Sharing some exciting news of strides and breakthroughs from the LGBTQ+ community.
Before we jump into some of the exciting news and updates from the LGBTQ+ community we would like share some helpful resources from the Human Rights Campaign. As you know here at Steelhead we firmly believe that learners are leaders and know there is always room to learn more about our always evolving LGBTQ+ community.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community now serve in nearly every level of public office.
Congress - There are 11 openly LGBTQ+ lawmakers in the 117th Congress.
House of Representatives - Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) is the first out gay Black man to serve in Congress and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) is the first out gay Afro-Latino member of Congress.
Cabinet - Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in Cabinet.
Senate - Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine is the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.
State Legislators - We now have 175 LGBTQ+ state legislators, which is a 9% increase from 2020.
Leaders in Tech & Science
July 5th, 2018 marked the first International Day of LGBTQ+ People in STEM, where the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math are recognized and applauded.
Angelica Ross, Founder & CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises
Ross an actor, writer, producer and self-taught coder, runs TransTech Social Enterprises, a firm that helps employ transgender people in the tech industry.
Hayley Sudbury, Founder & CEO of WERKIN
WERKIN, a people analytics platform that uses behavioral science to promote diversity, whose nudge technology enhances the visibility of diverse talent.
Jason Grenfell-Gardner, President and CEO, Teligent
Grenfell-Gardner was the very first openly-gay CEO of a publicly traded American corporation (IGI Laboratories), and now at Teligent, ensures that the company welcomes the LGBTQ+ community by establishing corporate nondiscrimination policies and health and family benefits.
Lauren Esposito, Co-Founder of 500 Queer Scientists
Esposito, the world's only expert on scorpions (Arachnologist), created the 500 Queer Scientists network after learning that 40 percent of LGBTQ+ scientists were not out to their colleagues.
Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics
Rothblatt, the creator of SiriusXM Satellite Radio and other countless successful ventures, is the highest-earning CEO in the biopharmaceutical industry, highest-paid female CEO, as well as the highest-paid transgender person in the country.
Peter Arvai, CEO and Co-Founder of Prezi
Via a Forbes article in 2015, Arvai came out publicly as he felt it was important for LGBTQ+ youths to have role models within the fields of entrepreneurship and STEM. Prezi is a software company that specializes in cloud-based presentations.
Openly LGBTQ+ corporate leaders are breaking boundaries, building business, advocating for inclusion, and pushing for equality and more representation.
Arlan Hamilton, Co-founder and CEO of Backstage Capital
Backstage Capital invests in companies led by underrepresented founders including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals. To date, they have raised more than $15 million and invested in more than 150 startups.
Beth Ford, CEO, Land O'Lakes
Ford was named CEO in 2018 becoming the first woman to lead the dairy company in its almost 100-year history. With this appointment, Ford also became the first openly LGBTQ+ woman to helm a Fortune 500 company.
Jen Wong, COO, Reddit
Wong is no stranger to being in the executive ranks at some mega media empires including AOL, Time, Inc and PopSugar. Under Wong's leadership, Reddit is set to reach $262 million in ad revenues this year.
Jim Fitterling, CEO, Dow Chemical Company
Fitterling is a Dow Chemical “lifer” who has spent his entire 35-year career with Dow. Following Tim Cook’s announcement, Jim felt empowered to come out to his entire company on National Coming Out Day in 2014.
Since coming out, he has encouraged other LGBTQ+ employees of Dow to feel more comfortable sharing their sexual orientation and pushed to create and appoint Dow’s first Chief Inclusion Officer.
Throughout history, athletes in many different sports have identified as LGBTQ. Here are just a few crushing their games, breaking boundaries, and paving the way for athletes to come.
Carl Nassib, Defensive End, Las Vegas Raiders
June 21st, 2021 Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. In his public announcement, Nassib also stated that he would be doing his part to cultivate a culture that's accepting, compassionate, and that he would be kicking off his efforts by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project.
Megan Rapinoe, United States Women's National Soccer Team & OL Reign
Rapinoe has been a long-time advocate and supporting voice for many causes including gender equality, equal pay in sport, and social justice. Among the plethora of her social causes, she is also notably an ambassador for the #Proud2Play program, which helps to provide LGBTQIA youths with safe places to play the game.
Orlando Cruz, Super Featherweight champion
To his surprise, given the historically ‘machismo’ centric sport of boxing, his entire network of trainers, managers, sparring partners and beyond did not treat him any differently. His trainers would go on to say that his coming out helped him develop into a stronger fighter.
Cruz defended his title three times, including his 2016 victory in which he dedicated to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, where he himself lost four friends that night.