LGBTQ Pride Spotlights – Abigail Berard

LGBTQ Pride Spotlights – Abigail Berard



How do you celebrate Pride and the LGBTQIA+ community in your daily life?

Pride is a time to celebrate together by advocating for community members, fostering inclusion, fighting for equality, and educating one another.


What LGBTQIA+ mentors have inspired or influenced you and in what ways?

Each of my mentors has struggled with their own self-acceptance and self-worth.  Many of them were not yet comfortable in their skin or were rejected from their families, often forced to move away from home.  Yet this community consistently uplifted me as they bravely faced their struggles often in silence.  The most important mentor to me in the LGBTQIA+ community was by my side through every obstacle I faced in mine, yet he suffered alone. In hindsight, I wondered if I made it clear how much I supported his choices, if I had expressed how nothing changed in the way I felt about him.  Looking back, he and so many others were surrounded by implicit bias and received no support, no safe space, and little to no representation.  Without my friends and family in the LGBTQIA+ community patiently sharing their experiences and pain, I would not understand in the way I do now the weight of one’s words or the power of one’s gaze.  I aspire to be as mentally tough, brave, and selfless as the LGBTQIA+ community and am so grateful for their tolerance with me as I became their ally.


What does “allyship” mean to you and how do you express your allyship for the LGBTQIA+ community?  

Allyship means uplifting the LGBTQIA+ community in the ways they have done for me.  I offer a safe place to share stories and life experiences without judgement and to love without boundaries.  I stand with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).  I support the Equality Act and the crucial protections it provides the LGBTQIA+ community by writing letters to members of Congress.  Donating and voting are ways we all can express allyship for the LGBTQIA+ community, but representation is most powerful.  It can be as simple as playing the board game, The Game of Life; allowing our children to pick who they want to marry and what gender with which they identify. Allyship is a lifelong process, and I believe the more we share with each other and form deep connections based on love and acceptance, the more people will feel comfortable in their skin, and the better our world will be. I support and celebrate with the LGBTQIA+ community now and always!

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