Celebrating 50 Years of Pride

A commitment to inclusion and diversity was a major reason I decided to work at the San Francisco Fed. I applied for my position in 2018 and felt at home when I saw a blog post of a human Pride banner. Employees had gathered to hold ribbons and form a rainbow flag in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month. I learned it was a yearly event started and shared with the public in 2016 as a reflection of the organization’s values. In that moment, I knew I’d be able to bring my most authentic self to work. It sounds so simple, but I could do my job, move my career forward, and have the full acceptance of my peers.

In 2020, I’m the co-chair of our 12LGBTQ employee resource group.

Co-chair. In 2020. During a global pandemic. Oh, and it happens to be the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Pride marches in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. No pressure.

So, how to we ensure employees Pride is not cancelled? How do we celebrate at home?

Rainbow lights at San Francisco headquarters continue to illuminate Market Street’s downtown corridor throughout June, providing safety and delivering a message of acceptance to all who walk by our front doors.

SF Fed Pride Month lights
SF Fed Pride Month lights

We hosted virtual Pride happy hour—welcoming our community, their significant others, pets, and families. Our intranet is full of stories that remind our employees that equality, acceptance, and progress tell the story of our District. That we are an integral part of the fabric of the communities we serve, and we are, in fact, stronger together.

We are lucky to work at an organization that

  • Earns a perfect score from the Human Right Campaign for LGBTQ equality.
  • Encourages the use of preferred pronouns, including in our email signatures, so we are all respected as individuals.
  • Offers gender-neutral paid parental leave benefits.
  • Connects you with mentors who have walked the path before. Thanks to a mentor, I know the power of courage and acceptance, and that hiding aspects of my identify would hinder my career growth.

Although we can’t be together in person this year, I feel fortunate we can celebrate Pride and support our communities together. Thanks for being here with us.

Chris Wong is co-chair of the San Francisco Fed’s 12LGBTQF employee resource group.

Banner image credit: Emilija Randjelovic via iStock.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.