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Celebrating Our Pride Family

5월 30, 2024

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Dave Firth | Regional Vice President Sales, Ansys
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The LGBTQIA+ community is all about family. Whether that’s biological family, chosen family, or work family, members of the community spread love to all our lives every day. That is why this year’s Ansys Pride Month theme is One Family.

My experience raising two LGBTQIA+ children has been a journey fraught with challenges and profound realizations. My primary goal as a parent has always been to provide a nurturing, supportive, and loving environment where my kids could thrive and grow into the people they were born to be. As my children turned into adults, it became evident to me that they did not choose their sexuality — they simply are who they are. No environment or upbringing “made” them that way. This realization deepened my understanding of unconditional love and strengthened my resolve as a parent.

My children’s expressions of identity and love have exemplified what it means to live authentically. They embody courage and honesty, and their authenticity has taught me more about faith and empathy than any doctrine.

Understanding the broader struggles facing LGBTQIA+ youths is crucial. According to a 2018 report by the Williams Institute, 40% of homeless youths in the United States identify as LGBTQIA+, and the main reason for their homelessness is family rejection. This statistic is heartbreaking and underscores the urgency for us to collectively reflect on our attitudes and practices. No child should be forced into homelessness because their family refuses to accept who they are.

Through my journey as a father, I have realized that we must rise above narrow doctrines that sow division and instead embrace unconditional love. My children deserve to live in a world where they are celebrated, are accepted, and feel safe. The solution is simple: Don’t reject, but accept. If we unite and foster acceptance, we can help create a future in which every child knows the warmth of a loving, supportive family, regardless of how a child identifies. With continued advocacy and allyship, I believe we can build that world together.

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Dave Firth with his wife, Karen. A father of two LGBTQIA+ children, he is a co-sponsor of the Ansys Pride Alliance employee resource group.

This is where the LGBTQIA+ community and the Ansys Pride Alliance employee resource group become invaluable. The Pride Alliance provides a welcoming space for people like me who deeply love their LGBTQIA+ family members but sometimes feel isolated by traditional environments. The Pride Alliance reports that 27% of its members are parents or other relatives of LGBTQIA+ individuals. By bringing together parents who share similar journeys, the Pride Alliance has built a strong support network that promotes acceptance and helps break down stereotypes.

As we kick off Pride Month this year, we are excited to focus on our theme of One Family. We understand that family can mean different things to different people, and for many it is their chosen family who forms their core support network. We invite all family members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community to join Ansys in celebrating Pride Month. Our employee resource group will host its annual bake-off, participate in a 5K challenge available both virtually and in office, and enjoy daily trivia questions. Additionally, we will shine a spotlight on our employee resource group members, celebrating their contributions and stories. We look forward to continued opportunities to connect, support, and uplift our community both in and beyond the workplace.

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Folks at Ansys Government Initiatives in Exton, Pennsylvania, gather for a self-organized Pride 5K to celebrate Pride Month in 2023. From left to right are Dan Witman, Ismir Tufek, Shashank Narayan, Brady Flaharty, Sharon Flaharty, Jim Woodburn, Molly Fadden, Dan Fadden, and Lauren Krapf.


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