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Kharina Pineda6/23/21 12:00 AM5 min read

Celebrating Pride Month at Enervee

Happy Pride Month!

In case you didn’t know, June 1st marks the beginning of a month-long celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is celebrated in June of each year to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It’s a month all about being who you are, loving who you love, and promoting the equality and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in a safe space.

Being a social impact company here at Enervee, we love to celebrate diversity in all aspects. So, as Pride Month comes to an end, we’d like to highlight a few of our employees and their unique backgrounds.

Tore Lopiparo (she/her) - Principal Software Architect and Team Lead

Meet Tore. She is a transgender woman that recently came out to herself and her family last year.

The Journey and Pride Month

When Tore was growing up there was a complete lack of education around anything related to the transgender topic. “Transgender” wasn’t a word yet, and “transsexual” had a negative connotation. This lack of understanding led to her being frustrated and depressed. She’s learned nearly everything she knows about transgender topics in the last year due to the lack of knowledge on the area in schools.

When asked about what Pride month means to her she said,

“Nobody should be ashamed of who they are. Nobody should need to argue for their own validity.”

Pride month is a time to make people aware that discrimination still exists in health care and job equality.

Workplace Inclusion

Using her preferred name and pronouns is essential to feel included in the workplace, as well as treating her with the same respect as anyone else.

“Everyone was very welcoming and supportive when I came out at work,” Tore says. Since the trans community has insecurities with work, it was “pretty great” to have Enervee’s CEO respond with, “that’s just awesome” to her coming out message.

Advice for Others in the LGBTQ+ Community

In the workplace: “Find a company that truly cares about you and other social topics that are important to you. Those companies attract like-minded people.”

In life: “Find a community that you can rely on. Your mental health is important.”

Stoneham Bunting III (he/him) - Director of Customer Operations

Meet Stoneham. A gay, black man who grew up in Oklahoma.

The Journey and Pride Month

Growing up in Oklahoma was difficult for Stoneham due to being gay and black. He was bullied since the first grade because others had assumed he was gay, even though he hadn’t come to terms with it himself. Being both black also played a big factor on how he was treated. He says, “I was bullied by students who were not black for being black, and I didn’t have alot of black friends because people assumed I was gay.”

This continued on to early high school until he became involved in and good at sports. Being involved in sports made his peers think that he might not have been gay, so the bullying generally ended around that time. Stoneham realized his senior year that he was indeed gay, but he didn’t come out for several more years due to how people might have responded. Luckily, most of his family had positive reactions.

For Stoneham, Pride Month is a reminder to be who you are. He’s proud to be in the LGBTQ+ community because, “even without knowing each other's stories, we know how hard it can be. So there is a mutual feeling of respect and community.”

Since his birthday is in June he likes to think of it as a birthday and Pride celebration.

Workplace Inclusion

A big reason Stoneham feels included at Enervee is due to CEO Matthias. “He does a great job of making everyone know they’re all included and all backgrounds are welcome. He’s not afraid to tackle tough conversations,” says Stoneham.

He says one of the main reasons for accepting a job at Enervee is the team. Whenever he goes through an interview process he likes to highlight the fact that he’s gay because he’d rather know early on if people are openminded.

Advice for Others in the LGBTQ+ Community

In life: “Be yourself and be unapologetic about it. Don't worry about what people think because there are people who won’t accept you, but they’re opinion doesn’t matter.”

In the workplace: “Ask tough questions about culture or Diversity and Inclusion programs.

He would also like everyone to know,

“For anyone out there that thinks it’s a choice to be gay or in the LGBTQ+ community, just ask yourself why people would put themselves through the difficulties that come with that. I think that most people don’t realize all of the challenges that come with being gay, black, trans, etc. So, please know that it’s not a choice. Most people wouldn't put themselves through all of the bullying that typically comes with being in the community.”  

Roopali Mehta (she/her) - VP of Finance & People

Meet Roopali. To her, labels aren’t important, but she understands if people want to use them. She says, “a person is who they are, and they love who they love. Who they prefer to be or be with shouldn’t be the only thing to define them.”

The Journey and Pride Month

Roopali grew up in India, where at the time the terms and community around the LGBTQ+ community were virtually non-existent. When Roopali first faced the world outside of India, she felt more accepted and could be part of a community. Even if she didn’t consciously know it, the acceptance in the U.S around the LGBTQ+ community might have subconsciously led her to make the move here, she says.

Roopali loves how Pride is a big celebration of love and equality, but it’s also much more than that since Pride was born in protest. To her, that protest is the core essence of Pride, fighting for liberty and equality for all.  

Workplace Inclusion

She’s proud to work at Enervee because “everyone is welcome and able to be their authentic self and to contribute thoughts and feelings.” Diversity is lived at Enervee, not just talked about, says Roopali.

Advice for Others in the LGBTQ+ Community

Roopali’s best advice for those in the community is to trust what they feel.

“Don’t doubt that who you are or what you feel is wrong because you don’t see it as commonplace or accepted in your environment. Reach out. Don’t think you are alone in this. Don’t ever give up on believing in yourself because you will find others that will believe in you too.”

To learn more about LGBTQ+ rights and donate to celebrate Pride month check out The Trevor Project, Center for Black Equality, Human Rights Campaign, and this list of LGBTQ+ organizations.

If you want to be a part of a workforce that welcomes and accepts all, check out our career page.