Get to Know Billings Specialist Kim Scavotto

Kim has been with McKinstry for a little over a year as a billing specialist supporting the Mechanical Service Department. Kim is a member of McKinstry’s Pride Alliance and sees this month as a time to practice self-reflection, self-forgiveness and self-love. In the Q&A below, learn about Kim’s role at McKinstry, the meaning of pride month to them, how individuals in the workplace can better support the LGBTQ+ community and more.

Learn More About Kim’s Experience

What is your role at McKinstry/ how did you get there?

I am a billing specialist supporting the Mechanical Service department. I’ve been with McKinstry for a little over a year. I came here shortly after re-joining the workforce, learning to navigate the corporate world and motherhood at the same time. I had always heard good things about the company through my friends and family that work in trades and that reputation is a big part of why I chose McKinstry. After I got here, I found the Building Bridges program, watched the groundwork happening on DEI initiatives and the engagement from McKinstry overall on these initiatives and found that I love it here.

What is the meaning of Pride Month to you?

Pride is mainly a time of self-reflection for me. It’s the time of year I look back on my life and practice self-forgiveness and self-love. Last year was my first year attending the Seattle Dyke March and I found the rawness in the atmosphere to agree with my state of being at that time. A queer comedian I follow, Ashley Gavin, said in a podcast “We can’t separate queer joy from queer sadness”. That statement rings very true for me. I did spend many years in the closet, more years than I know some of my LGBTQ+ friends had safe access to. While Pride is the most fitting time of the year to unleash queer joy, for many, myself included, that joy comes with other emotions. The history of Pride is poignant and a great metaphor that to experience queer joy, we have to fight back the oppressive culture and the agents of that oppressive culture. This includes fighting back against the messages we’ve internalized over the years about ourselves and others and learning to be our true authentic selves. The quote on my whiteboard at work is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To be yourself in a world constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

How can individuals best support the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace?

Honestly, be kind and make space for others to be authentic. I’m not a big fan of sugar-coating. But true, genuine kindness, can hardly ever go wrong. Call out (or call-in) hurtful behaviors. Use requested pronouns and gender-neutral language, including the language surrounding compliments, criticisms and yes, curse words. You never know who is listening or what that person is going through.

What are helpful resources for people who want to become allies to utilize?

I’ve found over the years that a misunderstanding of the LGBTQ+ experience leads to a lot of unintentional harm. I’d like to share some media recommendations that I feel give perspective on issues and personal struggles of our community. So if you are so inclined – please check out Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry (1999), read Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang or watch the play on film (1993). I also love the abstract art prints by queer artist Brit (britchida.com, britchida on Instagram). Brit’s message sums up Pride rather well with “play is the opposite of survival”.

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