June is a month of many milestones for me. It is the month of my birthday, the month of my wedding anniversary, and many others.
It's also for many, including myself, the month where members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrate themselves and honor those who, through a lot of hard and painful work, paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community to be proud of who we are. I also view June as a month to remind yourself to not let others define who you are.
June reminds me each year of how lucky I am and how lucky I am to have a supportive family, a loving husband, and to have grown up in a community overwhelmingly supportive of who I am and of who I have become.
This is not true for everyone, however, which breaks my heart. In a world that is seemingly more divided and dismissive than ever, it is sometimes easier to conform, easier to try to fit in, than to exalt in being different.
Legal tech attracted me because of the inherent nature of the legal tech community. The people within this space are driven by a desire to question the status quo and to try doing things differently in ways both large and small. This endeavor to be different accounts for why the community also embodies a strong sense, at least for me, of welcoming, inclusiveness, and empathy. These same traits are hallmarks of how I seek to be and of the company that I work for.
I long struggled to be myself out of a fear of being alone, a fear of being excluded rather than included, and a sometimes-overwhelming fear of being excluded and of making things harder for myself. By coming out I did make things harder for myself in some ways in that I needed to have the same conversation with many about who I was and why that was the case. At the same time, I made things much easier for myself by not carrying the emotional baggage of hiding who I was and what I felt deep inside and, most importantly, simply being me and not trying to hide it or shy away from it.
I see the legal tech community as one that purposefully pursues challenges, and often demands having the same kind of conversation repeatedly. It also, however, shares something else in common, a desire to help others, a desire to be there for others, and a desire to inform and inspire others. I, for one, wholeheartedly encourage it to continue doing so.
During the month of June, I encourage you to take the time to reach out to others and learn more about them, listen to them, and support them.
You may find that you have more in common with someone else than you may think or your reaching out may be just what that someone else needs to propel themselves forward, onward, and upward in the trajectory that is life.