As we continue our Pride Month spotlights, we are thrilled to introduce Corinne Whitaker, a manager in Jabian’s Chicago office. In this spotlight, Corinne shares her personal perspective and insights on the importance of inclusivity, significant LGBTQIA+ causes, and her personal journey toward fostering a more equitable world.

Q: What are some ways you find comfort in spaces where you are the only LGBTQIA+ person in the room?

A: I’m always more comfortable when I act and feel like myself, but that’s not always easy. It’s helpful for me to reframe the narrative around ‘being the only one in the room’ and tell myself that it’s a strength as well: that I have uniquely valuable experience and perspective. Another trick is using inclusive words and phrases (for example). It encourages others to use inclusive language and the space feels safer/more comfortable to me (and hopefully others too!)

Q: What is an LGBTQIA+ cause you strongly advocate for that you think more people should know about?

A: Gender-affirming health care for transgender youth and adults. Gender-affirming treatments and procedures are medically necessary and they save lives. Health care can already be prohibitively expensive but can be so very difficult for people to access gender-affirming care due to cost, availability, stigma, and legislation. Often this is the difference between life and death for transgender people. It’s a critical and urgent issue.

Q: Who was an LGBTQIA+ figure growing up that you looked up to? What is something you still want to see change going forward?

A: I want to answer these questions together because growing up there wasn’t anyone I looked up to! I don’t remember learning about LGBTQIA+ historical or contemporary figures in a positive context. This is something I’d like to see change going forward, I wish every person growing up could learn about LGBTQIA+ figures in a positive way – whether it’s contextualizing historical figures or respecting or celebrating famous contemporary figures.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be once you grew up?

A: I wanted to be a nun when I was little. I did not understand the religious aspect at all. I imagined that nuns got to wear cool hats and hang out with their best girlfriends all day.