Advice, Experience, + Pride—Thoughts from MC Staff

Advice, Experience, + Pride---Thoughts from MC Staff

Pride Month is a time to commemorate and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. While there are certainly still hurdles to overcome, we wanted to take time this month to celebrate and share personal experiences, advice, and perspectives from our own MC employees around Pride. We’ve also gathered a list of actions and educational resources which you can find here.

 

Janine Guarino

I am currently an Associate Social Director at Media Cause

What’s your experience been like growing up as a member/being part of the LGBTQIA+ community?

Being part of the LGBTQIA+ community has been so many things: empowering, painful, fulfilling, frustrating, exciting, connected, disconnected—the list goes on. This community has taught me so much about myself + helps me understand the experience of others more and more every day. Having community as a queer person is critical—especially in a world where spaces are mostly made by and for straight + cis people.

Since the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade put the precedents that protect LGBTQ+ rights and my marriage at risk, I find comfort and support in this community—while working to protect it—more important than ever.

What advice you would share with your younger self?

Life is short and there is zero time to be anything but unapologetically true to yourself. Keep advocating for yourself, even when you’re gaslit. Your rights + freedom depend on it.

 

Megan Landau

I am currently an Associate Media Director

What figure in pop culture did you look up to as a kid?

Matilda + Ms. Honey!

What’s your experience been like growing up as a member/being part of the LGBTQIA+ community?

When I realized I was gay during junior year of college, so much just clicked. It felt difficult to incorporate queer culture into my life so late in college, but that didn’t even matter—I was just so happy to understand myself and my history more. When I moved to a new state after college, it was really fun to start with a blank slate and build my community in a way that fit my newfound identity.

Who has had the largest impact on your life?

My friend Ren! Though we’re the same age and grew up as sleepaway camp friends, she always felt like a mentor to me as well. She grew up in NYC and as a suburban kid, I loved visiting her and expanding my world. When I started coming out (mostly to myself!), she was my favorite person to talk to as she made me feel so comfortable and 100% accepted.

If you had a chance to grab iced coffee with a famous member of the LGBTQIA+ community, who would it be and why?”

Evan Rachel Wood because I’d try to convince her to marry me…just kidding. Probably Elliot Page because I have a huge respect for trans people and his journey has been admirable. Honorable mentions are Dan Levy, Karamo Brown, and Miley Cyrus.

What advice you would share with your younger self?

Be intentional about creating a community and lifestyle that feels fulfilling and authentic. Don’t settle for whatever makes you a little bit happy—always reach for “top shelf” happiness.

What Nonprofit supporting the LGBTQIA+ space would like to highlight?

Joy As Resistance—an organization providing mental health counseling + “biq queer little queer” mentoring programs to queer youth in Denver.

 

 

Nate Pressler

I am currently a Senior Media Strategist

What figure in pop culture did you look up to as a kid?

Sailor Jupiter. She was tough, sporty, and loyal! Also, her lightning powers were peak 1990s glory—how could you not?

 

What’s your experience been like growing up as a member/being part of the LGBTQIA+ community?

It’s hard to pinpoint one or two adjectives to explain what my experience has been like growing up as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I knew from a very young age that I was gay, and that knowledge was initially frightening. I had a rough time in middle school and high school growing up in the most stereotypical Midwest suburb you can imagine, but I had a very supportive family, and coming out made me and my parents closer than ever. What originally felt like a difference that made me less than turned into a feeling of empowerment.

Who has had the largest impact on your life?

Mrs. McKinley—the school nurse at my middle school and high school. I started public school in the sixth grade after being home schooled through elementary school and could very (very) clearly tell I was different than most kids in class. I got bullied often. I would fake sick and go sleep in one of the quiet rooms in the health office. Mrs. McKinley saw through the fake headaches, stomach aches, etc. but always made sure I had a place to escape my classmates. When I joined theater in high school, she would come to the plays I was in and even framed a clipping from the newspaper I was in once. In a sea of adults who didn’t care or didn’t do a great job hiding their judgement, she was a safe space and never had any judgement!

If you had a chance to grab iced coffee with a famous member of the LGBTQIA+ community, who would it be and why?”

Sir Ian McKellen. Not only has he been in blockbuster franchises I drank up like an iced coffee as a kid (X-Men and Lord of the Rings), but he’s lived such a cool and exciting life and I would love to ask him questions, get advice from him and be in the presence of such a legend!

What advice you would share with your younger self?

I think the advice I would give myself would be to keep my head held high and be confident in who baby me was—and would grow up to be. I would tell my younger self that there will come a time where I stopped editing how I spoke, acted, and pretended to be to fit into a rigid norm that wasn’t made for sparkly people—and that sparkle is something near and dear that we have to keep alive.

Oh, and to ditch the bowl cut and horizontal stripes (jokes!)

What Nonprofit supporting the LGBTQIA+ space would like to highlight?

TENT — Transgender Education Network of Texas

 

Courtney Williamson

I am currently a Senior Account Strategist

What’s your experience been like growing up as a member/being part of the LGBTQIA+ community?

Being surrounded by people in the community has been an amazing, eye-opening experience. There is so much love, appreciation, and compassion within the community, which always makes the hard days so much easier.

If you had a chance to grab iced coffee with a famous member of the LGBTQIA+ community, who would it be and why?”

There are so many people I’d like to talk to, but I’d love to get coffee with Harvey Milk. He not only was the first openly gay elected official in the U.S, but he also fought against discrimination, helped create affordable housing, and prioritized the needs of other minorities.

What advice you would share with your younger self?

I would tell her that acceptance from others is always nice to have, but truly loving who you are is the most important. When you can find happiness within yourself, life will be so much more fulfilling.

What Nonprofit supporting the LGBTQIA+ space would like to highlight?

Smyal 

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