Throughout the month of June, Pride flags are flying above federal facilities across the country to show the federal government's support for LGBTQ+ communities. As one of several ways that GSA is celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the agency has raised the Pride Flag at our headquarters in Washington, DC, and at GSA-occupied facilities in each region across the country. GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) also authorized the Pride Flag to be flown during June at any federal building managed by GSA upon request by the tenant agency. More than 40 federal buildings across the country opted to raise the Pride Flag to show their support of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the federal workforce and in the communities we serve nationwide.
The Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag, the newest Pride Flag that has expanded on Gilbert Baker’s original 1978 rainbow-colored design, will be flown at GSA’s headquarters for the first time during the entire month.
This was made possible by the decision to temporarily lift GSA’s standing policy on limiting commemorative flags to two or three days, to allow Pride Flags to be flown for the entire month of June. PBS also assisted our Federal partners in procuring new flags and hardware for those who needed it.
Several GSA employees were involved in helping expand the flying of the Pride Flag to more GSA and federal facilities, including those outside of Washington, D.C., last year. We asked employees to speak on how the agency has allowed them to be their most authentic selves and this is what they had to say:
Thomas Meiron, FAS Regional Commissioner:
“We’re crafting supportive and inclusive policies for our own employees at GSA and in everything we do across the country, including my home city of Atlanta. From my perspective, Pride is a year-long focus, and we aim to celebrate our LGBTQ+ employees and the millions of Americans we serve every day.”
Keyva Clark, Director of Public Engagement:
“For some, raising the flag is just a ceremonial gesture. However for me it is more than just that, it’s the pride we get to have in knowing that GSA sees us, each and every one of us. It lets me know I am safe at GSA.”
Colin S.K. Correa, Program Analyst:
“Last year I was thrilled that GSA was supportive of my request to have the Pride Flag flown at our Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in New York – the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement where the Stonewall Inn is located and it’s great to see it flying at even more locations this year. That flag remains a beacon of hope for everyone from Pride month festivity participants to immigrants coming to the building for their citizenship hearings, and it makes me very proud to work at GSA.”
Amme L. Willis, Project Manager:
“Flying a Pride Flag doesn’t immediately change culture in our workplaces or in the communities where people see it, but it does show the government’s commitment to DEIA, including to the LGBTQ+ employees who work in those buildings. I’ve worked in other organizations where requests to fly Pride Flags were outright rejected, and I’m glad to see government leading through this important visibility that started as a grassroots effort last year within GSA’s employee association.”
Robert Riddle, Projects Program Manager:
“Flags are a form of communication that date back to over a thousand years BCE. GSA’s decision to accept and fly the Pride Flag for the entire month of June communicates its pride in its LGBTQ+ community, and the value placed on the strength in diversity that we bring to GSA’s mission and its success.”
Be sure to follow us @USGSA as we continue to highlight raising the Pride Flag across the country!