Fire Fam, Meet Kayla!
Kayla Merchberger has been employed as Lead Budtender at The Fire Station in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for the last year. She describes herself as going from a “good Catholic girl” to a nightly cannabis user, and says she couldn’t be happier. She’s been out and proud as a bi woman for years now, but says she is quietly questioning her pronouns.
In this article, we get to know more about Kayla, including what challenges she has faced so far as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, how she thinks we can all collectively work together for a more inclusive space for everyone, and more.
What challenges have you faced as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community?
I had homophobia from my community, my family, and myself. That internal monologue was not kind when I was coming to terms with myself. Sometimes it still isn’t, but finding LGBTQ+ pals and having pride celebrated has really helped. I’m at a point now where I always try to be loud about my indetity so others feel like they can be their true selves as well.”
In your opinion, what are some ways for cannabis consumers to support the LGBTQIA+ community?
“Normalizing different pronouns comes first to mind. It seems to be difficult for some folks but if we all started asking people their pronouns it would easily become the norm. We have such a chill community, I cannot fathom how anyone could be unsupportive or accepting of our LGBTQIA+ friends.”
How can we all collectively work toward a more inclusive space for everyone?
“Talking about what makes a space exclusive, being open and honest about our faults and problems.”
What are your thoughts on diversity and inclusion at TFS?
“I feel as though TFS has been the most inclusive place I’ve worked. Do I wish we had more rainbows everywhere? Of course! But they would clash with all our murals and art… jokes aside, I really do feel as though TFS has made decent attempts at inclusivity and honoring our diverse staff. Plus, I really love that we’re doing this feature!”
Working daily to create a safe, welcoming atmostphere for all
Pride month is a time for individuals and organizations to celebrate and recognize the LGBTQIA+ community. While The Fire Station works every day to create a safe, welcoming atmosphere for all customers and staff, we see Pride Month as an opportunity to especially highlight our support for this community.
Here are some ways that TFS is supporting and celebrating Pride Month:
- Pride-themed visuals and decor
- Partnership with LGBTQ+ organizations and events
- Inclusive language and staff training
You might also be interested in...
First timer? Welcome in! The Fire Station Cannabis Company was voted by fans ‘Best Cannabis Retailer for a Beginner’ in the 2022-23 Michigan Green State
Stay up-to-date with The Fire Station
Sign up for official communications from TFS and get updates on our promotions, events and other content tailored to you.