“Growing up in a deeply religious family, I already knew being gay was one of the worst sins you could commit. It put my life on a weird trajectory, because I knew I was gay. Growing up I would hear my parents and neighbors say that having a gay child would be the worst. I learned to feel deeply ashamed of my identity.
But as I grew older, I traveled and lived in Scotland, England, Thailand and China. I experienced other ways to view life and I met people who knew being gay wasn’t a sin—people who were proud to be gay. As I met more people like that, I found them so loveable and when you meet people you love, it’s hard to hate yourself for the same reasons why you love them.
These experiences helped me realize that if I didn’t come out and learn to love myself, I was either going to spend the rest of my life miserable or die. When I came out to my family and friends, they were angry, and many stopped talking to me. I learned to set boundaries with them, have patience and we found a way to work through the pain. Today, my family totally supports me, and they love my fiancé as member of our family.”
Marcus McBride, who has been with Adobe since January 2019 as a Senior Program Manager for our Digital Experience organization, took the time to sit with us and share more about his experience. This is his story.
Since you joined the company in January 2019, how has Adobe been supportive of you?
Adobe is the first place where I’ve worked that already had an existing Proud Employee Network. That was pretty big to me. I’ve come from companies where I got reported to HR for having a photo of my partner on my desk. And really, I’m just being treated like any other employee. How I identify is a non-issue at Adobe.
And how has the AdobeProud Employee Network been a supportive community for you?
It’s been a good networking experience. Adobe’s a big company and I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to meet people. But the AdobeProud network has been a really great way to network with people across the organization and actually do my job better. It’s made me a better employee all around.
How have your Adobe employee allies been supportive of you?
In some work environments, when you introduce yourself, it can be a nerve-racking moment because you’re kind of re-outing yourself. There have been times where some people just end a conversation with me once they learn about how I identify as. But here at Adobe, the people I’ve met aren’t stumbling over their words when I tell them about my fiancé. Being an ally can just be listening and genuinely asking me more about how I spent my weekend with my partner.
What can people do to be allies to their LGBTQIA coworkers?
I like to reference my mother. She went from telling me that I was going to hell, to loving my fiancé more than she loves me! It’s better you begin your journey knowing that you’ll make some mistakes than not engaging with people because you think you won’t be perfect. Apologize when you can and listen to stories. It’s a progression!
What does “Better Together” and Pride Month mean to you personally?
To me, it means celebrating the part of you that you once thought was the worst part of you. It means finding pride in your culture and understanding that your story is worthy of sharing. It also means that everyone gets a seat at the table, no matter what. I love “Adobe For All” because it emphasizes that we’re all Adobians. We are one people and we have a lot of beautiful complex stories to share. And we’re focused on sharing those stories all year round.
What inspires you?
Stories. It’s amazing what a good story can do. It can galvanize people. And true kindness inspires me. There’s a big diff between politeness and kindness. The kind of kindness where people will truly listen to you rather than feel the need fix problems.
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.