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June is Pride Month, a month-long awareness initiative and celebration of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) community. NSM is excited to recognize Pride month and honor what it means to our team members. Throughout the month we will include personal stories from employees discussing what Pride means to them.

The first of these stories, included here, was submitted by Nashville A/R Specialist, Scott Spigna.

For me, Pride Month is about inclusion and celebrating our differences and diversity. I have always loved Pride festivals, but what I love more is seeing our allies there, seeing everyone celebrating. It’s not just for the gay and lesbian community anymore, and I like seeing how it has grown beyond that. There are just as many allies participating these days.

I lived on the West Coast for so many years, and I was a little anxious to move from Portland, Oregon, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and eventually to Nashville. I always felt very accepted at NSM, even more so than other companies I was with than when I was on the West Coast. I never felt like I had to hide anything.

I have never really been an activist, but I hope that many of the young people who go to Pride festivals and see all the benefits that we have recognize that it didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a struggle for so many years, and I wish I had been more of an activist. I have volunteered with a lot of organizations in Nashville, but I want the community to recognize that it took a lot to get here and there’s still work to do. So, Pride Month is a good time to reflect on the people who have really fought to make these rights more ostensible to us.

I got involved in the community in Nashville after my partner of 17 years passed away in 2016. That’s when I joined a lot of community organizations and started helping with Pride festivals and other events and activities. I volunteered with AIDS foundations through the years and volunteered with Nashville OutCentral, a community center where they had shows and speakers, before it closed. I also used to be a part of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Nashville, and their main goals were to promote gay-owned businesses and recruit allies in business for support in the community. They also keep up with laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ employees and work with continued improvements.

Overall, culture is more accepting now. I’ve seen changes in the interactions I have with people in the community. Even 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have seen groups getting together and everyone interacting as much—gay couples, their allies, straight friends. It just seems more open and accepted now, or it’s not even an issue. 

But I am always mindful of the times past when people couldn’t be as open. I feel for that time and those people. When I think about pride, it makes me appreciate how much we have now.

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