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My Pride Story
Manila Practice Assistant Austin de Jesus shares his Pride story

June 2021: Austin de Jesus is a Practice Assistant in our Manila office. He shares his #MyPrideStory and tells us how he'll celebrate Pride this year.

What does it mean to be part of the LGBT+ community?
I'm honored to be part of a group that is so vibrant and accepting. Being a part of the LGBT+ community is more than just a celebration of the many identities and variations that make up the entire spectrum, it's also fighting for a plethora of inequalities that we still face up until today. It has also allowed me to help allies and individuals in the same community find their role for this cause.
 
What does it mean to be your whole, authentic self at work?
Speaking your truth and being genuine in everything that you do for your colleagues, stakeholders and the entire Firm embodies the Firm value of being human. Moreover, it gives further value to the work that I do knowing that I'm supported without being judged by anyone.
 
What does White & Case do to foster a stronger sense of belonging for all?
Firstly, the Firm has a wide range of affinity networks and employee resource groups (across all locations in which everyone can join; these foster belonging. Secondly, the Firm has formal Diversity & Inclusion strategic objectives. Lastly, we continuously get involved with different initiatives globally through our pro bono work.
 
How does your experience as an LGBT+ person positively impact your work and your career?
Being Queer has really helped me understand the numerous facets of our LGBT+ initiatives, and that has led me to also build meaningful connections across our vast diversity network—this is essential for the job that I do.
 
Why is being part of the Spectrum LGBT+ network important to you?
I love that we're able to address more issues faced by the LGBT+ community by being united, and what better way to do this than by working and collaborating as a team? On a larger scale, I'm empowered in knowing that I'm part of this greater community supported by our global Diversity & Inclusion team.
 
What's your advice for the next generation of LGBT+ lawyers?
 Whether you are an LGBT+ lawyer or business professional, I highly encourage you to find a cause you're really passionate about; this will definitely create a ripple effect in society.
 
With most Pride events still being virtual this year, how do you plan to celebrate?
Celebrations don't have to stop just because everything is virtual! I plan to celebrate by attending this year's Spectrum events led by Spectrum and other groups within the Firm. My friends are really urging me to watch this documentary called "Paris is Burning" —I might have to watch that alongside my favorite series "Pose."