Staff Voice: What Does Pride Month Mean to You?
Pride Month is a time to celebrate the perspectives and experiences of our LGBTQIA+ community members. Today we celebrate this month by lifting the voice and sharing the perspective of staff member Ashe Palmer, Enrollment Program Coordinator here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound.
Interview with Ashe
A lot of our staff are transplants to this region, are you a local or from somewhere else? I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I moved here about a year ago.
How long have you worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound? I moved for this role, although I did start working virtually in this role about 2 months before I moved.
What’s your favorite part of what you do here at BBBSPS? I would say interviewing the Littles. I often-times hear such thoughtful responses from kids on the interview questions. I get to learn how kids feel about their families and adults in their life. We have this question we ask – “If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?” Usually they wish for more money for their family to take them out of struggle, or something to bring joy to their mom or their siblings. It’s really sweet.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work? Outside of work my favorite thing to do is draw. I draw a lot, I love sketching – landscapes, people, animals. My style is a combo of things, little realism, little anime, little comic.
What are you most excited about for the future at BBBSPS? I’ve heard that we’re going to be re-launching gatherings for Bigs like mixers, meet-ups, and stuff. I guess the pandemic closed all that down. Building that support network for Bigs, giving them a space to connect, talk, and share ideas and support each other will be cool.
What does Pride Month mean to you? Definitely means a lot of things. A celebration, a memorial service, a moment to look at how far we’ve come and who made those strides that have carried us to this moment. Pride can be a lot of things to queer and trans folks. I acknowledge Pride as a moment to do outreach to those who are struggling.
Many people in the LGBTQIA+ community have identities that are ignored, or that are really being attacked right now. We’ve made a lot of progress but there’s a lot more to go. From my experience, Pride is a very radical space. It’s a space where we should prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable among us – Black trans women, disabled folks, queer and trans people living on the streets – voices who can be ignored sometimes during Pride. Their voices should be lifted and acknowledged.
You know, across the nation how pride came to be – black and brown people were the folx on the front-lines, trans and gender non-conforming people, folx who were unhoused, were sex workers. People who were “thrown away” by “polite society” – pride exists because of these folx, folx who’ve been erased. There’s this saying “There’s no liberty or freedom for one of us without freedom for all of us.” We want people to be safe, be housed and fed, and to be seen and loved. Pride is an important time to recognize those things, be yourself, be with your loved ones and recharge among those who see you for who you truly are.