Pride, I gain a deeper understanding of myself and a closer connection to my community. I have always known that I was pansexual, but I did not openly identify until about four years ago. Now during Pride, I get an opportunity to celebrate with my community and gain a larger platform to speak about LGBTQIA+ issues.
I am beyond proud to be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I am proud of the members who strive to make the community more inclusive. I am proud of those educating themselves on issues that do not personally affect them, but others in the community. I am proud of those fighting for rights still denied to us.
Pride in the Workplace
The first day of each job brings excitement and nerves. While I learn my new duties and coworker’s names, I also evaluate the safety of an environment. Does anyone else appear to be out? Did anyone make a homophobic joke? Did the company do anything to celebrate Pride in prior years? At most of my jobs, I did not feel comfortable sharing my identity with everyone on my team. Either I was the only queer person that I knew of, or the leader created an unsafe work environment.
Luckily, Cloudbreak Health has been a welcoming and safe environment since day one. I feel comfortable sharing that part of myself with my coworkers. I know they support me.
Using My Platform for Impact
Here at Cloudbreak Health, I manage our social media channels. With a public company platform, I have the responsibility to speak on social issues and support causes important to Cloudbreak. Since joining the organization, I have ensured we joined in the conversation on Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hatred, Autism Acceptance Month, and more. Each time, I strive to educate our followers and center the voices affected by these issues. I am grateful to share every day on social media just how much Cloudbreak Health cares about addressing inequalities. Our mission is to overcome healthcare inequalities, provide equal access and care for all, and bridge the language gap. We live by our mission, not just the products we create, but the issues we discuss and communities we create.
As I speak on these issues, I also recognize my privilege. I am in an environment, both professionally and personally, where I feel safe. My identity as a white, cisgender woman with supportive family members allows me to feel secure sharing my sexuality publicly. However, this is not the reality for everyone. Intersecting identities, unsupportive families, financial status, and more can hinder individuals from coming out. For example, 1 in 5 transgender people experienced homelessness over the course of their lives (Roeder). Someone may not come out because they have a very real fear of that occurring to them. Pride month brings these issues to the forefront and hopefully pushes us all to assess how we can help others feel safe.
As we commemorate the Stonewall riots, celebrate our community, or support as an ally, we must continue to educate ourselves and make inclusive, safe spaces for all.