Jun 29, 2023 |

Pride Month and Beyond: A Conversation with Jude

Jude Hirman, Agile Coach

In June, we celebrate Pride month. At Thomson Reuters, we’ve had the opportunity to sit down with several members of our Pride at Work business resource group (BRG) to find out what Pride month means to them and participate in various in-person and virtual events throughout the month.

We also had the privilege of speaking with Jude Hirman, an Agile Coach in our Toronto office. In our conversation, Jude shares her thoughts on why Pride month matters to her, the importance of Pride at Work networks, and the work we still need to do for the community.

A conversation with Jude

When my wife and I are out in public, we have a secret look – the look is both a check-in and a decision. In a matter of seconds, we analyze our surroundings to see who and what is in the space. The look gauges how “safe” each of us feel doing something that will publicly out us, like holding hands, a kiss hello/goodbye, or any form of affection that confirms we’re not just “gal pals” to anyone who might observe us. A decision is made, instantly, and we both have veto power to decline outing ourselves in any public space and continue to present as two women going about their business, hoping, those around us will assume we’re just “gal pals” and nothing more. It’s second nature to go through this process every time we’re in public. I’m grateful that the secret look between my wife and I, often (in Toronto), results in “yes let’s hold hands”. Without Pride, and those who started the riot, the option to hold hands in public wouldn’t safely exist for us.

We owe Pride to Black queer and trans people, drag queens, and unhoused youth. I don’t fit any of these demographics, yet I’m experiencing more safety and acceptance than they are. For me, Pride was mostly about the celebration, a parade, the one day of the year where I can show up and be my authentic self; I was part of the majority on this day. It was about community, belonging, and self-expression. But I’m embarrassed to admit my lack of awareness didn’t allow me to see that it was mostly cis, white queers who enjoyed the same reasons to celebrate.

So, when I’m asked how I’m celebrating Pride, it’s tough to justify celebration while so many are still experiencing daily persecution. Pride for me is reflecting on my privilege and renewing my commitment to self-educate on BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Colour) racism, and transphobia. It is a time to be grateful to those who put themselves into danger decades ago, for the rights and safety of others. I’m turning this into action by showing up to the protests organized by BIPOC and Trans folks this month. Finding small ways to show support and contribute back to the community is more feasible for me than chunking all my efforts into the one recognized month of the year.

One of the ways I contribute back to my community year-round is the BRG (Business Resource Group), Pride at Work. When I started at Thomson Reuters, just over two years ago, I was surprised to hear there was no Toronto local chapter, so I decided to start one. Over the years, I have experienced invaluable benefits from being part of a Queer focused BRG. I have made new friends, met new mentors, and created new opportunities for myself and others to develop skills that benefit my personal and professional development. There is always a sense of unity, support, and complete understanding because we’re all in it together.

In a world where Pride is a month-long at best, and is mostly about rainbows, glitter, and lots of partying, I’m proud to belong to a community that extends far beyond the superficial. I’m proud to work at a company that actively supports marginalized communities and enables us, through employee-led networks, like the BRG’s and through an extended benefits program that supports LGBTQIAP+ employees. I’m proud that I can show up authentically each day and find belonging amongst my peers and support from my leaders.