Blog by Threads Influencer, Lauren Meir
Photography by Threads Influencer, Hayley Seibel
June ushers in Pride Month, a celebration of love and identity, highlighting the culture and history of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is a unique opportunity for LGBTQ+ community members and allies to celebrate how far we’ve come in terms of supporting LGBTQ+ rights, while acknowledging how far we still have to go to support further acceptance and change. It’s a time to elevate the diverse voices of the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate complex identities. Pride is also a time of personal reflection for many, when folks from all “across the rainbow” are encouraged to embrace their respective stories, educate others, and celebrate the love connecting an expansive community that exists in every culture across the globe.
Clothing, jewelry and accessories are a medium for self-expression, and a way for us to share our personalities, cultures, and identities with the world. In this post, we showcase how some of our LGBTQ+ team members celebrate their pride for their community through their personal style.
Rachel Cytacki, Team Leader, Client Experience Operations at Rocket Mortgage
“I’m casual. I wear what makes me feel most comfortable.”
Why she loves Pride month: It’s an opportunity to shine light on the challenges as well as the wins for our community. Pride Month allows us to raise awareness to our allies on the struggles we’ve faced, and everything we’ve overcome….as well as those that we still need to conquer.
Her personal style: I just try to be authentic and true to myself. I wear what makes me feel most comfortable. Before the pandemic, it was a different story. Now I am much more casual. My go-to office look is a t-shirt, blazer, and sneakers. For Pride Month, I love to wear my rainbow gear and show off a little (like my rainbow t-shirt with a blazer!) I love to wear my Detroit Noun shirt, or pride shirts under my blazers. At home, I’m all about comfort.
Valdet Selimaj, Executive Trainer, Rocket Central
“My style is flowy and free. I allow myself to just be me and “flow” through life as my authentic self.”
What Pride month means to him: This is a time for us to celebrate our amazing communities under the rainbow while also honoring our progress, our foreparents and the allies who moved us forward. Pride is a great way to let both those who are out – as well as those who are unable to come out - that they are part of a beautiful community that loves them. It’s a way for us to tell them to be proud of who they are.
His personal style: During Pride Month I rock more rainbow accessories like earrings and bandanas. I just love a good accessory! My style is flowy and free. I love things that flow like scarves and shawls. I am also known for my dangly earrings at parties. Those are always fun for me. I like flowy and free because it helps me express myself and how I feel as a gay man. It took me a long time, but I feel confident in myself now which helps me feel free to be my true self everywhere that I go. Now I allow myself to just be me and “flow” through life as my authentic self.
Erica White, Executive Assistant, Rocket Community Fund
"When I dress in a more masculine form, I tend to express the more masculine identity… my personal style could be seen as a form of awareness."
Why Pride Month is important to them: This month is a time to raise awareness and celebrate the growth and change for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as how far we’ve come with our overall rights.
Their personal style: My personal style is strong, yet soft and comfortable. Genuinely being me every moment of every day. My personal style reflects my comfort in being who I am, no matter who I’m with or where I am. I use clothing and accessories to reflect my personal style. When I dress in a more masculine form, I tend to express the more masculine identity, and I don’t usually move too far away from that particular style. My personal style could be seen as a form of awareness. When I walk into a room, my words do not command presence but my entire being. From the smile on my face to the shoes I wear on my feet, all of me brings some sort of awareness to social issues in the community.
Pride is not just about what we can see on the outside, but our sense of personal style is another way for us to represent ourselves to the world. For our team members featured, their respective styles are about being true to their authentic selves. And that is something to be proud of – and celebrated.