Every June, the United States celebrates Pride Month, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, which took place when a police raid on the now-iconic queer club set off widespread protests throughout New York City in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Today, Pride is more than just recognition. It’s a powerful reminder of the continuing fight for equality and an unapologetic celebration of life and the many milestones the LGBTQ+ community has fought for and achieved since Stonewall.

In this series, we asked three of our LGBTQIA+ employees to reflect on their journey to Lund Opsahl, on Pride, and what it means to feel included and celebrated at work and beyond. Today, we talked to our administrative assistant Emily Bullard-Clough (they/them), who has been in this industry for over 20 years and has been with Lund Opsahl for almost a year.

Can you tell me about your journey here starting from the beginning?
I’ve been working in the AEC industry now for over 20 years. I worked for a couple different engineering firms. I worked for a lighting firm, a security firm, and I worked for an architecture firm for seven years. Then, I came here because it is a better working environment, far more diverse, and it’s fun. Lund Opsahl really cares about their employees, and you get to be yourself here.

What is the best part about your job?
Making my people happy. It’s kind of silly, but the admin is kind of the office’s morale officer. I like being able to say good morning to everybody. I like being able to make sure people have the things that they want. I’m the point of contact for new people, and I like making sure people know that even if I don’t know the answer, I can get it for you. People know that if they come to me, they’re going to get a solution.

What does pride mean to you?
Pride is a celebration of all people and all diversity, and I think it involves everybody. Pride brings the entire community together and it gives people who maybe don’t know about being gay or trans or in LGBTQIA+ community a better understanding.

Plus, it’s a celebration of us. It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come— that we aren’t at Stonewall anymore. We are an accepted part of society as we should be. Everybody is equal and it is a very good time for education, as well. Those of us that didn’t have those opportunities to be in community and learn from each other are now seeing those opportunities, and it’s really freeing to be able to embrace them.

Pride is a celebration of all people and all diversity, and it involves everybody. Plus, Pride is a celebration of us. It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come— that we aren’t at Stonewall anymore.

Emily Bullard-Clough

As someone who didn’t have they/them pronouns growing up, it was very freeing to finally find things that fit me. I could be me. I could be the androgynous person that I am, and nobody even thinks twice about it now. When you are comfortable in your own skin and you’re able to be your own person, it makes a huge difference.

And as someone who’s still figuring things out, it’s an exciting time. I love meeting new people and exploring, because I’m still learning. When you go to Pride events, you learn so much and can really embrace your community and find your allies. It’s a really welcoming community to all people. It’s freeing. It’s wonderful. It makes you feel good about yourself.

How is Lund Opsahl working to support and include the LGBTQIA+ community as a company?
I really feel like Lund Opsahl is a lot like the Pride community. They are more about what you want to do and that you do good job. It doesn’t matter what shape, size, sex you are.

I think we’re really close-knit group here. If anybody needs anything, they have people to go to. That’s really important. Within our community, we celebrate each individual. The principals have supported people during difficult personal times, and that in itself is uplifting to people. Not making those things a big deal is a way to support people, and they offer opportunities like what we’re doing today.

We’re also starting the Just application, which includes metrics for gender diversity and racial diversity. We’re learning a lot through that process.

Favorite Lund Opsahl Project?
I really like the Olympic Fairmont Hotel Renovation. It’s really beautiful. As an art deco fanatic, I love it.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Oh my gosh. Being invisible. Being a fly on the wall would be good sometimes.

What is your superpower?
I feel like I make people feel better. Well, my real superpower is that I’m good with critters, but my human superpower is that I really try to provide support to people when they need it.

Emily showing off their real superpower with their dear horse, Onyx.