As an extension of our 8 Questions With… series, we want to keep sharing more about our fellow Adludians. In the name of pride month, we want to honour those that work for Adludio and are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Some of our team wished to share their personal stories and experiences. In this article we will hear from: 

Ian Lesser - Originally from Texas. Married. Sr. Director of Operations - US

 Mauricio Oliveira, originally born in Brazil with Italian dual nationality, Programmatic Campaign Manager - UK. 

Frank Lione, Account Executive, has met Anderson Cooper (from a distance), iced coffee drinker, can’t drive - US

What does the word “inclusion” mean to you?

Ian “Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. Inclusion promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living.”

Mauricio “Inclusion means being part of a community and the dissemination of values ​​such as diversity, ethics, and respect for people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.“

Frank “Inclusion to me has always meant equal opportunity and visibility. I think it’s important for people to avoid performative tokenism, and instead work on removing implicit bias. That way we can look at our offices, classrooms and friend groups and see a more representative image of the world we live in.” 

Have you ever heard of a story about an LGBT person facing discrimination in your country, or have you personally been discriminated against? 

Ian “I am fortunate that I have never been someone who has personally been discriminated or threatened against at any stage of my life for being gay. However; I have a very vivid memory of growing up in suburbia Houston, Texas and two boys who were younger than me (friends with one another) consistently being ridiculed and laughed at for being “different” which was code for gay.” 

Mauricio “Luckily, I have never faced any kind of discrimination because of my sexual orientation, in my personal or professional life. However, is worth mentioning that despite being known as an open-minded country and hosting the world's largest LGBT Pride celebration, Brazil is still reported to have the highest LGBT murder rate in the world. “

Frank “Sure, I’ve heard of plenty. Unfortunately, I think it’d be very hard not to, but discrimination stems from discomfort and the U.S. has come a long way in terms of public comfort with LGBT folks. The Supreme Court ruling that the Civil Rights Law protects LGBT workers was an incredible step for us, but there’s still a lot of work to be done!” 

Can you briefly describe some of the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people who are important to you in your life?

Ian “Larry Kramer - Outspoken AIDS activist and writer.  Randy Shilts - Writer of “And the Band Played On”. Barbara Gittings - Started the LGBT civil rights movement” 

Mauricio “For me, there isn’t just one special personality, but everyone that advocates for equality, diversity, and inclusion at work and in society. I am happy to see every day more gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people represented in media.” 

Frank “I’ve been lucky enough to have very strong LGBT role models in my life. All of my best friends are either a part of the community or allies to it, and they continue to push me to learn more about our history and actively work to pave a better path forward.”

How did you celebrate Pride this month?

Ian “Spent the day with my husband while watching the NY LGBTQIA+ parade in the comfort of my home and a nice dinner” 

Mauricio “I celebrated on the day that the London pride was supposed to take place with a small gathering of friends - my household and our support bubble - in our garden and following the government guidelines.” 

Frank “A few friends and I rented a “pride cabin” in the poconos and celebrated by the lake!”