“My name is Travis, and I fight for human rights for all.”
In my line of work as the development director for the Greater Seattle Business Association, I have the privilege of celebrating Pride 365 days a year, seven days a week. But I know this work wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the long history of people who have paved the way for me. I consider my job a daily celebration of those victories—honoring the steps that have been taken and the sacrifices that have been made.
At GSBA, we support small businesses because we believe small business is a driver for social change. We also support students with our scholarship fund—we gave out our millionth dollar last year. But I think for me, it’s not necessarily the biggest milestones that are the most exciting. In a lot of ways, it’s the small things. It’s treating someone with kindness. It’s using the right pronoun. It’s seeing people for who they are. It’s easy to focus on the big wins, but I also think it’s the day-to-day victories that keep us moving forward.
That’s not to say there isn’t something to celebrate. Pride Month is tremendous because it’s a focused effort—you can feel the energy; it’s palpable. Pride is a celebration of being seen, of being heard, and of the work that has been done. And Pride is a celebration that will carry us into the future for the work that still needs to be done.
Pride breathes life into our movement toward greater equality. I never thought that I would one day be part of a movement. Growing up, we hear about the trials and challenges that so many communities have faced. I assumed, when I was young, that there would be no more battles to wage for the freedom of expression. I’m so thankful for what’s being done—what has been done—and I get so much satisfaction and purpose carrying the flag for the work that people started well before my time.
For me, Pride is about unity and feeling part of a community that’s global. It’s not just the city of Seattle, it’s not just the state of Washington—Pride is everywhere. It has to be everywhere. And so, if I can have an impact locally that is felt globally, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do day in and day out.