Pride: Meet Valorie Reilly

Valorie Reilly in Action

Valorie is a employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Floridia and a member of AFGE Local 1594.

What role do you think labor plays in advancing the rights of LGBT people in the workplace?

Organized Labor has always been on the frontline advocating for civil and equal rights.  Securing rights for our LGBT brothers and sisters is a continuation of that struggle.    

Consequently, I believe that Labor plays an integral role in advancing LGBT rights. The declaration: "Human Rights - Workers Rights -Same Struggle" has the same timeless meaning now as it did 50 years ago.

What changes have you seen in the labor movement with regard LGBT labor rights?

From my entry into federal service 30 years ago when being closeted was the norm, AFGE/NVAC was one of the first nation-wide MCBAs to include sexual orientation in 1997.

More recently, we have seen further validation by the AFL-CIO in the establishment of thePride at Work constituency group. Clearly our work is cut-out for us, but by and large, I have found AFGE members and others more accepting and requesting more education on LGBT issues.

What does it mean to you to see LGBT represented and acknowledged in AFGE?

In a word: validation. 

What does ally-ship in the context of LGBT labor rights mean to you?

Possibilities! We have untapped and unlimited possibilities to work with our allies to create, develop, and nurture a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

What do you have pride in?

I have pride in knowing my union accepts and supports me for who I am.

Read more stories of AFGE PRIDE.


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