Some thoughts on Pride in 2022

Pride 2022

Happy Pride Month!

I’m proud to be a member of this global and inclusive Agile community–a thriving and diverse community of over 72,000 people who help people realize their full potential as we explore, apply, and expand Agile principles and values. Thank you for encouraging me to bring my whole lesbian self to this community and to proudly serve as your board chair and celebrate Pride month with you!

Since the start of the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement over 50 years ago, Pride marches, parades, and celebrations have emerged around the world, typically in June, to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York City.

Pride is the promotion of the dignity, self-affirmation, and equality of humans who happen to identify as LGBTQ+. For me, Pride Month is a time for both celebration and reflection.

  • When I first started marching for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community in the ’70s, homosexuality was effectively “illegal” in the United States. It was not until 2003 that the landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas effectively decriminalized homosexual relations nationwide.
  • When I met my wife 32 years ago, there was no legal recognition of same-sex marriage anywhere in the world. The Netherlands was the first country to broaden marriage laws in 2001. Today there is legal recognition of same-sex marriage in 31 countries.
  • When I started my career in 1981, I could legally be fired for being gay. I served as an openly lesbian CIO at USAA from 2010 to 2016. During my entire tenure, I could legally be fired for simply being gay. For simply being who I am. It was not until 2020 that the SCOTUS ruled that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.

Some pause for concern

Yes, there is much to be proud of this Pride Month. There is much to be worried about, too. The fight for LGBTQ+ rights is FAR from over. On March 28, 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which says public school teachers may not instruct on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades kindergarten through third grade.

Rights that many of us have enjoyed most of our lifetimes in the United States–civil, voting, reproductive, women’s, and marriage rights –are systematically being taken away. In many countries, these basic human rights are also being taken away and, in some cases, have never been granted to significant segments of the world’s population.

Today, there are 69 countries that have laws that criminalize homosexuality. The death penalty is the legally prescribed punishment for same-sex sexual acts in six countries. Let that sink in.

Celebrating Pride Month

I’ll celebrate Pride this month by marching for LGBTQ+ rights. I march because I can. I march for those who can’t. I march because none of us is safe anywhere in the world until all of us are safe everywhere in the world.

I’ll also celebrate Pride this month by reflecting on our amazing global Agile community–a community that is committed to helping people and organizations THRIVE, a community that encourages and supports diversity, equity, and inclusion of all humans. All the time.

Sitting to Take a Stand

I’m very proud to invite everyone who’s attending Agile2022 in Nashville to join us at Agile Together on Tuesday evening, July 19th, as we Sit to Take a Stand for DE&I in Agile. We all have a story about the need to include all voices and perspectives in the Agile community. I invite you to #sittotakeastand on the red chair and share your story about DE&I in Agile.

Yes, at its core, Agile is about changing human behavior and how we interact with each other. It’s about uncovering better ways of doing things and helping others to do it. It’s about respect. It’s about courage. It’s about encouraging and supporting all people to realize their full potential.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They may not represent the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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Heidi Musser

Heidi Musser

As a senior Executive, I have spent over 30 years leading and advising businesses on designing new operating & engagement models to drive digital transformation and achieve operational excellence and enterprise agility. My passion is 'managing the soft side of technology'© – through the adoption of fundamentally different ways of working, thinking and being. I am recognized by industry peers for my contributions and thought leadership on the topics of enterprise agility, design thinking, and…

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