For Pride Month, ABC11 is taking a close look at why LGBTQ+ terminology matters.
From everyday life to the workplace, we look at the importance of language.
Tim Pulliam moderated the panel discussion with local experts including:
Tayah Butler (she/her/hers): Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at NC State
She considers herself an "adamant advocate" in the workplace for LGBTQ+ equality and representation, writing on the importance of recognizing and honoring pronoun use, for example. Butler is also a member of the Raleigh Chamber Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board.
Jonathan McCorey (he/him/his): Director, GLBT Center at NC State
A former pastor from Winston-Salem, N.C., Jonathan McCorey underwent a spiritual journey in finding his way to understanding his own sexuality and identity. In an interview with NC State News, McCorey spoke about the importance of authorship of one's own story and ownership and visibility of the intersections of one's identities. As a leader for LGBTQ+ youth and faculty on campus, he advocates for meeting people where they are in their journey and allowing them their space to grow.
Andi Espenshade (he/him/they/them): Director of Development for the LGBT Center of Raleigh
After getting their Master of Nonprofit Management in the Pacific Northwest, Andi is back in North Carolina as the Director of Development for the LGBT Center of Raleigh. In this position they seek to bring together their years of fundraising experience with a decade of performing in drag, to ensure that every aspect of the Wake County LGBT community is able to feel seen, welcomed, and appreciated.
Rep. Vernetta Alston (she/her/hers):
In 2017, Alston joined the Durham City Council, working on issues related to affordable housing, civil rights, workers' rights, and city budgeting. She was appointed to the North Carolina state legislature in April 2020 and re-elected to hold her seat in November 2020. She ran on a platform of energy and sustainability, housing rights, education, workers' rights, justice reform, health care reform, and LGBTQ+ inclusion and protection.
Tim was joined by ABC11 Senior Graphic Designer Danny Tulledge and ABC11 Data Journalist Maggie Green.