It is a strange, exciting, and often scary time to be a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. We’ve found ourselves drawn in more and more to political conversations on a variety of topics that directly impact our business operations and our personal lives. Whether it’s changes to tax law, state legislative measures affecting LGBTQ rights, actions taken by elected representatives in regards to the internet, or judicial hearings that affect our legal obligations, politics is no longer something that we can wave off as something that doesn’t affect us. So, as we celebrate our certification with NGLCC and continue our efforts to find a place in our local community, we think that it’s time to establish some context about who we are and what kind of community we want to cultivate.
Berry Interesting is led by a member of the LBGTQIA+ community
Our founder, D’nelle, identifies as queer. She has an enormous amount of privilege that allows that part of her identity to be invisible in lots of situations, and it’s rarely, if ever, that it comes up in professional conversations. We see joining NGLCC less as a vehicle for proactive advocacy and more as an opportunity for our clients and our community to know more about us.
“What it comes down to, for me, is standing up as a part of and for a community that I value,” they say. “I did not have a any successful queer role models growing up in the 80s, but I don’t want it to be that way for younger generations. There’s so much variety in ourselves and in the world, but it’s easy to let the fear of the unknown keep us from expressing the ways in which we’re different. I suspect that if I’d had more examples of queer joy, queer love, and queer success available to me as a kid that I’d have been able to be less fearful of being myself.”
We also want to take this moment to state unequivocally: we respect and support the rights of every individual — regardless of race, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, genetic makeup, disability, or medical status — to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and full inclusion in civic life.
303 Creative LLC vs. Elenis
We’ve been thinking about this topic since 2017 when SCOTUS heard arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissions. Considering the tension between denying services to someone based on religion, race, or sexual orientation and staying true to one’s own strongly held beliefs is a complex and thorny space to explore in ones own head, much less to attempt to codify into law. Just because we happen to be led by a member of the LGBTQIA+ community doesn’t make that consideration any easier.
But this year, the Supreme Court arguments in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis caught our particular attention because 303 Creative’s business is quite similar to Berry Interesting. In fact, a lot of what is expressed in their website copy really resonates with us, especially this: “303 creative believes that a deeply personal relationship with our clients is essential to providing services that exceed your expectations.”
We also deeply value personal relationships. Our most important client relationships are ones that are long-term and future-oriented, and our favorite work is for clients with whom we can find a shared set of values. We don’t want to be in the business of rearranging pixels on a screen in exchange for cash; we want to do work that makes our small corner of the world a better place. We also would never want to work with a client who asked us to build or maintain a site with copy or imagery that we found personally offensive. In fact, a couple of years ago, we added a clause into our support contracts that reserves our right to discontinue services in situations like that. But this has us wondering what may need to change, depending on the outcome of this case and others like it. We’ll be keeping a keen eye out for the SCOTUS opinion when it’s issued next year.
We’re really just so happy to call Colorado home
We really appreciate that we live in a state that is making a concerted effort to create a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone is welcome to work, live, and play. One of the first things that we noticed when we moved to Colorado was the abundance of spaces and resources open to the public, easily shareable and enjoyable by anyone. The joy that things like that bring is a big part of why we are committed to living here for the long term. Also, it has been our experience that a diversity of perspectives, opinions, and life experiences makes teams and communities stronger, more creative, and more resilient. It feels really good to know that, despite our differences, as a state we are prioritizing and supporting that diversity.
In conclusion, we are more than happy to build you a wedding website — no matter if you’re getting married for love, or health insurance, or just out of spite.