Editor’s Note: Pride is celebrated around the world every June. This month reflects the years that the LGBTQ+ community fought for civil rights and celebrates the powerful progress of the community today. Together, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community this Pride Month and every day as we carry out our value of Championing People. To celebrate and promote allyship, we will be featuring employees who identify as LGBTQ+ so we can continue to listen, learn, and support the outside community from within.
To kick off our Pride Month Employee Spotlights, we are featuring our Social Media Advisor, Rick Cervantes. As a highly involved member of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community, Rick serves on the Kiwanis Club of Hillcrest All-Inclusive Chapter and the Red Dress Party San Diego and always shines a light on the LGBTQ+ community wherever he goes.
Here’s what Rick had to say in our Pride Month Q&A:
What's your favorite part about working at SDG&E?
I love working for this company because I feel that my authentic self is truly supported. SDG&E doesn’t just “celebrate” Pride with empty words and rainbows - they mean it. I am empowered to bring my lived experiences to the table to help humanize our brand so that it reflects the communities we proudly serve.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Pride Month is such a special time to me. Besides all the rainbows and celebrations, it really is a time for me to reflect on how far I have come. It has been a long journey to get to the place I am at now, a place where I have come into my power to embrace my identity as a first-generation gay Mexican American communications professional. I celebrate this during Pride Month and strive daily to inspire and offer hope to our LGBTQ+ youth, whose voices often don't get amplified enough.
One of the most difficult challenges for LGBTQ+ youth is the question of family acceptance. What advice would you give to those who are finding it difficult to live their authentic self?
There was a time when I felt that I would never get to be myself. While I feel a great deal of love and acceptance from my family now, it wasn't always that way. It was pretty painful when I first came out, and I actually moved to San Diego 16 years ago to be in a place where I could be free. To the LGBTQ+ youth, I want them to know that it will be okay, and it does get better. They will get to a place where they can live their authentic lives and thrive! A whole community is rooting for them!
Thank you, Rick, for everything that you do for both SDG&E and the LGBTQ+ community!