For Pride Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various LGBTQ Americans who have worked and continue to work at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today's Pride Month profile is Sebastian Rey.
Sebastian Rey is a proud transgender member of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) who works as a costumer. He has been a member of Local 478 since 2011. “I love my crew and the film industry,” he said. As a mixed-race man, Rey said that before joining IATSE he avoided speaking his mind or being in spaces where he would likely be discriminated against, or his safety would be jeopardized.
“I’ve found my voice and a home within the union,” he said. “Now all I want to do is speak the truth and see the response I get. It’s been an effective change in me, since joining [IATSE]. I admit the confidence makes you want to create good trouble everywhere.”
Rey says he’s proud to see the union embrace LGBTQ workers as well. “Do we have a lot of work to do? Yes. However, it’s a great feeling to know we’re not starting from ground zero.”