MoFo is proud of our LGBTQ+ lawyers and the contributions that they make to the firm and our communities every month of the year, but Pride Month is an especially exciting time for the firm as we come together to celebrate LGBTQ+ history, culture, and politics. During this month-long Q&A series, we'll hear from a number of MoFo lawyers about what Pride Month means to them.
Northern Virginia of counsel Sue Borschel has over 20 years of legal, operations, and comptroller experience working with private and military matrix organizations. Before joining MoFo, she worked for a major defense contractor, serving a number of intelligence, Department of Defense, and other government agency customers. Sue is also well-versed in complex, large scale real estate, infrastructure portfolio, and financing transactions. She recently spoke to us about her experience as a diverse lawyer and what Pride Month means to her.
If you could have dinner with any pioneer of LGBTQ+ rights, who would it be and why?
I would want to have dinner with Barbara Gittings. Long before Stonewall, she was leading the charge toward equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Her work to change the American Psychiatric Association's designation of homosexuality as a disorder is far more important than many realize. With that change, being different is no longer a disease that needs to be cured. I would want to ask her for advice on how to spread her work worldwide and extend her work to eradicate conversion therapy.
How have you personally participated in advocating for the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights?
I am an avid advocate for The Trevor Project. This organization provides crisis and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. The suicide rate among this population has to be stopped. Nobody should feel so alone that they take this ultimate, irreversible step. We need to expand The Trevor Project's reach to every school in America. We have to start early, and we cannot slow our progress in the face of resistance.
How have you seen the legal industry shift in recent years with respect to LGBTQ+ inclusion?
I am seeing more and more corporations and law firms opening their eyes and realizing that there are many benefits to being inclusive. Employees who remain closeted, fearing the impact that being out would have on their career, would be liberated. Once liberated, there is greater job satisfaction and more collaboration without the fear of being judged. The one area where I would like to see more effort in is with transgender lawyers. Transgender law school students are not all at Harvard or the other top schools. Companies and law firms need to reach out to transgender students wherever they are studying and embrace their potential.