Pride: a community of others who give each other the strength to own their identities

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Editor’s Note: June is Pride Month which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community.  The month commemorates the Stonewall Uprising of 1969.  In the early morning hours of June 28, New York City Police raided the Stonewall Inn — a gay bar in Greenwich Village. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons, neighborhood residents, and the police. The community protested for more than five days in and around Christopher Street, where the Stonewall Inn is still located.  The uprising catalyzed LGBTQ+ rights movement in the U.S. and around the world.

At RPG, our core cultural building blocks are authenticity, belonging and compassion. But without a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, these are just words. Our friends at The Diversity Movement remind us that “when companies downplay demographic differences, they actually increase underrepresented employees’ perception of bias from white colleagues and reduce engagement at work.”

 As part of recognizing Pride Month, we celebrate Racer Andrei Antonescu, and all that the month of observation means to him.

 What motivates you?

While I would say family highly motivates me, I’ve realized that I’m inspired by community and people in general. I had to grow up quickly — the son of two pediatricians always on the run. I was constantly in and out of the nursing station of our local hospital and found myself fueled by the conversations I would have with people three or four decades older than I was. Later in life, I realized that community and relationships motivate me. This is also similar to the definition of pride — a sense of family, a community of others who give each other the strength to own their identities.

Who has served as an inspiration in your life?

Inspiration comes from many different sources, and because of that, I have a difficult time pinpointing a single source of inspiration. Because, like motivation, I find inspiration in many different people and places. But, with that said, I find inspiration in people who express intention in their decision-making, those who express gratitude for small things, and those who prioritize their values among everything else.

What book do you think everyone should read?

One of my favorite books of all time was introduced to me by one of my favorite teachers in high school, Mrs. Castner. She had us read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The epic romantic novel tackles universal themes: human follies, the hopelessness of societal constructs, and the struggle of time and fate. It also played a role in unlocking the hopeless romantic that I am.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

This month is a celebration of love and overcoming adversaries. This is a chance for us to recognize and honor all the brave pioneers that have fought for this freedom, while standing together as a community to continue fighting for equality. Pride is community. Pride is unity.


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