Pride Month at Jonathan Louis

We embrace diversity and inclusivity year-round, and now we're giving our employees an opportunity to promote it by sharing their unique experiences. This month, we asked a few of our team members to share their perspective on Pride, acceptance, home, and more. 

 

Respect is one of Jonathan Louis's core and founding values. And while in the past silent acceptance was considered sufficiently respectful, we recognize that openly acknowledging and embracing our differences is now key to creating that respectful environment.

Our CEO, Javier Sanchez, notes, "Respecting people's right to be different should not be relegated to just one month. Though the value of Pride month cannot be overstated, we are striving towards an environment in which our employees and customers are free to be proud of their authentic selves every day—Pride should never end."

Reinaldo Cortez

Quality Control Specialist

What does acceptance mean to you? 

 

Acceptance to me means accepting myself for who I am as well as being accepted for who I am by the people who I surround myself with. They accept me for who I am both physically and mentally. 

 

How can people be an ally to the community? What can people do to be better allies?

 

They can take the time to educate themselves about the community and our struggles.. They can learn about how much we've suffered because of not being accepted by society. They can learn about what to do to help us feel accepted and supported. They can treat us as equals, because we are, and we all have the same right to live an authentic life. We never seek to harm anyone by simply being who we are, they can start by understanding that. We only want people to accept us and coexist together, even if they don't personally agree with how we live our life. By simply accepting us, people may just find that we have a lot in common, we're just like any other heterosexual person.  

 

What is your favorite organization? 

Bienestar. It's a community-based social services organization that focuses on addressing the health issues that Latinx and LGBTQIA+ populations commonly suffer from. They provide free testing and offer support to the community. Their goal is also to educate and all of their services are free. 

 

What is your definition of a home? 

 

It's where I'm most comfortable being myself. Home means being surrounded by the people who accept me for who I am without being judged.  

Photo Jun 14, 1 09 14 PM_edited.jpg

Princess Collazo

Product Development Specialist

What does Pride mean to you? 

 

It's a feeling of acceptance within myself and not needing or seeking the approval of others. Being that i am pansexual, it's already difficult for people to acknowledge my sexuality in general. I don't have the time to care about how other people perceive me or my sexuality. 

 

What do you think people can do this pride month and in general to raise awareness about important issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ Community?

 

Let's start with letting people be. Let people express themselves however they feel comfortable, even if it's not something you personally align with. If it's not harming someone else, let people do [it]. 

 

What is your definition of a home? 

It's your safe space. My definition of home is any space where I can freely express who I am, my interests, and the things that are important to me. Home is where I can be around people who support me, it doesn't necessarily have to be where family is. It is any group of people who you've bonded with, and love and care for one another.

 

What is your favorite organization? 

 

The Trevor Project, an organization that aids in suicide prevention and has a hotline that offers help to community members under 25. It also provides information and support to the families of community members that may be struggling. It's a great organization that I fully support.  

Julio Santana

Materials Scheduler

What does Pride mean to you?

 

To me it means being able to be openly gay and not be afraid of what people have to say and think. I'm proud of who I am as a person, independent of my sexuality. I'm proud of the things that I've accomplished and achieved as an openly gay person. 

How is your identity reflected in your style or interior design style?

 

It's a little bit of everything. Feminine and flamboyant. But I also like dressing normally--no nail polish and makeup. I think "gay style" is a stereotype that straight people assign to the gay community.

If you could describe yourself with one color which would it be and why?

 

I would be a neutral color, like a gray...because it's neutral. My personality is strong--I can be goofy, and I can also be very serious, but I can balance all of those qualities at once. I know when to be funny and when to have respect. 

 

 

Of the JL values, (Quality, Respect, Teamwork, Fun, Efficiency, Compassion, and Integrity), which of them speak to you the most? 

 

Compassion is what resonates the most with me. The compassion that Johnny and Javier have for their employees (us). They treat us like family and have never failed to help any of us in a time of need.  

Julio 1.jpg

Erica Rios

Engineering Project Coordinator

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride means being comfortable in your own body and skin. It means being comfortable within yourself as a person, and most importantly not needing to water yourself down so that others will accept you or to make themselves more comfortable.

How can people be an ally to the community?

This might be cliché, but educate themselves and stand up to stigmas/misinformation. Take the time to learn about experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community, their struggles, their fears, their triumphs and tribulations, most importantly their stories. 

How is your identity reflected in your style or interior design style? 

I'm a simple person, so anything with a simple aesthetic/design appeals to me. I also the the outdoors so anything with earthy tones that brings nature inside is usually how I like to set my space up and express myself. 

What is your favorite JL piece/collection?

I think i'm a little biased about this because I have the Nate sectional at home and I love it. It's a huge sectional in Peyton Navy and it fits so many people. My girlfriend and I love having movie nights with our friends on it. 

Julio 2.jpg

Hugo Alvarez

Production Specialist

What does Pride mean to you?

 

Pride means being respected by others for who I am, but also doing the same in return and accepting them for who they are as well. 

What do you think people can do this Pride month to raise awareness about important issues impact the LGBTQIA+ community? What can people do in general?

 

I think people can open up more to the community in general and try to be open-minded towards us and who we are because we are exactly the same as any other person out there. Being an ally is easy because we're simple beings. All we want is to be accepted by society. So long as you accept us, you're an ally. 

What is your favorite LGBTQIA+ organization?

 

Bienestar is also my favorite organization, I love the cause behind it and what they do for our community. 

 

 

What's your definition of a home? 

 

This sounds cheesy, but Jonathan Louis feels like home to me. I love my job and I love being here. I am happy here.

 

  

Interviews been lightly edited for clarity and grammar.

Hugo new_edited.jpg