This month has truly been something we could have never anticipated. A month of growth, a month of tough conversations, a month of learning, and, first and foremost, a month of listening.
One thing held true, and that’s the fact that we wanted to be better for our teammates. All of them.
We recognized that we needed to show up for them, but also that this isn’t about us at all.
So, during June, in honor of Pride Month, we are giving our social platforms to our LGBTQ+ teammates to share their stories, in their words, with their photos.
We are proud of our community – and we have a lot to learn from them.
So, let’s start things off in Kansas City…
Hi. My name is Kerry. I work for Buckle as a men’s footwear buyer. I am gay and I am PROUD.
“Proud” is defined as the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as honorable or important.
Nevertheless, for the average gay youth, there is no honor in being different. As I write this, my inner child cries. I’m reminded of the times someone made me inferior because of the way I existed. The rainbows I celebrate today were once dark clouds that seemed to extend to the edges of the earth. But those clouds were just feelings.
We now live in a world where gay people of all ages are celebrated. Our voices are heard and our intentions are seen. I’ve had the privilege to chase my dreams.
I am a creator, an artist. I am a dancer and performer. I am an example. Not of perfection but of unmitigated existence.
When I look back, I cannot help but smile at the progress and change that has occurred due to the hard work of the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. I am PROUD of my communities. Yet still, I look at what is before me and it brings tears to my eyes. Police brutality, oppression, homophobia, transphobia, and racism are palpable disparities that disproportionately affect people like me EVERY DAY. The pride that we celebrate is tainted by the reality of the world we live in.
My current life mission: Keep creating. Keep dancing. Keep celebrating. Keep fighting. We are watching the world change in front of our eyes. I’m PROUD to be a part of it.
Kansas City, Missouri
Kerry has been an incredible advocate to work with on this series, and introduced us to our next guest writer, Darren.
To read Darren’s story, click here.