Pat Baillie, Out & Equal Director of Training & Professional Development, will be contributing to the Out & Equal blog while she is on the road for a month, traveling and training.
by Pat Baillie | Yesterday was a busy day, as I finished up my list of “to do” things that needed to be done in the office. By the end of the day, I seemed to be moving more things over to my “I can do that on the flights” as I started my travel list.
I will not be back at the Out & Equal offices in San Francisco until July 25. I always try to set up trips so that I can get maximum opportunities to connect with companies when I am on the road. This time, I think I outdid myself – 35 days on the road will be a new record for me! Out of all the staff at Out & Equal, I am probably one of the top 3 staff that travels, and I love it. This trip will be a chance to combine work and vacation…but more on that later…today I will be focusing on getting ready!
I had started packing early, but was making the last decisions last night on “should I take more of___?” or, “will I really need this?” I was pleased when I got to the airport this morning at 4:30 am that the suitcase weighed in at 43 pounds. I do plan on having the cultural experience of doing laundry along the way, so I had officially completed the planning and preparation stage. I grabbed breakfast at the airport and settled in to catch up on reading and checking email.
One of the first articles I read was from the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER – the LGBT Veterans organization). They announced that this year, just months after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, that the Pentagon would be celebrating LGBT Pride. I spent a year working at the Pentagon when I was in the Air Force, and they know how to do ceremonies. I imagined seeing rainbow flags in the those halls I walked so often and realized what this must mean to LGBT service members (I know transgender service members aren’t protected yet, but I want to be sure to include the need to keep pressing on to address those issues, even as we celebrate advances on sexual orientation).
It’s amazing to watch the progress, and I hope that the ceremony will also start to recognize the active LGBT leaders that worked so hard both inside and outside the military for so many years. I also smile at those who aren’t here fighting the fight anymore, who I hope will be able to know what a difference they made!
So, I will continue reading and catching up and reflecting about the state of LGBT workplace equality in this blog as I get the chance to experience new perspectives and insights. The photo you see is at the gate in Los Angeles as I wait for the my flight to New Orleans. I am speaking tomorrow at Entergy’s Conference on Diversity, and will be giving them the Out & Equal perspective on LGBT cultural competency and building allies in their workplace. I have included here a Ally Tips and hope you can share them with your organizations!
Until then, I will be wifi-ing in the sky!