15 May Connecting Communities: Professionals in Practice
“You can be an out-LGBTQ person in Barrie and still be a successful businessperson.”
That’s the idea behind Professionals in Practice, a networking and support system for LGBTQ professionals in Barrie and the surrounding area. Started by Morgan Sheridan, who was born and raised in Barrie, Professionals in Practice is there to help members of the LGBTQ community who are going through a unique experience.
According to Morgan, being a businessperson and a member of the LGBTQ community carries different expectations, ideas and misinformation that some other LGBTQ people do not undergo. In Barrie, there wasn’t an organization that was there to help those individuals.
Morgan, who owns the Edward Jones office on Clapperton Street, is willing to be the face of LGBTQ professionals in the city, a group that doesn’t really have one right now.
Morgan is no stranger to adversity. He grew up in a poor family with a single mother. His family had to visit food banks just to get by and growing up was even more difficult for a young gay man in Barrie.
Though Morgan realized that he was gay in high school, he didn’t feel like he could come out until he was an adult. As a business professional, it would be natural to worry about the impact intolerance might have on your work, especially when starting a support group for part of the LGBTQ community.
But that’s not the case. Morgan says that being openly gay hasn’t impacted his business at all. There are a lot of LGBTQ business owners and professionals in Barrie who are making a real difference in our community.
None of them, however, belong to organizations like Professionals in Practice. Before now, there had never been an organization that was there to support LGBTQ professionals and business owners in the city.
Why do we need Professionals in Practice? We’ll let Morgan tell you!
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma, judgement and intolerance in Barrie towards the LGBTQ community. There are organizations out there that are helping to combat this, like the Gilbert Centre, but there are none that support LGBTQ professionals and business owners. Professionals in Practice is a new face in our community, but it’s a much needed one.
Morgan doesn’t view his organization as one of advocacy. Rather, he wants it to be one of support and networking. He has experienced being a member of the LGBTQ community while establishing his career, and he wants to help others do the same.
If you’re interested in learning more about Professionals in Practice, Morgan encourages you to give him a call at (705) 728-5994.
United Way Simcoe Muskoka is proud to be a connector between people and organizations in our communities. Professionals in Practice is one of those awesome organizations that can have a huge impact on LGBTQ professionals in Barrie. To stay up to date on other community connections and see how UWSM is supporting our communities, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.