By Rachael Cain
Hi everyone! I’m a lesbian and Texas expat, and I joined Duane Morris about three months ago. I’ve worked at a few different firms, and one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is being able to be myself at work. In my personal life, I’ve always been open about my sexuality, but I haven’t always been comfortable being out at work. Especially in Texas, I had to be careful about who I shared my personal life with, and I’ve had to deal with some people who don’t understand or accept LGBTQ people. For example, when I was married to my ex-wife in Texas, I didn’t tell my firm because I felt fairly certain that they would find some excuse to fire me if they knew I was a lesbian.
I came to New York specifically to find the elusive “queer community” and to live in a place that accepted me for who I am. And I have found that! I started two lesbian social groups (hit me up to join my Lesbian Walking Club!), enjoy frequenting a wealth of gay establishments, and have made a ton of queer social connections. However, I still wasn’t connecting my queer personal life in any way to my employment until I joined Duane Morris. When I came on board here, I was delighted to find a huge and active LGBTQ group already existed, and they routinely took on initiatives like pro bono representation, diversity retreats, and happy hours. They actively encourage people to think up new activities and support them in implementation. And not only did Duane Morris Pride immediately embrace me into the group, the firm’s straight counterparts celebrate and support their LGBTQ members. I finally feel like I can be myself at work, and I’ve been motivated to make more queer networking connections, seek out and perform pro bono work helping our community, and start a group specifically for queer lawyers. I’m also learning a lot and I’m excited about the future.
Pride is our time to celebrate our community and reflect on progress that has been made. For me, this month is a time to reflect with gratitude on the opportunities and acceptance now available to me. I’m thrilled to be working at a firm known for its diversity and inclusion, and that values all its employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Happy Pride!