UScellular Associates Share Their Stories for PRIDE Month
UScellular is committed to a workplace culture that supports and empowers people of all backgrounds and experiences. An inclusive workplace is part of our company culture, and drives the best outcomes for our associates, our customers and our communities.
The LGBTQIA+ community continues to celebrate social and self-acceptance, achievements, legal rights and pride. UScellular supports this journey and helps bring families, friends and allies together in local communities across our footprint.
We spoke with several of our associates who shared their stories of empowerment. They highlight what it’s like to feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to their jobs each day and how they’re giving back to the community.
Kimberly Moore (she/her)
Why did you decide to get involved with Free Mom Hugs?
I found out about this organization in 2018 and immediately gravitated to their mission which is to give hugs, high fives, or words of encouragement to the LGBTQIA+ community at events, specifically people who have been rejected by their families for doing nothing more than being themselves. I have two teenage children, neither of which identify as straight. I have gay friends and lesbian friends. I have trans friends and nonbinary friends. I know their stories of rejection by the people they thought they could trust the most. That’s why this organization is so important to me.
What have you done with the organization? Are there any moments or experiences working with them that stand out to you?
I have stayed engaged with this organization for the last 5 years. Just before Covid, I attended the Pride festival in Kansas City to give out hugs, candy, and stickers. It was by far the most rewarding experience of my life. I give genuine, heavy hugs and some people cried in my arms that weekend. At the end of the festival, I was covered in glitter and filled to the brim with love and pride for the wonderful people I’d connected with.
Why did you decide to get involved with the PRIDE Associate Resource Group?
Of all the Associate Resource Groups at UScellular, Women In Action and Pride speak to me the most. I can’t think of a time in my life that didn’t involve someone from the LGBTQIA+ community. I have learned from them what true kindness, acceptance, and understanding means and I really can’t fathom not being an ally and practicing that allyship every day.
How has UScellular supported an inclusive atmosphere in your opinion?
I appreciate the way UScellular puts inclusion at the forefront. This company does not shy away from partnerships or making public statements that support inclusion. I think it’s more important than ever that we recognize the LGBTQIA+ community.
Ryan Vaught (He, Him)
Retail Area Sales Manager
What is it about the UScellular Associate Resource Group PRIDE community that is important to you?
Our ARG PRIDE community plays a vital role in promoting visibility, acceptance, support, advocacy, empowerment, and celebration for LGBTQIA+ individuals. It creates spaces where people can be their authentic selves, connect with others, gain education and understanding, and work towards a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
In what ways does this community support you in being your most authentic self?
I was given a platform to share my personal coming out story with a large audience. This was a topic I seldom reflected upon or discussed extensively in my personal life. However, seizing that opportunity enabled me to cultivate a stronger sense of self-love and enhanced my ability to convey my story to others, both professionally and personally.
Have there been any other situations at work in which you felt supported?
There have been moments where individuals in the organization who don’t identify with the LGBTQIA+ community have reached out to ask for guidance, how to approach a situation, or looked for personal education. In those moments, there is a sense of feeling supported because it shows me the kindness in others, the open mindedness of others, and how the support for this community has continued to grow.
What piece of advice or wisdom would you share with the larger UScellular community about your experience to help others be their truest self?
My advice is to surround yourself with supportive and accepting individuals because it is crucial for becoming your truest self. These supportive relationships create a safe and nurturing environment where you can freely express your thoughts, emotions, and identity.