Our Voices is a series of profiles that shows how an employee is making a difference within our company and in the communities we serve across New England.
Jaquan Wright, Customer Experience Associate at our Enfield, CT Call Center, shares his thoughts and insights about Pride Month in the following Q&A.
Q: What does Pride Month mean to you?
A: Pride Month is a celebration of acceptance, love, and respect. Which means a lot to me because coming out, these are things I thought I wouldn’t receive.
Q: Did you have any strong role models in your personal life, including family members and/or mentors? What did you learn from them that you apply to your life today?
A: I did — my cousin Howie Bunkley, who died when I was eight years old, but whom I later found out was a part of the LGBTQ community. Before I was old enough to truly understand, he would tell me it’s OK to be who I am and live in my truth — that I was a star and to never let the world dim my light. That advice came in handy a few times! He also was involved in the LGBTQ fair housing movement in Boston.
Q: Are there any books, movies or TV shows you would recommend to others looking to gain a better understanding of the LGBTQ community’s contribution to society?
A: Yes, two movies: one is “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” which tells her life story of how she fought for the rights of the LGBTQ community. And my personal all-time favorite is “Paris Is Burning,” which highlights the New York City ballroom scene in the 1980s and the birth of “voguing.”
I’d also recommend the TV show “Pose,” which just started its second season on the FX channel, and which further shines a light on the subculture of the ballroom scene. Lastly, I’d include “Will & Grace,” which is an iconic show to me for it being the first mainstream TV sitcom to celebrate and acknowledge the LGBTQ community.
Q: What do you think is important for others to learn from Pride Month?
A: I think it’s important to know the history and the reason for the month and the celebrations that occur.