A reflection on inclusion

Hindsight is 20/20. In optometric terms, having 20/20 vision means you have perfect visual acuity and the ability to see the sharpness of objects. The term is used loosely for seeing things exactly as they are. Now that we are almost halfway through 2020, we are in a unique position to view circumstances along 20/20 lines.

There have been a lot of changes this year but one thing we see clearly is the need for inclusion and reflection. For example, June is Pride month and a time when we celebrate our LGBTQ peers and their contributions to the community. We reflect on those who have fought over the years for equality and justice even before the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 or the first Pride parade one year later. We celebrate a few early pioneers:

  • Jack Baker and Michael McConnell: Became the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license. The couple was married in Minnesota in 1971.
  • Jane Dundee, Gerald Gerash, Terry Mangan, Mary Sassatelli and Lynn Tamlin: Established the Gay Coalition of Denver in 1972. The Coalition fought for equal rights while also serving as a community center and informational resource to Denverites.
  • Ernestine Eckstein: Served as one of the first, and often only, women to participate in “annual reminders” for equal rights.
  • Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny: Led and participated in “annual reminders” for gay rights and successfully worked with the American Psychiatric Association to no longer classify homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973.
  • Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin: In 1955, Lyon and Martin established the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights organization in the United States.

In light of recent events, we continue to press forward and embrace inclusion as it is part of our 20/20 vision. As a public agency, we adhere to laws and regulations requiring that we do not discriminate based on protected status. As an industry, we go beyond that because it is the right thing to do. We are part of the community – and the community is part of us.

One of RTD’s core values is community-focused service. We pride ourselves on diversity, equity and welcoming all, both as customers and as employees. We want people to always feel comfortable riding our buses and trains and to know that they are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, domestic violence status, disability status, veteran status, or marital status, or other protected status and background. It’s our 20/20 (and beyond) vision.

Happy Pride Month!