At 3Q/DEPT, we know representation matters, and creating a psychologically safe environment where every individual feels comfortable to be themselves is an on-going commitment. June is Pride Month and it’s a delight to get to share a few stories from some awesome LGBTQ+ humans at 3Q/DEPT. In the next few Humans of 3Q blogs, you’ll be introduced to Amie Crawford, Shelby Nations, Andrew Avrutin, and Erin Mulrooney.
Amie Crawford (she/her), SVP, Client Services
Amie is responsible for overseeing client-facing teams, driving account plans and relationships for 3Q/DEPT’s clients. As an advisor, coach, and mentor, she believes in a “one team, one dream” philosophy. When she’s not at work, she’s usually spending time with her wife and their two daughters, or trying to get in a workout on her Peloton.
If you’re comfortable sharing, tell us about your coming out journey:
My coming out story, is kind of funny because I was actually the last one to know and to accept that I was gay, despite many early indicators.
Before I get into my story, I have to say I am extremely blessed because I have an amazing mother who has always loved, honored and accepted who I am. My mom let me be me, from wearing a boys bathing suit to gym class to taking me to the barber for all my haircuts, to letting me rock a suit to be a ring bearer in a lesbian wedding, my mom has always been there for me.
Back to my story and why I say, that I was the last to know and accept that I am gay. Growing up in the ‘80s, there was very little representation in media of gay characters, and if they were represented at all, it was through in a stereotypical way and generally not shown in a very positive light.
This lack of representation and the way I perceived what it would mean to be gay, led to me suppressing who I am, through my childhood and teen years. I thought that if I was gay, I wouldn’t be able to be a role model, that it would limit my possibilities in life.
I wouldn’t even consider or entertain the most remote possibility that I might like girls until I was a sophomore in college.
When I came out, I’d been dating my first girlfriend for a couple of months. I was talking to my mom on the phone one day and she asked me, “So Aim, are you having any fun, are you dating any guys? My response was a pretty firm “No”. Then she asked “well what about girls?” I’ve never been very good at lying to my mom, I paused and said, “ahhhh yea…” she responded so quickly and so sweetly, “is that a yeah mom I’m gonna kill you or a yeah for real?” I said it was a yeah for real, she was so happy and so supportive and I felt so much relief, because even though I knew how much she loved me, there was that moment of fear and doubt and “what if,” “what if this changes how she sees me or how she loves me, but it didn’t and for that I am incredibly grateful.
I feel extremely fortunate that this was the response from my entire family, even my very conservative grandparents. I know that sadly this is not the experience of everyone in our community.
Who inspires you? Why?
I am inspired by those who continue to fight for equality in the LGTBQIA+ community.
To me, Pride means accepting, loving and feeling a great sense of strength for who you are.
Of our 4 core values, ‘Accept No Limits,’ ‘Act for the Greater Good,’ ‘Be Inclusive,’ and ‘Own It,’ which resonates with you most and why?
I can’t pick just one, they all resonate for different reasons and they are all connected.
Inclusivity is an important piece to 3Q/DEPT’s identity. It means we strive to create spaces for everyone to feel comfortable to be their authentic selves. What has inclusivity at 3Q/DEPT, or a different work environment, looked like for you?
Inclusivity in a work environment is critical to me, I’ve chosen to work for organizations that have this as part of their culture. Prior to joining 3Q, the most meaningful work I had the opportunity to participate in was through my previous agencies Business Resource Groups. These groups are also where I have developed some of my most meaningful professional relationships & friendships.
What does it mean to have people show up as allies in a work environment?
Having people show up as allies at work is deeply meaningful, it means my colleagues see me and support me for all of who I am.
There are many amazing LGBTQIA+ organizations that are fighting for the rights of queer folk, but they can’t continue without funding. Are there any organizations you’d like to give a shout-out to?
I’d like to give a special shout out to The Trevor Project, I am participating in their 51 Mile Pride Ride this June and helping to raise funds in support of this incredible organization.
Finally, do you have a favorite queer anthem?
That’s an easy one, Lady Gaga, Born This Way.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to ask people to continue to open their hearts, to lead with love and perhaps most importantly as we head into the polls this fall, vote for candidates who are not looking to strip away the rights of my family and the LGBTQIA+ community!