Joining Together in Unity
At Sleep Number, we embrace individuality and celebrate our unique differences – cornerstones of who we are. June is Pride Month, commemorating the LBGTQ+ rights movement. Pride gives us the opportunity to share stories of inspiration, learn from one another, and bring equality to the forefront of our conversations. In celebration, hear the voices of fellow team members Nick, Jessica and Craig:
“To me, Pride means promoting self-confidence, respect and equal rights for everyone. Accepting who you are and being proud of it. Living a life that is truly authentic to who you are. Also, the acknowledgment of those who’ve come before us to help fight for these basic human rights.” – Nick Mueller, Talent Acquisition Partner
“To me, Pride means recognizing the long history it took to get to where we are today and the progress that still needs to be made toward equality. Every day I have to come out in some small way. Even just saying the words, wife or girlfriend when someone assumes husband or boyfriend can be an act of courage, because you don’t know if people will treat you differently. Pride is also an opportunity to build strength through celebration, affirmation and shared experiences, because confronting injustice and being courageous day in and day out can be exhausting. Pride is a reminder that we all deserve the right to pursue our hopes and dreams and share that with the ones we love.” – Jessica Thoma, Content Designer-CRC & Field Services Knowledge Management Partner
“I have been living authentically as a person who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community for the last nine years of my life. I spent my formative, first 22 years painfully denying myself and others the opportunity to get to know my true self. No one is just one thing, but nothing positive came from denying such an important part of who I am. That kind of self-hatred leaves strong impressions. When I ‘came out,’ it was about choosing to live a happier, healthier life of self-acceptance.
As most of my family and friends were open to understanding and loved me unconditionally, I didn’t know any active supporters of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride was my north star when no other landmarks were in sight. I found a welcoming community of diverse, loving and brilliant people. Pride events focus on cultivating a world inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & intersex people. It was a safe space to explore my true self without fear of judgment and rejection and with people who openly embrace all parts that make me who I am.
The energy you see at Pride festivals and parades is the pent-up passion of a people who are often made to feel discarded, demoralized, unloved & in far too many places, unsafe. Pride provides valuable, celebratory forums to help heal past wounds (self-inflicted or otherwise) and inoculate us from some of the discrimination and hatred we continue to face every day. To me, the goal is not to establish a minimally toxic place that is merely safe & tolerant of LGBTQ+ people, rather, to create a welcoming world that boldly celebrates LGBTQ+ people and culture.
Pride is strongly rooted in my lived experiences and I deeply understand the power of Pride festivals and parades. I have seen its impact within the LGBTQ+ community and far beyond. Pride is helping to build a better world and as such, I have made it a very important part of my life.” – Craig Larter, Associate Manager, Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement, Customer Relationship Center
We stand by our LGBTQ+ team members and support equal rights for all.