Congressman Ritchie Torres Joins Jon Gray for OUT Blackstone Fireside Chat in Honor of Pride Month

OUT Blackstone, Blackstone’s LGBTQ+ affinity group, recently hosted a conversation with Representative Ritchie Torres, the first openly gay Afro-Latino member of the US Congress. The fireside chat was the featured keynote in a series of events that OUT Blackstone hosted in honor of Pride Month. Torres and Blackstone President Jon Gray discussed issues of identity, representation and inclusion. The congressman reflected on his personal history growing up in the Bronx, his decision to run for public office and his experience as an openly gay person of color in Congress.

OUT Blackstone also works closely with our other affinity networks including the Diverse Professionals Network to offer opportunities for employees to embrace intersectionality within our community. Torres discussed the importance of upholding all aspects of his identity and breaking barriers to allow others to do the same.

“The LGBTQ+ community uniquely understands that identity is not binary. It is intersectional,” Torres said. “I refuse to be defined by an arbitrary binary that has been imposed on me by society. I’m going to own both identities.”

“OUT Blackstone fosters a support network and a safe place for our employees,” Marshall Sprung, Chair of OUT Blackstone, said to open the event. “As we celebrate Pride Month, I am really proud of the work that OUT Blackstone does in helping our LGBTQ+ colleagues be their most authentic selves.”

Blackstone President Jon Gray and Congressman Ritchie Torres with members of OUT Blackstone