Beyond Borders

John Kandray leads by example at Ernst & Young

John Kandray is an openly gay employee at Ernst & Young, one of the world’s leading professional services organizations. He started with E&Y 10 years ago on the help desk and was promoted to project manager, a position he has held for the past 8 years.

Because of the welcoming warmth at Ernst & Young, John has been able to be out during his entire career. As he puts it, “I have found that being comfortable with myself allows me to handle the situation with confidence, which puts other people at ease, and it gives them an opportunity to react or not, ask questions, or just carry on with the business at hand. Coming out to co-workers, for me, isn’t a big production, but rather, it usually takes the form of an honest answer to a simple question. If someone asks how I spent my weekend, I can reply that my partner and I went here or there.”

John has also recently become co-chair of the ‘Beyond’ Pittsburgh program for his company. ‘Beyond’ community activities include educating college students about LGBT inclusiveness, sponsoring Gay Game Sports in Chicago, and hosting AIDS walks, PRIDE events, and more.

Through John’s involvement with ‘Beyond,’ he has presented at the Out & Equal workplace summit in Baltimore. “This experience has changed my life, and the direction I want to take my career. At O&E, I realized how important it is to not only come out but to BE out,” John says.

As busy as John is with his career at E&Y, his personal life is equally as busy. He is on the boards of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh (GLCC) as well PERSAD. He started to get involved a few years back when the news media was covering stories of young people committing suicide because they were unable to cope with bullying. “It’s through my community involvement that I realized the importance of being out and visible.”

He currently resides in Regent Square with his partner of 10 years, Bill, who is a nurse/case manager with Forbes Regional Hospital. The couple has two poodle mixes, both of whom were rescued, and and they take them on daily hikes through Frick Park. They have a pop-up camper and enjoy camping with their dogs on summer weekends.

Karla Doolittle is a mother, wife, writer, artist and advocate. Residing in Regent Square with husband Devon, a professional singer, artist, advocate.