June’s Warm Welcome: Honoring LGBTQ+ Pride and Progress

June brings in warm weather and with it Pride Month! This month holds a lot of significance as we come together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, honor its rich history, and recognize the strides made toward quality and acceptance. Pride Month is not only a time of celebration but also a reminder of the ongoing journey toward inclusion and respect for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Pride Month started as a way to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which took place in June of 1969. The riots were a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and are widely considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. The first Pride March was held on June 28, 1970, in New York City to commemorate the riots from the previous year. Over the years, the tradition grew and June became recognized as Pride Month. 

Throughout the years, many people have played pivotal roles in securing the rights that members of this diverse community have today. 

Jim Fitterling is the CEO of Dow Inc. In his position, he has championed LGBTQ inclusion within the company and beyond. He was named #1 LGBTQ+ Executive on the “OUTstanding in Business” list in 2018. In 2021 he received the Women Business Collaborative CEO Leadership Award for Gender and Diversity Excellence and in 2022 he was awarded the CME STEM Leadership Award for Diversity & Inclusion. 

Sara Kate Ellis is the President and CEO of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and has had a profound impact on the business world through her work. In her position, she was able to accelerate the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community through a variety of compelling and effective initiatives, campaigns, and programs. Her work earned her various awards most recently, the 2023 Time100 and its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She has also been recognized by Adweek and ADCOLOR’s 2020 Champions of Diversity and Inclusion, Crain New York Business’ 2020 Notable LGBTQ Leaders & Executives, Logo30, Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Webby Awards, Variety’s Power of New York, OUT100, and Guardian’s World Power Pride List.

Martine Rothblatt is the CEO of United Therapeutics and has been a trailblazer in both the biotech industry and the LGBTQ+ movement. She founded Sirius XM and has been a vocal advocate for transgender rights and healthcare access. 

As we reflect on the progress made and the influential figures who have championed the rights and recognition of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s clear that Pride Month is more than just a celebration—it’s a reaffirmation of the values of diversity, inclusion, and equality. Leaders like Jim Fitterling, Sarah Kate Ellis, and Martine Rothblatt exemplify the positive impact that committed advocacy and representation can have in creating more inclusive workplaces and societies.

As we enjoy the festivities of Pride Month, let’s also recommit ourselves to supporting and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community, ensuring that the strides we celebrate today pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow. 

Happy Pride Month!

Rounded T. Clark Headshot


Terrence Clark