by Doug Melroe
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Doug Melroe and I am the Super PROUD Gay Guy at The Firm that over shares and under dresses.
Being OUT and PROUD is not always easy for everyone. It takes time, love and acceptance. For me, it was easy because in 1986 I was hired by The Firm and immediately felt like I was not alone. I had found a family. Looking back on what Pride means to me has changed over the past years, but has also stayed the same because The Firm has always been a part of my Pride and I have always had a family that believed in me.
From day one, The Firm was considered a safe place to be Open. We used to call the guys “Mister Sisters” because they would come in a suit and tie from their day jobs, and leave in short shorts and a tank top. It still happens today, only the shorts are not as short. Everyone was not only accepted but appreciated, and we created a community…a family of people who just wanted to be the best they can be. “Driven by Pride, Passion and Love, building community one name at a time”… It’s not only built into our mission, but also our building.
What I love about Pride is that I get to see so many people of all genders, sexual preferences and ethnicities being proud and happy, TOGETHER. Pride is a powerful thing. You can be proud about anything—from your nationality to your ethnicity, your gender to your sexuality. You can even be proud about things that you get to decide and control: such as your religion, your career or even your Health club.
In the past we have had Pride themes such as:
· Disco (So much sequence and glitter)
· Rock Stars (Because we are all truly Rock Stars)
· Construction (When The Firm was moving to our current location)
· Soldiers of Love (When we were fighting for equal rights…not special rights)
· Rainbows and Unicorns (Because who doesn’t love Rainbows and Unicorns?)
This year our Pride theme is “Wings”. Why Wings you ask? Because Wings can lift you up and take you to a higher place, just like The Firm does. Wings remind you of the people who paved the road for you to be PROUD and who now have real Angel Wings. Wings are like butterflies and Fairies and represent the Magic of Pride weekend. The Firm is a place where magic happens, and you can Fly.
Although the meaning of Pride has changed for some, the principals and mission of The Firm have not. At The Firm we celebrate Pride 24/7/365 days a year. It’s not just a weekend, but a way of life and how we treat each and every one. Every Day.