Employee Spotlight | Celebrating Pride and Allyship with Jason Green
Why is it important to you to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community? Are there any specific moments that you can point to that either spurred you to speak up or get involved, or that encouraged you to learn more about how you can be supportive?
For me, the idea of being an ally has always fallen in line with the golden rule. How would you want to be treated if you were in a minority group? How would you want your family to be treated?
It became more personal to me when I was entering high school and my brother, who was seven years older, came out as gay when he transferred to NYU. I wasn’t shocked by his announcement and didn’t feel like my relationship with him changed – he was still just my brother. What did change, though, was my exposure to the challenges that those in the LGBTQ+ community can face and my understanding of how his relationship with the rest of the world was affected.
Do you have friends, family or others in your life who identify as gay, trans or queer that have made an impact on you and how you understand their experience in the world?
After I graduated from high school, I took a trip to New York City each year to spend a week with my brother, which gave me the opportunity to experience his life and his community firsthand. I was able to see my brother be his authentic self and totally comfortable in his own skin while not worrying about what other people thought about him.
I grew up in California and always felt that I, and the people around me, were generally accepting and open-minded, but several members of my brother’s community did not have that experience. It changed my perspective in a powerful way to come face-to-face with the very real and very painful experiences that so many in the gay community face. I learned how important acceptance and community really are.
What does being an ally mean to you? How do you demonstrate your allyship?
To me, being an ally means two things. One, I treat my friends, colleagues, and really everyone in the LGBTQ+ community the way I would treat anyone else. Most of my LGBTQ+ friends don’t want special treatment or attention; they just want to live peacefully in pursuit of happiness the way we all do. I think showing compassion, and even just listening, are important.
Two, it’s important to me to call out bigotry and injustices when I see them, even when it’s comfortable. Often it is small acts of discrimination or microaggressions, whether intentional or not, that are the biggest challenges in our everyday lives. Good allies say something and call it out, which I hope will both spur change, and let my LGBTQ+ colleagues and friends know that I am on their side.
Have there been moments during your work at the Clippers where you’ve been proud to work for an organization that values diversity and supports all communities, including the LGBTQ+ community? Can you explain?
As an organization, we talk a lot about the importance of not just diversity, but inclusion, and being intentional about them. It takes a lot of work and consistency, and we will make mistakes along the way, but I am proud to work for an organization that understands and prioritizes the very real positive impacts diversity and inclusion have on our business.
As a leader, it is my responsibility to find ways to make everyone on the team feel like an “insider” within the organization. Leading with empathy and putting myself in the shoes of the people on my team can help open dialogue that makes my colleagues feel seen and heard. I lead with an open mind, and value every single perspective I encounter.
Are there resources that have helped you on your allyship journey that you would like to share with others?
My best resources have been the experiences I’ve had with my brother and other members of the LGBTQ+ community that helped grow my perspective and understanding. I have learned a lot by listening, and by experiencing the world with an open mind.