Pride Month: Meet Patricia Frisby
June 23, 2021
June is Pride Month, and Patricia “Trish” Frisby, Customer Care Manager for Retail Business Services – the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA – says this celebration of the LGBTQ+ community is a time for people to be true to themselves and accepting of others.
“Pride Month is one of my favorite times of year simply because there is so much love in the air,” Trish said. “I think that’s one of the best things about it – everyone comes together and opens their arms and embraces the days.”
And Trish knows from experience what it means to hide a part of yourself and let life pass you by.
“I knew I was different,” she shared. “Even as a little girl, I always knew something was different. But I figured out I was gay at a time when people weren’t so accepting. So, instead, I did everything that was expected of a young woman. I got married. I lived a very ‘closeted’ life – though I hate to use that term. It really wasn’t until later in my life that I finally came to terms with who I am and was true to myself. I honestly didn’t truly come out until I was in my 50s. And that’s a long time to go with trying to keep something more or less undercover.”
Ironically, when she was finally true to herself, what she found was love and acceptance.
“A lot of the people I was most afraid of telling were like, ‘Thank God you were finally honest with yourself,’” she recalled with a laugh. “They already knew. You don’t realize how much people love and respect and appreciate you until you’re really true to yourself.”
At the time, Trish worked with the Ahold Delhaize USA organization and said her local brand’s open and inclusive policies eased her anxieties and made her feel welcomed and accepted.
“One of the things that struck me the most was how welcoming the company was for everyone,” she said. “You know, I grew up a long time ago when things weren’t quite as accepting, and for me to walk into an organization and feel comfortable being myself was huge. There were no questions, no judgement, no nothing; I could simply be me. It’s something that has stuck with me to this day.”
She also loves seeing the increasing amount of young people who are loud and proud about their identities.
“It’s such a great stride now to be where we are, to have this openness and to simply be,” she said.
She currently lives in Chicago with her fur-baby, a 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Enzo. Now, Trish doesn’t let life pass her by. In her free time, she enjoys knocking items like skydiving off her bucket list. And two years ago, she earned her master’s fifth-degree black belt in Taekwondo.
For others who might be afraid, Trish has some words of encouragement:
“Be true to yourself,” she said. “It’s more exhausting not to – and when I say exhausting, I mean physically and mentally. You spend more of your life trying to hide than appreciating what’s before you. I am more free now in my life than I’ve ever been. If you’re capable of loving someone, no one can define who you’re capable of loving. What’s important is that you love.”