By Phil Schraeder


What does Pride month mean to you and how has it changed for you over the years?

PRIDE always sparks reflection. Reflection on my personal journey and all the emotions and
feelings, good and bad. PRIDE always sparks gratitude. Gratitude to all who
have come before me, to all of our allies, and for how my experience as a gay
man shaped who I am. PRIDE always sparks hope. Hope that we can do more to make
all people feel comfortable to live their truth and feel loved and supported.

How has coming out shaped your life and/or your identity?

A picture is worth a 1000 words…it opened me up to a whole world and to myself.

Is there anything you wish you could say to those who strive to be effective LGBTQ+ allies?

Be authentic. Remember words matter. Many people in my community struggle silently at all ages…what you say or don’t say could save someone’s life.