MoFo is proud of our LGBTQ+ lawyers and the contributions that they make to the firm and our communities every month of the year, but Pride Month is an especially exciting time for the firm as we come together to celebrate LGBTQ+ history, culture, and politics. We recently asked Washington, D.C. finance partner Susan Gault-Brown what this month means to her, and what important changes she sees occurring in the legal field in favor of equality and inclusion.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Pride Month has always been a time of community and celebration for me and, seeing Pride increasingly embraced by a variety of communities and institutions—including the corporate sector—often astounds me and gives me hope for a truly inclusive and fair future, not only for LGBTQ+ individuals, but for other often overlapping communities that have had to fight for basic human rights and freedoms. Pride Month demonstrates a growing cultural understanding and awareness, which means a great deal to me and my family and can signify the beginning of broader systemic change.
If you could have dinner with any pioneer of LGBTQ+ rights, who would it be and why?
A true LGBTQ+ pioneer is Nick Teich, a transgender man who founded and operates a summer camp in the United States geared solely to transgender youth. Nick has created a unique and safe space for hundreds of transgender youth to be themselves, be part of a community, and be kids. I think Nick’s accomplishment is a tremendous contribution to the mental health and welfare of the next generation of an important segment of the LGBTQ+ community.
How have you seen the legal industry shift in recent years with respect to LGBTQ+ inclusion?
In recent years, and especially since the LGBTQ+ community won marriage equality at the Supreme Court, it has become more common to see LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts within the legal industry, particularly in Big Law and at large corporate employers. We still have a long way to go to reach full inclusion across the profession, but I am hopeful that recent progress can inspire more lawyers and firms to act as allies and achieve more positive changes in the years to come.