June is Pride Month, an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. Every LGBTQIA+ community member has a unique story that defines who they are.
To honor this spirit of storytelling, three ServiceNow employees share personal artifacts that have shaped their lives. In doing so, they hope to inspire and encourage others to be their unique selves and follow their dreams, regardless of obstacles.
Teagan L., senior staff engineer, has always been obsessed with airplanes. “I started playing with model airplanes as a young kid and then got introduced to real airplanes when I was 14,” Teagan says. “I recently obtained my commercial and instructor licenses, so now outside of work, you will find me in the sky.”
Teagan flies “Beige Betty,” a 1953 Cessna 170B and a symbol of visibility. “It allows me to be seen and for others to see me and understand that people like us are able to continue doing things, including being a pilot,” Teagan explains. “For me, this is a culmination of all my dreams in life,” they add. “I always wanted to be a pilot since I was a young kid. I finally achieved that goal.”
As is typical, achieving dreams often comes with struggle. “I got my license before coming out as transgender,” Teagan says. “Since coming out, I've spent the last eight months working on renewing my medical certificate, and I’m just about to complete it.”
“The very first time I saw this [ultrasound] picture, I thought, ‘Oh, my God. I'm going to be a mom,’” says Alissa B., senior customer advocacy manager. Seeing her little boy, Jakob, through this picture was an accumulation of a two-year year journey for Alissa and her wife.
“Being in a same-sex relationship has never been a problem for us, but considering having a baby was a difficult decision to make just because you feel like people will judge you. They will ask questions you don't have answers to,” Alissa says.
Now that Jakob has arrived, Alissa concentrates on looking forward. “When Jakob looks back at this video in 20 years, I want him to be proud, and I want him to know that it took a lot of courage [for us] to become first-time mothers,” she says. “But I also want him to know that we love him, whoever he is going to be.”
On Nov. 19, 1997, Kalpana Chawla made history as the first female Indian-born American astronaut to go to space. She inspired a nation and made a huge impact on Karan S., director of outbound product management, who treasures a photo of her.
“Kalpana really inspired me to follow my dreams,” says Karan, who was 10 years old at the time. “I followed [in] her footsteps by leaving India, going to the same school she went to, and pursuing a master's in aerospace engineering just like her. That was a way for me to live my life to the fullest and really work on the passions that I have. I want to inspire other people similarly.”
One way Karan does that is through encouraging others. “I want to give a shout-out to all the LGBTQ kids out there who aspire to be somebody who can make a difference in this world,” he says. “It's easy to feel closeted. It's easy to feel pressured and corralled by society around you. Don't let that discourage you from following your dreams.”
At ServiceNow, we’re proud of our LGBTQIA+ employees. We hope each of these stories energizes and motivates others to pursue their dreams and live their lives to the fullest.
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