A note from our President:
June is Pride month, in case you missed it. There have been so many joyful LGBTQA celebrations of life and individuality these last few weeks. It has been a heart-warming display of acceptance and pride. Sadly, along with the celebrations still come some very strong opinions and debates. Having been a human resource professional for the last 30 years, I have seen many, many unexpected things happen not only in the work place but in our world around us. I have also had the very great honor of being the confidant for many closeted gay and lesbian individuals, who felt secure enough to come out to me.
It is not an easy thing to reveal the deepest part of oneself to another. It requires great trust and mutual respect, gay or straight. You place yourself in a position of great vulnerability. Couple that vulnerability with a society that is not accepting of you, and that act of revelation becomes down right terrifying. In almost every instance when a LGBTQ person has come out to me, they have asked, “Does it matter to you that I’m gay? Do you still like me as a person?” My response has always been, “Does it matter to you that I’m straight? Do you still like or respect me?” This is usually met with a sigh of relief and sometimes a little laughter. If it doesn’t matter to them that I’m straight, why would it matter to me if they are gay? I’m not here to judge.
But that is not the world we live in. We still live in a world where people are marginalized, whether they are LGBTQ, female, a person of color, a person with a disability, ….you get the idea. We live in a world that still mandates SAMENESS of us. Those that think beyond the societal expectations, even though they do no harm to anyone, are still cast out of our social circles. Why? Because they are different. Because they see the world with all of the colors, not just black and white, right and wrong, same or different. Looking beyond mental and emotional constraints can produce great innovation.
Here at Sheridan Art & Designs, we embrace the “different”. We purposefully think outside the lines, outside what everyone else is doing, and yet we embrace tradition also. Tradition can co-exist with innovation, peacefully, beautifully. We aspire to change our corner of the world, to a more accepting, less judgmental place. We envision a world where people labels don’t exist. Where no one is frightened (often for their life) to stand up and say, “This is who I am.” In the meantime, while the world continues to evolve, we say, welcome to everyone. We are a safe place in that storm where you can be you, and have a good time doing it. So, we say to the LGBTQ community, fly your flag. Be proud of who you are, be unafraid.
Until next time, just keep sewing.