For Kristin Griffith, growing up as a gay woman in a more conservative environment made it hard for her to feel comfortable with her peers. She remembers her college years as being stressful—she didn’t want to be different, she wanted to fit in. She thought being queer was the last thing she wanted to be. But, one night she snuck out to the gay affinity group on campus and it changed her life. “It really began the process of meeting more people like me. I met my first girlfriend there, and it was so helpful to have a support group and a place where I felt safe.”
Later in life when Kristin moved to California, she was taken back by the immense diversity in San Francisco. “I fell in love with it. I didn’t know there was a place like the Bay Area, where diversity is so accepted” she says.
Today, Kristin has been working at Adobe since February 2017 and is currently the Digital Media Go-To-Market Segment Leader for SMB, Creative Cloud. She’s an active member of the AdobeProud Employee Network, mentors underprivileged students in her free time, published a short story about her experience coming out in college, published a journal article about discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, and is now working on a memoir.
We sat down for a longer conversation with Kristin to learn more about her motivations and experiences. This is her story.
Thank you for sharing your story, Kristin. So, after joining your first affinity group in college, how did it influence you after you graduated?
When I started graduate school at Rice University in Houston, I started a similar group for graduate students, faculty and staff. It’s really important to have social/support groups where people who face similar challenges can connect. When I joined my first gay affinity group, I remember thinking ‘Ah, I’m with my people’ which is exactly the sentiment I wanted to start my group with.
You’re now working on a memoir, have published a short story on your experience coming out in college, and published a journal article about discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation. What drives you to share your story?
I’ve written about these topics because I want to help people who have been in similar situations. When people feel different and don’t have others like them who they can talk to, they can feel isolated. Hearing and sharing these stories are powerful, and I think it helps other gay people feel accepted and celebrated.
How has your experience at Adobe been since you joined?
Compared to other places I’ve been, Adobe is really good at celebrating diversity. I’ve been out since day one, and it’s never been an issue for me. It’s a good place for diversity and inclusion—I wouldn’t be working here if that wasn’t the case.
What does AdobeProud’s theme of “Better Together” mean to you?
To me, it means we all need to support each other, regardless of differences in our backgrounds, and whether it’s with our personal lives or at work. “Better Together” highlights the importance of that. That also includes being an ally, and how we’re better with allies who can support diversity.
What Inspires you?
Being able to make an impact. I’ve always wanted to make an impact with the community and help people. At work, it’s similar. As a Marketer, I work to make an impact for our customers and it’s a rewarding feeling.
For Pride Month this year, we’ll be highlighting stories as part of a “Better Together” series. Come back weekly for new stories and perspectives and visit the “Better Together” Spark page to learn more about Adobe’s initiatives.