Celebrating Pride Month 2023: Arianna Camero
“My message for anyone who is an ally or a part of the LGBTQ+ community is the best thing you can do is support each other, uplift each other, and love each other. These three things can go a long way in creating a motivating environment where we can all learn from one another,” notes Arianna Camero, TouchPoint Patient Flow Manager, one of several extraordinary associates Compass Group is shining a spotlight on during Pride Month.
“Most people try their hardest to refrain from using offensive language, but there are many times where innocent language can make people uncomfortable and feel excluded in the workplace. One of the best ways associates can be an ally to LGBTQ+ colleagues is understanding the inclusive language that is used throughout the community, such as partner, used in terms to reference a significant other, or other inclusive words such as colleagues, team, people, or spouse. Using terms like this can help ensure that everyone feels respected and included. As our society continues to change, asking questions and staying informed will be the best way that we can all promote a diverse, loving, and respected community.
“My first day at Touchpoint, I had lunch with my director, Clinton Flynn, so we can start to get to know each other and how we operate. I mentioned my girlfriend at the time, now wife, in terms of her being my partner. Clinton didn’t miss a beat and asked, “How is she doing? What does she look like? How long have you been together?” I was shocked by his welcoming response as I had not experienced such genuine normalization in my community, especially coming from a small-town and church background, and that was just the starting point!
“Any time I mention my wife or my sexual orientation to the team, they have been always genuinely receptive and made sure I felt comfortable. If unsure, they have asked me questions on what’s appropriate to say. This type of culture is one of the main reasons that I am strongly motivated to create an inclusive and familial team.
“My mom has always been supportive and loving and instilled a lot of confidence in who I am as a person. We attended church regularly and always conducted bible study as a family. This was also a moment for us to talk over any concerns and learn how to work through them. The congregation my family were apart of was also a very supportive and family-like environment, allowing room for creativity and vulnerability.
“When I came into adolescence, I had my first crush on a girl. I was terrified and felt that there might be push back. My mom was the first person I came out to and she embraced me with open arms. The way she viewed me didn’t change at all. She was just happy that I felt comfortable to tell her. My excitement caused my mom and I to have a conversation with our ministry leaders. They told tell my mom that it was wrong to be gay and gave us an ultimatum, to leave the congregation or try and change who I am. My mom stood beside me, and we left our congregation.
“This took a toll on my emotional state and my confidence as I had to leave my friends that grew up with me. I don’t believe I would have gotten through this period of finding myself if it was not for my mom and her total support. Her loving support put me in amazing situations, and some were the reason I found my wife and I am confident in any setting or environment.”
Thank you, Arianna, for sharing your story during Pride Month with Compass!