Happy Pride Month! While Pride celebrations are held all over the country and world at different times of year, June is the traditional and most commonly recognized month in the United States for LGBT Pride Celebrations. Pride is celebrated in June in memory of the Stonewall Riots in New York City in June 1969, the beginning of the LGBT equality movement. Pride in Denver is a major event and we are expecting more than 380,000 guests to join us at the festival this weekend. Pride also has a major impact locally contributing around $25 million to the Denver metro economy each year. Before I worked for RANGE Consulting and The GLBT Community Center of Colorado I cannot say that I fully understood the meaning or history of Pride. Pride is an antonym of shame. My favorite shame researcher, Dr. Brene Brown, defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience [...]
When I first started working at The GLBT Community Center of Colorado I was surprised by the restroom signs. Here at The Center we have single use restrooms on each floor, or what I grew up calling “unisex” restrooms. However, as you can see in the photo above, our restroom signs have been covered over with other signs listing each restroom as gender neutral, or for any person. Underneath these colorful signs are the original signs that say “men” and “women.” It wasn’t until I was researching my TEDx Talk topic last summer that I understood why the men’s and women’s signs were required to be installed. Denver building code rules previously required multiple one stall restrooms to be marked men’s and women’s. In other words, if a location had one single use restroom it could be marked gender neutral or unisex – but if it had two or more [...]
Last spring I attended a presentation where the presenter said something that has stuck in my mind since then. The presenter said that fear may be the most powerful and motivating emotion that humans experience. I have seen fear of the unknown, fear of change, and fear of those different than ourselves motivate us as humans to behave in ways we would not normally. This year, more than any other I have lived, there seems to be an atmosphere of fear of the “other” throughout our nation and communities. People have been pushed by circumstance and propaganda to opposing sides, with both sides misunderstanding the other.
In the more transparent age of the internet and social media consumers and employees are taking it upon themselves to become educated about the corporate citizenship of the companies they work for and purchase from. Social media has become a powerful tool of those wishing to share their findings to an increasingly focused network.
Erik Holladay-McCann This month I interviewed Erik Holladay-McCann about his experiences as an LGBTQ business owner and employee. Keep reading for his insights. Question: Tell me a little about yourself and your business? Answer: My name is Erik Holladay-McCann, the proud owner and operator of Holladay Photography. I launched my own studio in Michigan in 2009, after leaving the press corps following 25 incredible years as a photojournalist, a career that I broke into at the (now unbelievable) age of 14. Combining my passion for storytelling and documentary-style photography with my creative aesthetic derived from a bold cinematic standpoint in my photographs is something I truly love and am privileged to do as a career. Pulling that fledgling business up from its roots in West Michigan and transplanting it to the much bigger planter that is Denver inspired biblical levels of anxiety, though I’ve been able to channel those nerves [...]