We Have Always Been and Will Always Be 

LGBTQ+ History Month and National Coming Out Day (October 11) serve as important reminders of who we are as a community, the power and bravery we hold, and the Queer joy that drives us forward. 

We are grateful to the headline-making trailblazers, advocates, leaders, and the courageous people from all communities and walks of life who proudly and boldly came out to say we are here, we are valid, and we belong. 

As we reflect on the larger history of our community and celebrate the movement-making moments, let’s also be sure to acknowledge the significance of the everyday acts of authenticity and courage that have moved us all forward. 

We are a community that has shown we are unstoppable. And while the active efforts, across the United States and around the globe, to silence and erase LGBTQ+ people may frustrate and concern us, our community must always remember that our strength, beauty, and resilience is unrivaled. When faced with adversity, we have shown time and again that we will come back stronger than before.  

To those who are out and to those who are just beginning their journey, know that you are loved, valid, and seen.  

A Celebration of Strength, Resilience, and Unity

It was just three weeks ago that Out & Equal hosted our annual Workplace Summit within the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. 


The largest LGBTQ+ workplace equity event in the world, this year’s Summit brought together-in-person and virtually-more than 5,000 executives, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) practitioners, Employee Resource Group (ERG) leaders and members, and influencers for multi-day programming that included knowledge and best practice-sharing, workshops, special events, networking, and celebration.

Four days of programming curated by Out & Equal brought together influential thought leaders, global subject matter experts, and more than 300 Partner organizations inclusive of the world’s most notable Fortune 500 companies, for more than 90 panels and interactive workshops.

"Summit is a powerful and uniquely transformative experience, which serves as an opportunity to come together as a collective community, celebrate Queer joy and representation, reclaim the movement, and accelerate our work. It’s a platform to counter the noise and false narratives. It’s a reminder that we are not going anywhere, and that, while forces may attempt to exclude and erase us, we are here and always will be."

- Erin Uritus (she/her), Chief Executive Officer of Out & Equal

As Out & Equal commemorated its 25-year anniversary during Summit, we acknowledged the progress made during this period and the change still needed.

This year’s theme, “We Are,” represented a reclamation and reissue of the LGBTQ+ community’s historic rallying cry of “we’re here, we’re Queer…” and underscored the critical moment in which Summit took place. Through speeches, collaborative learning sessions, and engaging conversations, “We Are” served as a reminder of the strength, resilience, and unity of the LGBTQ+ community.

View Our Event Photos

Recognizing Impact & Elevating Role Models

For more than 20 years, the Outie Awards have recognized and celebrated individuals, organizational initiatives, and ERGs as role models for advancing equity and belonging for LGBTQ+ people in the workplace, and beyond.

At the Workplace Summit Closing Gala, Out & Equal announced this year’s Outie Award winners across six categories. They include individuals, ERGs, and corporate initiatives advocating, driving, and setting the standard for LGBTQ+ equity and DEIB practices.

Workplace Excellence

Micron Technology

Employee Resource Group (ERG) of the Year


New Employee Resource Group (ERG) Chapter of the Year

Middlesex Health-MH+ PRIDE

LGBTQ+ Corporate Advocate of the Year

Amanda Simpson (she/her)

Vice President Research and Technology, Airbus Americas

Ally Changemakers

Karla Arnaiz (she/her), Head of Talent & Career Development and DEI for Americas ex US,

and Mexico HR, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Lori Leszczynski (she/her), ERG Innovation & Growth Manager, General Motors

Global LGBTQ+ Advocate of the Year

Abhinav Shikhar (he/him), Regional Leader, Pride Inclusive Community (ERG), Cisco

Learn More About the Winners

We Need Your Insights and Experiences: Participate in a Survey Assessing the Impact of LGBTQ+-focused Legislation

Out & Equal is conducting a vital, national study to gauge the impact of recent legislation on the workplace experiences and career mobility of LGBTQ+ and allied workers.

The goal of the study is to:

  • Understand the national landscape of LGBTQ+-related laws.
  • Explore geopolitics’ influence on career advancement.
  • Measure workplace experiences in line with the national climate.
  • Propose solutions informed by your experiences.

Your responses will play a key role in Out & Equal's future materials & initiatives. If you spend more than 50% of your year working in the US, please participate and share within your networks.

Take the 10-Minute Survey!

Building Cultures of Belonging: New Research & Resources Focused on LGBTQ+ Talent, Retention, and Inclusion

Over the past several weeks and leading into Workplace Summit, Out & Equal released multiple thought leadership pieces. They included:

Experiences of The Lavender Ceiling: Progress and Continued Challenges Facing out LGBTQ+ Leaders at Work. New research, developed in partnership with Korn Ferry, provides an explanation of “The Lavender Ceiling” and the organizational recommendations designed to reduce systemic bias, improve programs that support Queer leaders, and evolve their responses to increased anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Resources developed in partnership with Bank of America focused on Gen Z.

About that B: Bi+ Inclusion at Work. A new resource from Out & Equal co-authored by bi+ advocate Robyn Ochs, the path to bi+ inclusion is illuminated and mapped, with sections focusing on:

  • understanding the diversity of identities and experiences inside of bi+ spaces;
  • examining the specific challenges faced by bi+ individuals – and looking at why these challenges happen; and
  • providing effective, accessible, and clear guidance for organizations, ERGs, and individuals to be active allies to the bi+ community.

Uplifting & Recognizing the Beautiful Tapestry of the LGBTQ+ Community

In October, Out & Equal is proud to celebrate and honor:

  • LGBTQ+ History Month (October)
  • International Lesbian Day (October 8)
  • National Coming Out Day (October 11)
  • International Pronouns Day (October 21)
  • Asexual Awareness Week (October 22-October 28)
  • Intersex Awareness Day (October 26)

Out & Equal has an incredible library of resources dedicated to advancing LGBTQ+ equity and representation within the workplace, which can be found on our website!

Learn More

Interested in becoming a Partner and joining the Out & Equal community? Reach out to [email protected] for more information.

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