Bill Beyer Shares His Perspective as an LGBT Ally
'Our separate lenses of life can create a tapestry that is so much better than if we were to create one by ourselves'
As part of our celebration of LGBT Pride Month, we sat down with Deloitte Consulting LLP principal Bill Beyer, who for the past eight years has served as the partner/principal/director sponsor for Deloitte's Greater Washington, D.C. chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Employees & Allies (GLOBE) Business Resource Group (BRG). Bill shared with us his thoughts on being an ally of the LGBT community and why he thinks it's important for people to join BRGs to get others' perspectives.
Why did you take on a leadership role in GLOBE?
"I was excited about serving in this capacity because I felt our LGBT professionals needed to feel valued, included and supported. And I joined GLOBE because I felt the BRG would benefit from different points of view."
You've had close connections to the LGBT community for many years — can you please elaborate on that?
"I danced professional ballet for several years during the 80's AIDS crisis and I had many dear friends who were decimated by AIDS. I lived in New York City during that time and was at the epicenter of the crisis. It was unbelievable to me to see vibrant individuals that were the future for the art get torn apart by the disease, as well as the judgment of society and the stigma associated with AIDS."
"I joined an outreach group that provided hospice for men with AIDS who were in their last months of life. The sweetness and innocence of these men was heartfelt and real. I loved these guys. They would show me pictures of their lives, friends and family. It amounted to a shoe box full of pictures and so much love. That is when I decided that diversity matters and we are people of diverse thoughts — our separate lenses of life can create a tapestry that is so much better than if we were to create one by ourselves."
"Since then, I've participated in and supported AIDS rides and other benefit events and I continue to be an ally of the LGBT community. My best female friend is gay; for years, we have laughed, cried and worked out together getting ready for Ironman competitions. She has taught me more about myself than my parents. Her name is Hope and that encapsulates her essence."
"When I arrived at Deloitte, I had already been an active member of the women's initiative at my previous organization. As Deloitte had already made great progress with its women's initiative (WIN), I turned my attention to GLOBE, which was a natural fit because of my history and experiences.
Why is it important for you — as an ally — to be involved with GLOBE?
"As an ally, I have the privilege to step in others' shoes and get a glimpse of their perspectives. If I can help people feel respected and valued, then this is a gift for me."
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