RIT/NTID Diversity Spotlight
[ID: RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Pride Month Spotlight. Background is a gradient of blue and purple. A vector art of a brown arm holding a pride flag is visible on the far bottom right. Pictured in a purple circle is Raymond Ramirez, a Dominican man smiling with short hair, wearing a black shirt donned with a red pocket. Behind the photo of Ray is a vector of rainbow colors. NTID was so friendly, supportive, and inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. I felt right at home." - Raymond Ramirez '15. Operations Coordinator - Workforce Services. Sorenson Communications. Management, BS." ]
Raymond Ramirez '15
Raymond was heavily involved in the LGBTQ+ scene at NTID during his years at RIT.
Raymond graduated with a MS degree in Management in 2015 from RIT/NTID and later obtained his MBA & Master of Science, Management & Leadership in 2021 from Western Governers University.
Share a brief background of who you are.
I was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in NYC. I attended RIT from 2011 to 2015 where I graduated with a BS in management. I currently live in Lakeland, FL with my dog son, Mateo, and the rest of the family
What does Pride mean to you and what is your favorite event during pride month?
Pride is a safe place where people can roam freely without worrying about anyone else’s opinions. It is the time of the year when we go out unapologetically louder than any other month. My favorite event during pride month would be the parade. You get to see creativity and outlandish personalities strutting down the street!
What are some ways the world can make Pride celebrations more inclusive and diverse?
We have come a long way from the Stonewall riot and the HIV/AIDS epidemic and we are ready to make pride celebrations more inclusive and diverse by acknowledging there is a huge spectrum of identities and sexualities and a community that needs support and care. Pride celebrations should be fun, liberating, and safe for everyone to participate in. We need to protect and nourish our community.
Name someone who inspires you and why?
I would not be me without the queen Beyoncé. She was the turning point of my gay youth and I idolize her. She inspired me to strive for the best and to share influence with others.
What sense of community did RIT/NTID offer you while you were a student? How were you involved in fostering that community?
Back in the day when I was an undergrad, I was involved in many extracurricular activities that helped me build leadership skills. I started in high school by running a small GSA club. I became the president of NTID Spectrum Club, opening doors into ColorFEST and building collaborations with RITga and OUTspoken. It was amazing meeting people and learning about their backgrounds as I shared mine as well. RIT/NTID was so friendly, inclusive and supportive with the LGBT community—I felt right at home.
What accomplishments are you most proud of as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community?
My proudest accomplishment was building my drag persona, Grey Gorgeous, at RIT. She was my alter ego that helped me combat through high school and it was amazing to be able to bring her out and touch many people’s hearts through live performances.
What’s one quote that keeps you going?
"If everything was perfect, you would never learn, and you would never grow." Take a wild guess who said the quote. hint: it’s Beyoncé.
Share a fun fact about yourself.
My idea of stress release is Netflix and crocheting. Keeps my mind focused on the yarn and hook.