Together, let’s give, live, create and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.
This month we are excited to shine a spotlight on team members at Paper Source that bring and share their love every day with us. Their creativity and passion is the foundation of how we create an inspiring place for all to give, live, create and celebrate every day! Read their stories below.
“Pride for me is a celebration of being my true self as well as a time to reflect and remember all those who have fought so hard to get to where we are today. Celebrating pride gives us the opportunity to be visible and show support for those who may be struggling to find their identity in this world. Living out loud, and proud was not always easy for me.
Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I was sheltered from any way of life other than what I was living. It wasn’t until I moved away to college that I started feeling comfortable expressing my true identity and accepting myself for who I was. I realized it was ok to be different, and that I was not alone. Even though I really found myself during my college years, I was still not completely out to everyone until a few years after that. Coming out and exposing myself took an incredible amount of strength, courage, and support that I was still in the process of building. It wasn’t until I met my partner that I realized true love was possible and that love really has no boundaries. There we were, two small town boys that found each other, loved each other unconditionally, and finally set ourselves on a course to spend our lives together. 13 years later I could not be more happy with the person I have become and the life my partner and I have built together. We have a lot to be proud of!
“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.” -Henry David Thoreau.”
-Eric Sedelmaier (He/Him/His), Madison Store Manager
“When I applied for a job at Paper Source over 6 years ago, I didn’t know anything about the company. I was hired as a Custom Print Designer, working to perfect wedding invitations for our customers. Still new and unfamiliar with the entire design assortment, one of the first orders I was assigned to work on was for a customer that chose a Paper Source designed template that placed an illustrated logo of “Mrs. & Mrs.” above the wording for the invitation. My mouth agape, I remember slowly looking around the room and thinking, “Whaaaaaaaat?…”
At that time, the Supreme Court had not yet ruled to require states to recognize same-sex marriages. But here’s Paper Source, big inclusive energy, designing invitations specific to same-sex marriages! I was stunned.
After the initial shock passed, I felt relieved, accepted, and so excited to be at this company. I knew that I wouldn’t have to hide that I was in a same-sex relationship, that I was going to get to help other same-sex couples design their wedding invitations, and that my job would never be in jeopardy because of who I love.
During Pride, we are unafraid to identify and celebrate ourselves. We revel in the fact that we are surrounded by an accepting community, respecting and embracing what makes all of us different. I know that Pride was not born out of the need to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, but to advocate for it. I am extremely grateful for the individuals who worked together to demonstrate and fight for the rights and support that we enjoy today. In addition, I am proud to work for a company that not only accepts, but promotes acceptance, of identities and relationships of all kinds.”
Anna Lightner (She/Her), Website Designer for Paper Source
My name is Ally Ackles and I am a key holder at the Tampa store in Hyde Park Village. Here is my story:
Not much of a writer so bare with me as I attempt to write out my story. I didn’t come out as a lesbian until I was 22 years old in September of 2019. Pride representation in the public is so important. It’s crazy to think how little I knew about the LGBTQIA+ community a couple years ago and how incredibly proud and blessed to be apart of such a supportive and inspiring community now.
Here is a little bit of a backstory so you can get the sense of the amount I knew. I was visiting a friend in New Jersey one summer and we went to NYC for the day. It just so happened that it was the same day as the NYC Pride Parade. However, I didn’t know that at the time. I kept seeing people in rainbow outfits and glitter and just being genuinely happy it was incredible. I actually asked my friend “why is everyone in rainbow stuff” and she told me about the pride parade and that’s when it all started clicking in my brain. We ended up walking up and watching a bit of the parade I will never forget that day.
Fast forward 3 years to an extremely depressed anxious college student. Moved back home and started accept myself and a huge weight was lifted off me once I finally came out. Pride to me is finally being able to be happy with who you are by representing yourself and those who are still struggling. Love is love.
–Ally Ackles (she/her), Key Holder at Paper Source
I’m Emily Rosenquist, Shift Supervisor at the Indianapolis Keystone location (625). I’m the blonde in the photos.
Pride to me is more than just words, it is a feeling. Pride evokes the feeling of love and safety and affirmation in all parts and places in my life. I enjoy celebrating that amazing feeling in this month in particular and salute all the rebels who made this possible.
–Emily Rosenquist (she/her), Shift Supervisor for Paper Source