By Cori Krajewski
Operations Analyst, Enterprise Project Management Office
National Co-Chair, Kellogg Pride & Allies Business Employee Resource Group
On Spirit Day, I think about how I grew up because I may not have fit the typical stereotype of how a lesbian is expected to look, act or sound, I was not bullied. But the reality for some in our community is to hide who we are so we do not face retribution. Spirit Day is about celebrating who we all are — our similarities AND our differences –and standing up to bullies who do not accept us as we are.
That’s why Spirit Day is so important to me and my Kellogg colleagues, particularly my fellow members of our company’s K-Pride and Allies Business Employee Resource Group.
Each year, millions of people “go purple” for Spirit Day to support LGBTQ+ youth in a united stand against bullying.
Pledging to go purple on Spirit Day is a way for everyone — global and local brands and companies, world leaders, celebrities, neighbors, parents, classmates, and friends — to visibly show solidarity with youth and to take part in the largest, most visible LGBTQ+ anti-bullying campaign in the world.
If you follow any of our Kellogg brands on social media, you’ll see that they’ve converted their logos and branding to purple today.
Kellogg also donates money – generously – to organizations like GLAAD, which organizes and operates Spirit Day. Our company’s support helps underwrite GLAAD’s anti-bulling and LGBTQ+ advocacy work, which we need more than ever right now.
One aspect of COVID-19 that I think a lot about are LGBTQ+ kids who aren’t accepted by their families, yet have been stuck at home. Can you imagine? Where do you go? Who do you turn to?
That’s why we need allies more than ever. Even if you don’t identify as LGBTQ+, you can be part of our community. If someone you know makes a derogatory remark, say something. Tell them that it’s offensive and that you absolutely will not tolerate them speaking that way in front of you.
I’ve done that with friends of mine and, although it was tough, it worked. We’re still friends, but they think twice before they speak. They aren’t spreading hate and polluting other people’s minds.
I’m proud to say that I’ve never faced that situation here at Kellogg. Everyone is so supportive, both of me and of K-Pride and Allies. Colleagues, bosses, executives – everybody. That wasn’t the case in some of my previous jobs.
Which is why people like me have an obligation to stand up and say something. I hope you’ll join me on Spirit Day – and every day – by being an LGBTQ+ ally. Even if you don’t know someone, a child or adult who identifies as LGBTQ+, making your voice heard means more than you know.