Ivan at Diversity Richmond“I really think I’m in my happiest days being here at Diversity."
Ivan Trittipoe, Senior Store Manager

“Antiquing and thrift stores have always been a part of my life. I remember, as a child, going around with my parents and hunting for that special item in auction houses and antique shops. Growing up in Washington D.C. I attended a French school and can still speak French fluently. Additionally, this ‘international world’ I lived in provided for exposure to the art and antique world, including visits to all the museums and galleries of D.C.”

“After the loss of my parents, I felt like it was time to make a change. I left D.C. and moved to Richmond, where I saw this amazing rainbow building. The building drew me into it and when I stepped inside I knew, I had to volunteer there.”

“I was offered a job soon after; beginning in donations, then cashier, and events coordinator. Through my five years working in various facets of the organization, I have been able to feel more comfortable in my identity. I have gone through times where I have been insecure about who I was as a gay male; however, being able to be rooted in Diversity Richmond (D.R.) has allowed me to find my inner strength.”

“I really think I’m in my happiest days being here with D.R.—I expect many more happy days to come; but looking back on my life I feel this will be the time I remember with the most fondness. I love my job here, including all the craziness that comes with it. Working for an organization that is LGBT+ centered sometimes feels like something that is taken for granted—we can all be ourselves and feel free to express that without fear of criticism. I feel I can truly be my authentic self at D.R.”

Pictured above: Ivan with one of his favorite customers, Ruth Hunter. “I love coming here. I come here for my therapy,” she said laughing.