all right so we’ll go ahead and kick off our event for today my name is Michael Kopalek. I work at the US Energy Information Administration under the umbrella of DOE. I’m an Operations Research Analyst and I’m acting president of DOE globe which is our LGBTQ human resource group at DOE where it’s a resource for LGBTQ employees and allies, we love to have allies. So Happy Pride Month everyone it’s a very festive month it’s a month of celebration of happiness of love for city so we’re glad you can all be part of it I know a lot of you are probably allies which is fantastic the community needs allies allies are so important so you guys play a really-you-very important contribution to the community so thank you so much for being allies for being here and we really appreciated that the theme this year is “Embrace, Encourage, and Empower” we have some esteemed panelists who will give us a perspective of what it’s like to work at DOE and the federal work force as an LGBTQ employee and over the years – of course it’s much different for the younger crowd than it is for the folks who have been around for a while so be I’m really excited to hear the remarks I hope you guys enjoyed – I know that they’ll be great and thank you so much to the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. You guys sponsored this event I’m stealing all the glory but it doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to them so thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts for sponsoring this. I just have a few quick remarks I want to make to you the case that the world is a better world, a richer world, a safer world, a happier world when we embrace, encourage empower our LGBTQ colleagues and friends and family members. I saw a post on Facebook the other day and it said pretty much every gay man has been yelled at a slur from a moving car and I think that’s probably true. That has happened to me multiple times walking around DC with a partner and DC is probably one of the most LGBTQ friendly cities that exists. Period And so it happens here. I don’t say that because I want sympathy, just to let you know that sometimes life is a little bit harder when you’re a part of the communities. So that’s why your support and your friendship and your love and your encouragement, your embracing your encouraging and your empowerment are very valuable to the community so thank you so much for that. also you know for our kids you don’t know what kind of kid you’re gonna get. You could have a kid that’s a member of the community and you want that kid to grow up in a world where they are respected where they’re treated like human beings where they’re celebrated for what makes them distinct So for the-for the- better of the future and of humanity I hope you guys can all appreciate this really great message that we have. And then just really quickly before we kick into it I just have one distinction I want to present to Russell Ames- Russell if you could please stand up So Russel resurrected GLOBE from many years ago so we do have some GLOBE alumni Colette and Ken’s somewhere in the audience. So those guys founded GLOBE way back in the day and Russell resurrected it a few years back and I never got the chance to present this to him but I’m today I’m wearing my rainbow periodic table tie for celebration of Pride and also energy And everybody compliments me on this tie and so to thank Russell for his years of service to DOE globe and the honor the distinction of having him give his hard work and dedication to DOE for GLOBE I want to present him with this tie all right so without further ado I’d like to present our opening remarks from Ann Augusta the Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. So Ann, if you could please come up Thank you Michael what a pleasure it is to be here today to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month. This is our opportunity to reflect on the history of the civil rights movement as it impacts our LGBTG citizens. As Michael noted the theme for this year is “Embrace, Encourage and Empower” and our LGBTQ community serves as an example of the same. As it is empowering to be proud of who you are and what you stand for. This year’s celebration is especially notable because it marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and as most of you know those riots were a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ community against a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28th, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The riots were widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement into the modern

fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States Designated Stonewall as the National Monument on June 24 2016 and this is the first US national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights in history. Like all of the special observances that the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity hosts and sponsors, today is aimed at educating and celebrating our differences. As most of you know the Department of Energy’s Office of Civil Rights is housed in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. In addition to enforcing the anti-discrimination statutes to ensure that everyone can enjoy a workplace free from any form of discrimination, the office also aims to create and foster an organizational culture that fosters inclusivity. As I was reflecting on today’s events and celebration Pride Month, I recalled reading a statement from the EEOC chairwoman and I wanted to you know reiterate some of the things that she said in her comment for Pride Month because I found it you know to just be you know somewhat inspiring and so the attribution here goes to the EEOC and the EEOC chair pointed out that in 1844 when the United States was still a new project in progress Essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson publicly called America have its own new and unique poet to write about the new country’s virtues and vices, intellects and instincts. The clarion call was heard by a young Long Islander named Walt Whitman who had already been thinking along the same lines. Whitman wrote quote “I was simmering simmering simmering Emerson brought me to a boil.” Whitman who was born 200 years ago simmered and boiled and cooked up the first edition of Leaves of Grass and I’m sure many of you probably have read that over the course of your lifetime. It’s a collection of poems that were honest, human and very very American. Some of it made some of those homes made it clear that besides being ingenuous and a genius Whitman himself was gay. He didn’t make this his central focus but he didn’t keep it to himself or did he keep his poems in the closet either. Some criticized him for his supposed immorality and pressured his publisher to censor subsequent editions of Leaves of Grass which turned – those leaves of grass turned out to be numerous and lifelong. Whitman refused however to bow to pressure. his publisher gave in to the pressure and released him but the poet persevered and founded another publisher and he kept going. Walt Whitman added to the leaves of grass all of his life encouraging his youthful exuberance with more seasoning of pain perspective of war and peace, morality and immorality Whitman was also a fierce uncompromising voice of equality and justice and here are just a few examples from one of his poems just named “Poem of many in one” “Of Equality—As if it harm’d me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself— As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same; Of Justice—As if Justice could be anything but the same ample law, expounded by natural judges and saviors thoughts.” And finally “These States are the amplest poem, Here is not merely a nation, but a teeming nation of nations, Here the flowing trains, here the crowds, equality, diversity, the soul loves.” the EEOC chair Janet Dhillon commented on Walt Whitman and his contributions to the country has followed and I think this is pretty insightful she said, We have learned that there’s nothing contradictory or paradoxical about being great and gay After all what Whitman wrote the most American set of poems there ever was; held his head high against his critics; defied censorship and kept on writing. Walt Whitman has inspired millions of hearts forever Now as the EEOC chair has noted June is LGBT Pride Month and as well as Whitman’s Bicentennial and on both occasions they are fitting opportunities to remember with pride that the ego sees role and I would say that the DOEs Office of Civil Rights role in defending everyone’s rights to be treated fairly at work no matter who you are as long as you are qualified and you can do the job right. And I think it’s really you know we look back at history so long ago in this and we see someone who’s so powerful who, you know, endured to stood up for what

was right and we learned a lot from that Now today is we’re having a panel of distinguished speakers as Michael had mentioned and I understand that the discussion will center about being LGBTQ in the workplace and I think that each one of them will probably address how it’s everyone’s job to continue to strive toward creating an inclusive environment and treating everyone with respect and I would submit to you as an organizing office and the Office of Civil Rights we try to do that that it really is incumbent upon each one of us we take personal responsibility to make sure that anyone who may be different from ourselves is treated with dignity and respect whether it’s inside the workplace or outside the workplace and without further ado I’m looking forward to hearing our guests speak and share their experiences and I believe that Michaels coming back up to the podium and give us a few other remarks before the presentation so thank you for the opportunity to celebrate All right so now we’re going to get right to it this is the panel discussion component we have four distinguished panelists Neil Schuldenfrei, Jocelyn Richards, Russell Ames and Colette Broussard. the four of you would if you’d be so kind as to just go down the line introduce yourself tell us about your position and just like a quick summary of your bio maybe how long you been at DOE that kind of thing so I’m Neil Schuldenfrei, I’m the deputy director for the office of hearings and appeals. I learned today that I am distinguished and esteemed. [audience laughs] so I’ve been at department of energy since about 1992 before that I was with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. when I was here for a number of years I worked in the EEO office I ran the diversity office, ran the EEO office and several years ago I moved up to the Office of Hearings and Appeals where we do things about security and about whistleblowers. So have a long experience at DOE and experience so we’ll talk about that I guess I’m the one panel is not currently at DOE but I spent the first eight and a half years of my federal service here both in the office of management, office of Science which I really enjoyed working on a variety of issues I’m now a management analyst over at the Natural Resource Conservation Service at USDA working on connecting farmers with partners that can help make their farms more productive while making them also more environmentally friendly Hi I’m Jocelyn Richards I work in the Department of Energy’s Office of the General Counsel and I’m the deputy general counsel for personnel law and administrative litigation which is an incredibly long title. every time I have to write it on something I spell it a different way. [audience laughter] I’ve been here since 2005 at Department of Energy and I have- you know- really enjoyed my time here I think it’s a very great place to work very open good people you know the work is very interesting. I focus primarily on assisting management personnel issues so if they have employees who are having problems with conduct or performance I assist them with trying to correct those issues and then also defending the agency if there’s any resulting legal action Can you guess who I am? [audience laughter] I’m Colette Broussard and I am the director of the Office of the ES&H (environment safety and health) Reporting and Analysis and I’ve been with the Department for 35 and a half years I hope to retire next year and I started out at a at the Pinellas Plant which is a site across the complex and it’s actually closed in ’97 but I started out as a Site Complex person and then came up to headquarters so I have a couple of diverse looks at working for the Department and my job is to oversee some of the reporting systems In injury and illness, the accident investigation, the occurrence reporting, the lessons learned, the environmental reporting. All those things fall under my group and we manage those systems that where the sites report into them and then we take that information and we try to analyze it and help the department do better in different areas for safety and health thank you all very much so now we’re just going to go ahead and jump into the panel discussion the format will be I’ll ask the question and then whichever panelists would like to comment about it even as all of them want to comment or not we will give them an opportunity to speak and the first question is a really interesting question I am so excited to hear the

answer hope you our listeners are also interested but I think this is a really meaty question: Can you describe what your experience in the workplace has been like as a member of the LGBTQ community and has your experience in the workplace changed over the years the past versus the present? [Neil] So, should I start? Yeah so I’ve been here many years I have a you know kind of an interesting paradigm since I ran the EEO office when I got to DOE I was out already and so I just made it a point basically to be out to everybody in the workplace My experience has always been very encouraging it’s been good DOE has been kind of on the forefront of this issue in many ways. And I got my little cheat sheet here for just a couple of points I wanted to make like in 1996 when Bill Clinton issued an executive order saying that federal agencies could recognize complaints of sexual orientation discrimination while EEOC and the court [unintelligible] DOE was at the head of the game on that. I actually helped draft some of the rules for that and we were among the first agencies that allowed it When the president said that we could offer benefits to same-sex couples DOE was on top of that. So we’ve always kind of been at the forefront and I have never really felt at DOE any real pushback based on my sexual orientation I’ve been very lucky but I think it’s also a lot to do with the relationships When people get to know you and understand you it becomes a non-issue for them even if it was before so but I think the other thing that I wanted to say is that we do have to recognize that, as Michael pointed out, we’re in Washington DC. The field sites are very different, the experiences are very different and when I was running the EEO office we actually had an EEO manager at one of our sites who was afraid to come out because they didn’t know what the ramifications would be at that site. And I think that’s really unfortunate and this was up until five-seven years ago and I think that we’re still facing that even some of our sites is a really bad sign that the EEO manager would be afraid to come out. So we’re doing well at headquarters other than I faced one or two issues here and there but over the many years I’ve been here I would say this is a really good place to work [Collette speaking] I would have to echo that in terms of I’ve been lucky too. Although I started out at the Pinellas Plant, then I was a fledgling lesbian that didn’t know she was a lesbian. And I started my career at the Pinellas Plant and I had a couple of the superior people, who are the upper level management, who were sort of over me, mentors of me that they would see me hanging out with known lesbians at the Pinellas Plant. And they would say, “Why are you hanging out with her? You’re gonna get-a you’re gonna get a reputation.” And so I get a little bit of being scared I was afraid just to be who I was. But I have to agree with with Neil that it for me- my first when I wanted figured out that that was who I was, I did not need to tell everybody that that’s what I was I just needed to be me to be myself. I needed to do my work. I needed to show that I had the knowledge and the capabilities and as people got to know me it didn’t matter what my sexuality or sexual orientation was. When I came up to headquarters I had a little bit of a a little bit of a tendency to be not open But eventually, as people got to know me, and I did my work, and I started to be open, I got people telling me “Colette you don’t need to be so open.” [audience laughter] But it really is it has been a good experience for me at the headquarters level. I feel like at the site level it’s much harder, especially at certain sites, that are in certain states, that are not quite as willing to accept people for who they are. So I think there’s another question that I don’t want to answer yet Well I have been very lucky in my time at DOE and general counsel’s office that there have been other people who are out. So when I got here so they served as role models and sort of let me see that you know it would not be a problem if I were also to be out. I think that it’s interesting to you know to be out is not just coming out once. You know you don’t just say like “oh I’m gay” and then that’s

it for the rest of your career. You know there’s definitely meeting new people, it’s a process of constantly coming out. People are always asking me you know what my husband does for a living, or whether my son takes after his daddy that kind of thing. And so you know I always try to look at it as an opportunity to perhaps open people’s minds or make them you know maybe next time they won’t make assumptions that sort of thing. And I haven’t really had a lot of pushback. I think I’ve been lucky and I’ve also seen people’s attitudes evolving over time. In 2012 when I got married, my work group threw me a bridal shower, which was amazing, but I did have one colleague who came to me and said that her religious beliefs prohibited her from attending the party Fast forward three years after the marriage equality decision from Supreme Court it’s 2015 and my work is throwing me a baby shower and the same colleague came to me and she attended the party and she gave me a really thoughtful gift and it was like a total shift had occurred in those three years. And so I think that this is something that- you know- just being out and normalizing it for people is really important and the workplace hopefully will continue to come around to that perspective. [Russell speaking] Not to sound like a broken record but I’ve also been very fortunate when I came to DOE. my immediate previous position at a non-profit I’d been asked to resign because that was gay. When I came to DOE I was determined that I was going to be more out. That being said, I was still just out of college and still – just out of grad school – a little bit nervous And so I kind of eased my way out and I would say a lot of the issues ended up being in my own head. The more I got to know my supervisor, the more I got to know my colleagues more comfortable I got being more vocal and so when someone asks or when I was dating someone we’re -now talking about my fiance- I hear someone use a female pronoun and I wouldn’t always correct them initially But now I’ve got a picture of Tom, my fiancee, on my desk and it’s just been easier over the years. And so meeting role models and getting to know people through GLOBE has definitely helped me there [Michael speaking] Well great answers thank you guys yeah very heartening to to know that DOE is such a nice place to work. But yeah of course we do always have work to do okay I guess I’ll jump to the next question: we’re here to celebrate Pride Month. What does pride mean to you? I’m going to point to him. [Audience member: He’s the perfect one to answer.] for me probably- about these two things that complement each other so well. It’s one, celebrating our uniqueness we each have a different story to tell but there are facets of our story that we share so in telling our uniqueness in Pride Month we get to see how much we actually have in common with people who have a somewhat different story but also have so much shared stories. they’re getting to embrace the duality of how we’re all unique but share common threads and build a stronger community together is what I love about Pride Month I’d say for me pride is about just personal dignity and being able to be honest and live your truth you know like you said about having a picture on your desk is huge, not having to change pronouns when you tell story, to be able to talk about your family, or what you did this weekend, you know that’s all really important. To me, pride is also about continuing the struggle I saw a great t-shirt at the pride march and a couple of weeks ago or last weekend that said, “the first pride march was a riot.” and I think that that’s really important to remember that we’re always trying to move forward. We can’t be complacent There’s still so much going on that You know there’s battles that we have yet to fight And it’s it’s a lot easier, for example, to be out in Washington, DC, than it is with some of our field sites. It’s a lot easier to be out if you are- you know- a cisgendered person, who is not a person of color. Though all those things make it a lot easier to be out and so for all of us we can’t just say like, “okay we’re done we got marriage equality. like you know let’s call it a day.” I think there’s still a lot that we have to work towards you know trans inclusion, including people who are non-binary things like that and also just there’s a lot more to legal rights than just marriage You know when my son was born I had to go through very costly and really disheartening experience of adopting him even though my name was on the birth certificate. It’s just one of those things those extra steps that you always

have to take to make sure that you’re securing your legal rights. And you know as you’ve said about getting cat-called and things like that on the street you know we’re put- my friends and I were involved in a very upsetting hate crime this December. And some of my friends were injured. And so these are the things like we can’t just say “oh even in DC everything is fine we you know won all our battles.” I think we always have to be mindful that pride is like this ongoing struggle that we have to continue [Colette and Neil decide who will speak next] Ok, I’m going to talk. Because they’ve said everything I would say and he probably would take the last thing. [audience laughter] So I’ll say it right now Pride about- pride to me is about being honest about who I am. But I also get a get a good little laugh when I’m talking to somebody who has just met me and I say “oh and my wife and I blah blah blah…” And their face goes like this and then they kind of calm down. And then we just continue to talk. So it’s just about being able to be honest about who I am and everybody to be respectful for everybody for who they are Neil: As Jocelyn was saying it’s about not changing pronouns. Not I’m gonna change the pronouns and that actually reminded me of the defining moment for me in coming out I was working at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, I wasn’t out, and I used to sit and talk with a guy at lunch- just a friend-and I was talking about a date I was on and “This person does this and this person…” And he finally turned and said “what does he/she or it do?” [audience laughter] And I decided at that point that the jig was up. But in terms of what pride means actually if you’ll indulge, I wanted to read the Wikipedia definition because it says so much and of course Wikipedia knows everything. [audience laughter] Pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian gay bisexual and transgender people to promote their self affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. So it’s a very loaded term there’s a lot in there you know talking about affirmation, dignity, equality, celebrating of diversity. So there’s a lot to it, I think it’s a it’s a really involved kind of question when you ask what exactly does Pride mean to me. But to me it does mean all those things Michael speaking: I actually have a quick thought on that- do you guys know the term SOGIE? Have you heard it? S O G I E – so SOGIE means Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expressions SOGIE. So there are people who preferred to talk about SOGIE Pride so everyone has a different sexual orientation wherever it may be like be bisexual you could be asexual so you’re somewhere on that spectrum and then gender identity could be you identify as a male, as a female and there are some people who don’t really identify as either and then gender expression so you could be a female who expresses maybe a little more masculinely and a male who expresses a little more femininely and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gay or bisexual. You can just really like the color pink. So I like that idea it’s like oh everybody has-everybody’s somewhere on each of these spectrums and regardless of where you are you should be proud of who you are and what makes you unique I just know thought that was kind of cool so I thought I’d share it with you guys. But good answers yes okay a fun question each of you have been at DOE for a period of time, Russell I know that we recently moved from DOE to another agency, a number of you serve in supervisory capacities and may have different perspectives from when you first came to DOE. Knowing what you know now, what advice or insight would you share with employees were new to DOE who are members of-who are members of the LGBTQ community that you wish somebody would have shared with you when you first started here? Neil: mm-hmm well I was as I said I was already out when I got here I guess my advice to people would be to be as open as you possibly can. I know everybody has different circumstances we sit here we talk about you know being open and the importance and to me it’s important to do that because if we’re not visible in the community then how are we going to change people’s attitudes you know and what Colette was talking about in terms of introducing herself and mentioning her wife I have the exact same thing with my husband and still to this day in conversations not necessarily at DOE but outside I have to stop and think- do I want to say my husband do I want to say my partner- it’s Tyler- you know even

at this stage in my life to have to do that but fortunately I do very little of it because I just feel this need to be open and who I am. I would encourage people coming into a DOE today that is particularly if you’re in headquarters here it’s really not an issue in most of the workplace and if it is that there are resources to assist you, the civil rights office and other offices who will be here for you. I did have one bad experience a number of years ago when we issued we used to issue these announcements DOE-wide for the various diversity months and there was never an issue. we would profile people in history for Black History Month Hispanic history when we issued the one for gay pride suddenly from one of our field sites in a very conservative area the only place I started getting emails because my name was on them as a contact and I’ll just read you a couple of the things they said, “what’s next, bestiality month? it’s disgusting it’s immoral this is the kind of stuff that leads to political officials losing their jobs and their eternal souls.” And I got together and my boss was extremely supportive I got together with the IT people, general counsel, HR and at the time- this was like 20 years ago- they all said to me “There really isn’t anything we can do because we don’t yet have rules in place on what you can say in emails.” these people had signed their emails that came from their DOE accounts and really nothing could be done and and then those people at that site started filing EEO complaints saying that receiving that email from me was a violation of their rights. So it was a little out of control but today my point is we do have stuff in place today we do have a way to answer that kind of thing I don’t believe if that happened today that those people can get away with that so I think it’s always been a really good place to be and I think it’s even better now. My advice would be be as free to be is you yourself as you can and then rely on us to assist you if there is an issue Jocelyn: You know it’s-if you feel safe to be out, I would recommend that people be out it’s just it’s like a ripple effect you know when I got here there were people who are out in the workplace and so therefore I felt like I could be out in the workplace and so that sort of ripples out and the more people that I talk to from the field perhaps and you know they asked me about my husband and I say I have a wife you know perhaps I’m doing a little bit so that when they are in their workplace you know I’ve normalized that for them and maybe for anybody else who might come out in that workplace and so it’s really I think it’s important and I understand that there are constraints on that. not everybody is that a place in their life where they can be out but to the greatest extent possible I would encourage it Colette: I echo both of those my little notes here say “have appropriate boundaries.” my wife always tells me I have none. have appropriate boundaries-if you feel safe if you feel like you’re you can be received and heard then then speak If you-if you’re a little bit concerned then you do your work and have appropriate boundaries but as Neil said if there’s an issue in this workplace in DOE headquarters definitely. my whole experience has been wonderful I know as I was when I moved up here in ’92 and I was working for people who did not know I was gay and I was not open I was very closeted but when I started feeling strong about it and I would go to my boss and I would say I want to I want to be a part of the- that was when you were working on the the protections for the can’t think of what you were working-in the-you were working on procedure when there was a Neil: Sexual orientation Colette: issue and I told them I wanted to become part of the the process and one of the I can’t remember the people who do the I had brain surgery a few years ago so I can’t think about something. The the people who helped with the facilitating the issues and I wanted to go and be one of those and I was like in them in my boss’s room pounded my hand on on this desk saying “I want to do this because you know the gays and the lesbians are being prosecuted” and I was saying and they looked at me and said “Colette, you can do it. it’s fine” they didn’t care what my sexual orientation was and then I I got to be

more open and now my wife she’s like oh my god you’re saying that you’re gay again Russell: I would just add to that how important it is. Being out is a opportunity to not only help yourself grow to help others grow I’ve been blessed by so many amazing allies in this department and there’s a role that allies can fill that those of us on this panel can’t. there’s little things you hear when someone says the wrong gender about your partner or I just remember I was having calls with photographers and making sure they’d be okay for me and my fiance’s wedding and one kept bringing up bride and I thought I’ve said this two times already this is clearly not going to work but it’s a little it may be a little more harsh when I correct someone so I always try to be gentle but then that ally might know how to correct someone else who’s also straight and it will come off a little more softly and they might be a little more receptive than when they think I’m just being too personal or too sensitive and if I’m not my authentic self every day I’m depriving a lot of other people the opportunity to learn about the subtle nuances of how you can be more accepting of people’s uniqueness Michael: that’s very nice thank you guys. okay and then I guess are there any closing thoughts we mean summary that you guys want to give you know your experience your Pride Month feelings? Neil: I think the only thing I would add I just made a couple notes to myself oh we did have I just thought it was a really good way to put it we had a deputy secretary here a number of years ago who spoke at the LGBT Pride event and he was talking about all the great things that DOE does and the great things we do for America and for the world and all and he just said, “who can we spare? just who can we spare? you know we need the best and the brightest and it doesn’t matter what color they are or what sexual orientation you know what race what gender it doesn’t matter who can we spare?” and I thought that’s a really effective way of summing up in the workplace and so I just I thought that was worth mentioning Michael: All right so that wraps it up thank you guys that was very- I learned a lot and now we have a quick Q&A section, when the audience has any questions they want to ask our panelists. Don’t be shy [audience laughs] in the back- I have a question for the panel. I’m an ally. Can you hear me? I guess you can I dont feel its necessary to come out [cell phone rings] I didnt have to tell people I I’m straight so why do people that are gay or trans have to tell people they’re gay Neil: well so after that question for me because sure I have gay friends and some and a half gay family members you know some of you could it’s obvious that they’re gay so they don’t have to tell people they’re gay because just by being around and you can tell they’re gay so why do you have to go around like I’m pretty sure Queen Latifah may or may not be gay but she doesn’t have to come out and tell people she gay why does she have to make an announcement that she gay? Audience member: but we have to And the reason we have to is because there’s always an assumption that we’re not So like uh, one of the panel members talked about “I have three children” Some people are asking about their dad or “are you married?” “What does your husband do?” or “Do your kids look like their dad?” Its like you get tired of it too. but youre kind of forced to do that in order to be authentic Its not like you walk in and say “hi! my name is kim. I’m gay” Five minutes into the conversation something in the conversation is going to come up where you have to either be silent, or lie which is not an option for me or you have to come out So its not – straight people say “well, we dont come out.” But you dont have to. Because everyone assumes you’re straight Right? Questioner: well I guess I have gaydar [audience laughs] [unintelligible] there are people [unintelligible] but i have no gaydar there are people that are more obvious stereotypical

But there’s a whole lot more So, you know people say that but you’re missing a whole lot of people if you think you can spot us Neil: Yeah, I think that’s the point. I don’t walk into a room and say hey I’m gay but the problem is at some point in the conversation somebody’s gonna ask about my wife and either I sit there and go along with it or I be my honest itself and say to them well it’s actually my husband and it shouldn’t be a big deal either way and I’m not going on and on about what that means or anything but that’s my when I say come out that’s what I’m talking about I’m not talking about standing on a podium and trying to enlist people. I’m talking about just being my honest self that went something just as you know my defining moment when when Jeff Hillier said to me you know what does he/she or it do for a living and I could have sat there there and you know whatever but that was my opportunity to be honest and move the conversation forward in truth and so I think that to me is what coming out is thank you for the question I I definitely appreciate your honesty some of these are these questions that if you think of it in reverse, it becomes very stark like if everyone assumed that you’re a lesbian you know probably for most straight women they would say no no no I’m not a lesbian you know they would be very quick to correct it so the opposite were the defaults I think that a lot of straight people would understand like oh I want it I want a correct-I don’t want you to think that I’m gay or lesbian nothing there’s anything wrong with that just I’m not that. so yeah you’re not apparently saying it’s bad it’s just you want to set the record straight audience member: Sounds like its unfair [unintelligible] Colette: I think that Jocelyn nailed it with her statement along the lines of the norm in the norm for most people is you know you’re straight you’re married or whatever and we’re trying to make the norm that you’re whatever you are you’re straight you’re gay or lesbian and so to sum what everybody has said I think is to just kind of act like you would act regardless of whether you’re gay or straight you you you would put the picture of your spouse on your desk you would talk about your spouse or your children or your in we’re using the pronouns that are appropriate so it’s kind of like the norm is I’m married yeah and my wife and I do this this and this or our children which are all furry and four-legged so it’s just kind of making it the norm it’s okay you know and I agree my my wife thinks I do walk in a room and say hi I’m gay but just you [laughter] [unintelligible] glitter and confetti [unintelligible] [laughter] know act like you are who you are and just be honest about who you are and everything should should fall in place any other question from the audience? Audience member: you all are very comfortable with who you are but looking at folks who may not be as comfortable and don’t feel you know that for one reason or another they can be their authentic self what role do you think bystanders play in intervening in situations where you may be placing someone who’s not out in an uncomfortable situation? I think it’s interesting that the term partner has been really embraced by the ally community as a way to avoid putting people into situations where they have to say my husband or my wife the other more you know as a bystander as a straight person there’s more of this embrace of like if everybody just calls their spouse or their significant other a partner that you can thereby like sort of ease the path for people who might not be out of the closet yet and so that they can refer to their significant other as a partner without having to explicitly come out because you know when that term first came into vogue it was very much just for you know the gay and lesbian community as a way you know before there was legal protections you before it was really even it accurate legally to say like you know wife or husband but since then you know I see more and more especially young people just using that term generically and so I think that that’s a helpful stance from allies it’s a good question I mean my opinion is that you know coming out shouldn’t be

mandatory and we should respect people’s right not to. it feels nice to be out it feels liberating it it’s just it’s just a better experience unless your supervisor is going to retaliate for you unless your coworkers are going to antagonize you so we’re moving toward a world where fewer people hold those attitudes that would make people feel that they have to stay closeted but there’s there’s nothing morally wrong with it there it’s like a perfect it’s probably the right decision in a lot of cases and you know I think that we generally as LGBTQ people we try to respect people who even if they confide in us you know we try to you know it’s like usually with an understanding like I’m telling you this in confidence and then you know if somebody trusts you in confidence then you know do your best to honor that trust and you know not gossip about it particularly if the reason they’re closeted is for their own safety or their own well-being yeah that’s a good question all right well we are getting close to the hour and so I think we’ll transition to closing marks here from Patricia Zarate who is the deputy director of the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity good afternoon everyone, or I think we’re still in morning.[laughter] I want to thank everybody for attending today’s pride program and thank the panel. we have a diversity of panel members here and when I reached out to individuals and Colette Bankins reached out to individuals to see if they’d be willing to serve on the panel we were we were happy that everyone we asked was was willing to do this but we asked individuals who we knew could tell their stories and then share with both those in the room and in those who may ultimately watch the video from today’s program and I learned more about some of the individuals sitting here listening to their stories today so so thank you for being open and honest with with those here today I echo what everyone else has said today in terms of you know wanting to be honest about ourselves wanting to live and be who we are in the work place many of us may have our lives at home but may not feel comfortable in the workplace and I think people today shared examples of how people can be true to themselves being in the workplace and if they don’t feel comfortable or if they are being antagonized because of that that they know that they can come to our office to seek assistance and guidance in that area so again I thank everyone for sharing their stories we have some certificates to give out to our panel members and to Michael for moderating the the group today. Michael thank you for working with our office to plan the event you know when we’re done with the program do you want to come explain? LGBT sandwiches lettuce guac bacon too so please help yourselves to a LGBT sandwich. we have soda too – we have probably way too much so help yourself – you know what as much as you want on the way out Ann I dont know if you want to well start off with Michael Kopalek and this is a certificate of appreciation it’s signed by James Campos who’s the director of ED, senate confirmed presidential appointee and it reads in recognition of your outstanding support of the 2019 LGBTQ lesbian gay bisexual transgender and queer Pride Month celebration embrace and encourage and empower held on June 19th at the US Department of Energy thank you for serving as our moderator and for sharing your valuable and inspirational insights during the program your participation was instrumental in the success of the program I did want to mention one thing our director is actually on travel so he was

sorry to have to miss today’s program we had been working on scheduling today’s event around the dates he was in the office this month and that became quite a challenge um and he had some additional dates of travel pop-up on his calendar so he sends his regrets for not being able to be here at today’s program we now have certificates of appreciation for the panel members they read similarly so I’m going to read one and then we’ll ask everyone to come up individually certificate of appreciation and recognition of your outstanding support of the 2019 LGBTQ Pride Month celebration held on June 19th at the u.s. department of energy thank you for sharing your valuable and inspirational insights as a participant in the panel discussion your participation on the panel was instrumental in the success of the program so we’ll ask each of you to come up individual and we’ll start with Colette Broussard [clapping] Jocelyn Richards [clapping] Russell Ames [clapping] but certainly not least Neil Schuldenfrei [clapping] Thank you Again thank you everybody those on the panel those who joined us today we appreciate your participation in the program and invite everyone to go and have a sampling of the LGBT sandwiches