Labels. People. Work.

An employee perspective on Pride Month

By Visteon Systems Engineer Ricardo Aguilar

Pronouns: He/Him/His 

I heard a speech some time ago by a woman who said your labels are usually the first thing people notice. Labels (the way you personally define yourself) are always the first identifiers used by others to judge you.

Based on my experience, I believe this is true. However, labels may not always be a bad thing. 

Think about it: are you the happy person in the office who always makes people smile? Are you the person who always dances at parties and loves to invite others to join you? Are you the coworker who everyone fondly refers to as “neighbor”? Although these are all labels, they come without bad intentions.

The most important thing is that we have positive labels for ourselves. We all want to be respected, regardless of the labels we assign ourselves or that others place on us.

Being part of the Visteon community has provided me an environment, community and culture that respects and accepts me and all of my labels. Work is a place where I can be my authentic self – a son, brother, friend, coworker, happy, crazy, semi-fit, taco lover and gay man named Richie.

We tend to focus on what makes us different. In reality, we are much more alike than we are different. When it comes to building relationships at work, all you need to do is have a conversation to find your common ground. What I appreciate about my Visteon colleagues is that they are comfortable talking to me about any topic or situation. They show respect and tolerance to every member of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, and asexual and/or ally (LGBTQIA+) community. The more we break down barriers, remove labels and truly see people as people, the happier we become. Underneath it all, we are all human.

For the first time in Visteon’s history, we are celebrating Pride Month in June – both at Visteon Technical Center Queretaro (VTCQ) and at our global headquarters in Van Buren Township, Michigan, U.S. It took a significant amount of time and effort to organize activities with the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee in Queretaro and the Straight Allies and Gay Employees (SAGE) employee resource group in Van Buren Township. I am very happy to be a part of the month-long celebration, which will focus on education and community service with the support of our company’s leadership.

Pride Month is much more than just a celebration for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It breaks down walls, encourages open dialogue, fosters a culture of respect and helps shatter negative labels. It also helps foster a diverse, equal and inclusive environment for all people in our company and our community.