In celebration of Pride Month, we are proud to share several stories from LGBTQ2S+ identifying members of our Fresh City family.

#loveislove #freshcitypride 

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Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion at Fresh City
- Abra Snider, Chief Operating Officer

Read Abra's blog post here... 

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Valuing the Diversity of Families
- Joey Balthazor, Produce Purchaser 

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When I realized that I was bisexual, I was happy. Truly. 
- Julia Campbell, Fresh City Marketing Intern

I had found a community. The LGBTQ2S+ community is a group of people of all different ethnicities and experiences and abilities and expressions. It’s a community of people who are different and are proud of it. A community of people who are brought together by solidarity and the celebration of our differences.

Upon coming out, I realized that I don’t want to be the same as everyone else - I never have. I just want to be proud of my differences and be loved for them, rather than in spite of them. .
That’s why, for me, Pride is all about recognizing diversity and celebrating it. Pride is about telling the world “I’m not ashamed of who I am. I am the unique product of every part of my identity, and I love every part, for better or for worse.” It’s about saying “I’m not ashamed, and you shouldn’t be either.” Pride is about celebrating every part of a person, from sexuality to gender to race to ethnicity to religion to body shape to disability to socioeconomic status to age to life experience. Pride is about creating a safe space for everyone, whether they are out, hoping to come out, or choose to never come out. Pride is about being critical of the past and hopeful for the future. Pride is about saying that diversity makes us stronger and then going out and proving it. 

Today, I have a community of LGBTQ2S+ friends, mentors, and allies. I am fortunate to have wonderfully supportive parents. I have co-workers who value diversity and have always made me feel safe to bring my authentic self to work. I’m completely out at school and am working in an elected position where I can advocate for Inclusion, Diversity and Holistic Health to the broader Ivey and Western community. This past April, I went to a conference on Wall Street with 300 other queer business students. This weekend, I’m going to march in my first Pride Parade. 

If you had asked sixteen year old Julia, she never would have guessed that this would be my path. But at twenty years old, I’m bisexual, I’m proud, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Have a safe & Happy Pride!
Julia

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A new life for “trash” 
Hannah Conover-Arthurs, Fresh City Cook

This garbage queen costume was all about finding a new life for the things we consider "trash". A sustainable future depends on our relationship with waste. I'm proud to march for the continued fight for sustainability, diversity and social justice. The energy of the city was so infectious, I couldn't have had a better time at Pride 2019!

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An Inclusive Workplace Makes Me Feel Like I Belong
- Katheline Visande, Healthy Butcher Personal Shopper

As a young member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have never felt more welcomed in a professional working environment. I’ve worked many different jobs where I have not felt comfortable being fully transparent with myself towards my colleagues. When I first started working at the Healthy Butcher, I kept my personal life private as I was scared to be alienated just like every other workplace I’ve been in. After only a short time, I have come to learn that not only is the Healthy Butcher transparent about the source of their meat, they are also transparent with their staff in cultivating a work culture that embraces all! I have easily recognized that my colleagues fully support a working environment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. I no longer feel pressured to conceal my truest self.

Pride month is important to remember all the strides we have taken as a society, especially with regards to our place in the workforce. Today, many people have equal opportunities for advancement regardless of their sexual orientation, age, or gender. There is still much more progress to be made, however, organizations such as the one I am proud to represent provide a sense of hope for what the future may hold for equality in the workplace. I think it is safe to say that working at a place where you are fully accepted encourages one to be the best version of themselves and reach their fullest potential.

At the Healthy Butcher, the staff have never shown indifference towards any workers or customers. I am grateful to be working with such amazing colleagues who have truly nurtured and supported an inclusive environment where everyone is assured that they are equally as important. Happy pride month to all and may everyone celebrate their own uniqueness!