Fire Fam, Meet Ryan! 🏳️🌈
Ryan Lawless has been employed as a Budtender at The Fire Station in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for the last year. Recently he came out as a transgender man and started his medical transition on January 1, 2023. Some of his hobbies include video games, reading, crochet, spending time outdoors, and spending time with his cats.
In this article, we get to know more about Ryan, including what his biggest challenge has been so far as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, what the best thing that cannabis consumers can do to support LGBTQIA+, and more!
What challenges have you faced as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community?
In your opinion, what are some ways for cannabis consumers to support the LGBTQIA+ community?
“In my opinion, the best thing that people — not just cannabis consumers — can do to support the LGBTQIA+ community is to be open to learning. There are lots of misconceptions about every label under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, but trans issues hit closest to home for me, of course.
Please, if you genuinely want to be supportive, take the time to learn from people in the trans community. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions to someone directly, there are so many resources online about what happens when someone transitions, why someone would want to, and what life looks like during and after transitioning. A good place to start would be transequality.org, the website for the National Center for Transgender Equality.”
How can we all collectively work toward a more inclusive space for everyone?
“We can work to make spaces more inclusive by respecting people’s chosen names and pronouns, especially in an industry like ours where we have to see people’s legal names every time they come in. It only takes a second to make a note on a customer profile that they use a different name, but that extra bit of effort can go a long way toward making people feel welcome!”
What are your thoughts on diversity and inclusion at TFS?
“I think diversity and inclusion at TFS has been great so far. This is the first job I’ve had that I’ve used my new name, and from the very start everyone has been respectful of using the correct name and pronouns. I appreciate that our company is asking to hear about our experiences being in the LGBTQIA+ community as a way to celebrate pride.”
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
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