Together in Pride: Building a Resilient and Inclusive Community

Written by Tim Lagudi, Director, Citizen Services at IEM  

For me, celebrating Pride as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is a time when we come together to celebrate our love and resilience, united by a shared journey of self-love and self-acceptance. It has given me the courage to embrace my true identity, to be proud of who I am, and to live my life authentically. It’s about knowing that I am part of a community that is making a difference, not only for ourselves – but for future generations. It is a reminder that love is love, and that we should be proud of who we are, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity. 

But Pride is not just a celebration; it is a powerful statement of visibility. It’s about allowing us to be ourselves – unapologetically, and without fear or judgment. It is a reminder that we are here, we are valid, and we deserve equal rights and respect. It’s about eliminating discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry. It is a time to honor those who fought tirelessly before us, paving the way for our freedom and equality. By celebrating Pride, we create a space where everyone is seen, heard, and celebrated. This sense of belonging and acceptance that I have found within this community has been transformative. Pride is coming together to honor our past, embrace our present, and shape a brighter future for all. In many ways, Pride is celebrating the same mission as IEM: building a safe, secure, more resilient world. 

I am so grateful to be a part of this incredible community – both members of the LGBTQIA+ community and our allies, and I will continue to celebrate and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights with pride and passion. I want to thank the IEM family for their allyship – for always supporting our community – and each of us as individuals, celebrating diversity, and fostering inclusivity.