Together with Pride: Kier shares how he feels safe to be himself at work and the importance of understanding the history of pride
Throughout Pride Month, we’ll be spotlighting personal and inspiring stories from our 2SLGBTQ+ team members – Here’s Kier’s story.
Kier started at Rogers nearly two years ago in July 2020 as a Video Journalist at CityNews Vancouver. Known for his highly ambitious and adventurous nature, Kier is a extrovert who loves to make people laugh with his dry sense of humour. Growing up with a love for music, Kier played piano, guitar, drums and even went on to front indie rock bands in his 20s before beginning his career in journalism for a music blog in Vancouver. Here’s Kier’s story.
As a journalist at CityNews, you’re encouraged to cover many stories affecting the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Tell us a little bit about why working at CityNews alongside accepting colleagues has enabled you to become your truest self, at work and beyond.
My bosses and former bosses and some of my colleagues are queer. Seeing their happiness in simply existing helped me lean into my sense of queer identity at work. It feels largely safe to be me here. My colleagues shared their own stories of their personal becoming with me, and my connection with these people gave me the courage to come out as bi. As a journalist, my sense of identity encourages me to be myself as I meet people, reduces the posturing often present in professional life, and allows me to focus on connecting authentically with others. That’s more easily done when you have a newsroom culture like ours.
Pride Month is an important opportunity for celebrating the diverse voices in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. How do you believe we can continue to celebrate Pride Month year-long?
Yes, it’s a celebration, but I think people need to be constantly reminded that Pride started as a protest led primarily by people of colour. Today, at worst, it has been co-opted by corporations as a hollow virtue signal. Don’t let Pride stop at a parade’s finish line. We need to continue to put queer issues in people’s faces by publicly demonstrating in ways that may make others uncomfortable. We must do this because our heteronormative society perpetuates prejudice and violence against queer people – and especially against trans people – on personal and systemic levels. I would encourage people to educate themselves on Pride’s origins, include those origins in their understanding of Pride and recognize that queer people are constantly fighting for safety and equity.
Looking back, what is one message you’d share with your younger self about accepting and celebrating yourself as you are.
Coming out is a process. Sometimes part of that process will involve not liking who I am as a queer brown person, and that’s going to hurt in surprising ways. But the alternative is to live a lie. And in my heart, I know the alternative is far more painful.