Every June, cities across the nation celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ (LGBTQ+) Pride Month. Celebratory activities like parades, picnics, parties, and workshops take place to inspire self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increase visibility of the LGBTQ+ community and their contributions to our history.
This year, in honor of Pride Month, we asked LPL employees to share what Pride means to them in their own words.
From struggle and strife to love and pride
Nikki Serna, Associate Analyst, Operations, shares her story of finding her true self
I am a lesbian Hispanic who was brought up in a sheltered Mexican Roman Catholic home. I never knew what “being gay” was. I found myself out when I was 13, and struggled for many years with my sexuality and family.
I was always trying to please my parents and make sure I was living the “right way.” I’m now 32, engaged to the most wonderful woman in the world, and have two amazing teenage daughters. I’ve never been happier.
To me, Pride means being happy and comfortable with who you are. Finding the love of your life – even if that’s yourself – and being who you are. Not being afraid to show all your colors. There are many obstacles in life and this was a big one for me. But, I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t go through them. Now I get to shine my light, share my stories, and encourage others to be true to themselves.
To me, Pride means loving yourself and others, never forgetting who you are, and never being afraid!
“To me, Pride means being able to show up as my authentic self and be proud of who I am. For the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important that we – free from any shame or stigma – stand up for the right to be treated equally.”
- Ralph DiChiara, Senior Vice President, Associate Counsel
Authenticity, equality, and hope
Ralph DiChiara, Senior Vice President, Associate Counsel, shares his story of showing up with authenticity
To me, Pride means being able to show up as my authentic self and be proud of who I am. For the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important that we – free from any shame or stigma – stand up for the right to be treated equally.
To be respected and treated as we respect and treat others.
When we celebrate Pride month, I feel proud and grateful for my husband and family, for LGBTQ+ community members whose sacrifices have allowed me to experience and enjoy many freedoms, and to our allies who have stood with us as we fight for change. I am hopeful that progress will continue and equality, visibility, and respect will be realized without violence or retribution.
I’m looking forward to seeing the return of our famous parades and street parties so we can continue to celebrate each other and proliferate hope and positivity.
Forming strong connections in the Pride Alliance as an ally
Lisa Holland, Vice President, Corporate Events, extends her professional network and shows support for her son, Spencer, a young gay man
Although Spencer is thousands of miles away, living in the Pacific Northwest, and I haven’t been able to be with him in over a year, he’s dear to me and always close to my heart. I was proud to share that I’d joined the Pride Alliance with Spencer, and I know it means a lot to him too.
If I can use my experience in marketing and events to help enhance the Pride Alliance’s impact, then I’ll feel like I’ve done something good for LPL and for Spencer too.
In the short time since I’ve joined, I can see that I’ve been able to make stronger connections that help me in my everyday work, and that I’m able to make positive contributions to the group, and that feels great!
Pride as a time of colorful and diverse celebration
Shannon Peele, Sr. Analyst, HC Procurement, the chair of the Carolina’s Pride Alliance, sees Pride as a time of colorful and diverse celebration of anyone that identifies as LGBTQ+ and our allies
It is a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the community and how far we have come.
I always pause to reflect back on Stonewall (June 28-July 3, 1969) and the people that paved the way, making it safer to come out now. I came out in 2018 as Pansexual and have been fully supported in my role and position here at LPL. That is quite the change from 1969, when the gay liberation movement really started. At that time, people were going to jail for their sexual orientation and gender identities.
I celebrate those from 1969, the brave people that still struggle to live authentically, those confirming their gender, those that have lost family to hate crimes, children that have been disowned because of their sexual orientation, and those of us that are out and proud.
We all matter. I am PROUD of all of us.
Employee Resource Groups
The Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at LPL bring together employees with common dimensions of diversity, interests, and experiences. We’re committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment to encourage and cultivate diversity of thought and ideas within the company.
ERGs promote an inclusive workplace and support professional development, employee engagement, business development, and community engagement.