An Earner’s Story: Brandon Jenkins

By: Brandon Jenkins (he/they)

My name is Brandon Jenkins. I’m a 33 (almost 34) year old queer person. I am EarnUp’s Culture and Workplace Experience Coordinator. 

I was born and raised in Southern California. I spent most of my life in Ontario, CA. I moved to San Francisco in August of 2018. I earned my Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management from California Polytechnic University, Pomona—only to change careers altogether and work for a company in FinTech. 

1. Share one LGBTQ+ misconception that you would like to educate others on.

We come in all shapes, sizes, personalities, and ideals. Everything people do, including the LGBTQ+ community, are on a spectrum. We don’t all enjoy the same things, or “party” in the same way. We don’t all talk with a lisp. We have our introverts and extroverts. We are all just trying to make it through this thrilling, yet challenging game we call life. We just want people to let us be us and not make life more challenging. 

Let us have our equal rights to our lives and bodies. We are not trying to harm you or anyone in your family. Love is love is love is love is love is love is love. 

2. What does it mean to you that EarnUp celebrates pride?

It is very important that EarnUp celebrates Pride. The fact that we are given a voice and platform to any LGBTQ+ individual in the company is so special. In a general sense, countless queer people have felt silenced and stifled in every day life. We’ve been kept from housing, job positions, and so many other day-to-day necessities. It is so special to know that my place of work supports me and my existence here.

3. What does it mean for you to be authentic in the workplace?

It is so vital that not only me, but everyone in the company feel comfortable enough to express our professional, yet individual selves. Many people have to hide “in the closet” for so long just to stay alive. I mean that literally and figuratively, sadly enough. To be able share with the team the various facets of who I am—like how I am part of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus—or just the overall bubbly queer side of who I am is incredible.  

4. What do you think people can do to be an ally and gain awareness of important issues that impact the LGBTQ+ community?

VOTE! There is so much anti-LGBTQ+ legislation going around, and that needs to be stopped. Fight with us! Please! It’s the efforts of our allies that will truly help us in gaining and maintaining the rights we deserve as human beings. We just want to exist and live our lives in peace. 

Check websites, such as the ACLU, for the latest on what is going on in our community nationwide.