Employee Spotlight | Celebrating Pride and Allyship with Marissa Mendoza
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?
It’s important to me because I want to be a supportive and understanding sister, friend and family member. I want to continue to educate myself and others and be a good example to future generations. The LGBTQ+ community faces many challenges, injustices, and inequalities. Even today there are still a lot of states and countries that don’t support the basic rights of the LGBTQ community. I will never be able to fully personally understand what each LGBTQ+ individual goes through or has gone through as a result, and that alone makes me want to learn how I can be a better ally. Knowledge and education are so important to helping me understand, better relate to and support my LGBTQ+ friends and family members.
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?
I’m very close with my brother, who is gay, and I have aunts, cousins, friends and others in my life who are members of the LGBTQ+ community as well. They’ve each had very different experiences.
What does being an ally mean to you? How do you demonstrate your allyship?
Being an ally to me means being supportive, accepting, and caring about the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people. I demonstrate this by showing up, staying informed, supporting equality, and speaking up when necessary.
Outside of your personal relationships, are there any moments in your life, in pop culture (like a concert or TV show) or cultural event for example, that have inspired you to support and encourage LGBTQ+ pride?
Recently, I watched several films that taught me about the struggles that many LGBTQ+ people experience today or have experienced in the past. Those films made me want to become even more informed, to help me be a better sister, friend, and ally. I have learned a lot from my gay, lesbian, bi, queer, and transgender friends and family members, but those films made me realize there is so much more to know and so many more ways to be supportive.
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?
I am most proud of the Clippers for bringing awareness to the LGBTQ+ community, hiring a diverse group, and bringing in resources and speakers for employees in recent years. I’m grateful because I believe the more informed we all are the better this world will be. One recent example: Last year our team got together in the middle of the pandemic to protest and wear our PRIDE shirts.
Are there resources that have helped you on your allyship journey that you would like to share with others?
There are so many resources available these days to educate us, including films, articles, websites, social media, groups and so much more. Personally, I think the Trevor Project is a great resource because mental health is incredibly important, especially to the LGBTQ+ community.