We are excited to introduce ALKU’s newest PRIDE Leader, Staff Accountant II, Alyssa Anderson! Check out the answers Alyssa provided below!
How long have you been a member of PRIDE?
I have been a member of PRIDE since I joined ALKU full-time in 2020. Since I started, we have had more members join. It is so nice to see the group grow, and I can’t wait to grow more over the next couple of years!
What motivated you to become a leader of PRIDE?
I am a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Some of the people I have met through different LGBTQ+ organizations have radically changed my life. I have created a chosen family within that community. Without some of these people, I do not know where I would be in my own life and how I would have overcome some of the obstacles I have faced. It is so important for people in the community to see themselves reflected in workspaces, academia, and media. As a kid, I did not experience a lot of LGBTQ+ representation in my life and relationships. As a lesbian and gender non-conforming person, I wanted to make sure that at ALKU, we as an ERG are creating a space at work for members of the ALKU community that are also a part of the LGBTQ+ community to feel seen, heard, and appreciated.
What advice would you give someone interested in joining or learning more about this ERG?
I would tell them that PRIDE is a safe space where we come together to amplify our collective voice within the ALKU community and work to uplift each other day to day. As an ERG, we are always welcoming to anyone in the community who would like to join, and we want to support and understand each other’s unique stories. I would tell anyone interested in PRIDE that they are always welcome to inquire to learn more about our ERG, and as a community, we will show up and celebrate any new members, no matter where you are in your journey.
What do you hope the future of PRIDE will bring?
I am hoping the future of PRIDE will bring growth! I think as a company, there are a lot of lessons about community, empowerment, resilience, and strength that we can learn from the LGBTQ+ community. I hope to expand these ideals to the ALKU community and make our presence known within the LGBTQ communities near our offices to hopefully expand our ERG and see more LGBTQ+ people in the company.
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, how can others be a better ally to employees in this ERG?
Take the time to get to know us and work to learn and understand our experiences! Each of us in PRIDE has our own stories that may affect our day-to-day roles. As an ally, the best thing you can do is be someone who makes it known that you are accepting and that you are working to understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ people, even though that may not be your own experience.
Who are some of your LGBTQIA+ role models?
There are so many! Anyone who is not afraid to break gender stereotypes is a huge role model for me. I love Jonathan Van Ness because who could not! I am also a big fan of Pheobe Bridgers, Hunter Schafer, Emma D’Arcy, and Elliot Page. I am drawn to anyone who exists outside of the typical gender norms and allows others who feel the same to feel seen.
I am also a huge fan of queer authors like Jeannette Winterson, who wrote “Oranges are not the Only Fruit”, which documents her experience as a queer person growing up in a religious environment, and Melissa Febos, who wrote some amazing books about growing up as a queer woman.
However, my biggest role models are people with whom I share my community within my day-to-day life: members of PRIDE, my friends, my family members, and anyone brave enough to show up authentically as themselves!
For ALKU’s LGBTQIA2S+ employees to share experiences, provide fellowship and support, enhance career and personal development, and contribute to ALKU’s vision and values. This group is a safe space to meet and discuss life both inside and outside of ALKU.