In celebration of Pride Month this year, we've been hosting a series of discussions with internal and external speakers. Our conversations have centered around the history of Pride, the challenges the LGBTQIA+ community faces in the workplace, and the ways we can foster an environment of inclusion & acceptance.
For example, in the Americas, a lawyer spoke about the recent legislative activity to restrict LGBTQIA+ rights and why being an informed voter matters. In APAC, our team members organized a fireside chat with an LGBTQIA+ organization.
We've also been sharing insights into the discussions taking place on social media and in the news around LGBTQIA+ issues.
And as a way of sparking even more conversation internally, we've been asking employees to answer the question: What does Pride mean to you?
Here are a few of the answers from our team:
What Does Pride Mean to You?
Pride is a celebration of existing outside the tidy boxes into which society expects people to fit neatly. It's a celebration of diversity and of being unique, of being part of a living culture sometimes very different from society's norms. It's also a celebration of survival for those of us who are here when so many of our friends, so many of the people who came before us, are not.
Pride to me means being proud of who you are. Being your authentic self but also not putting others down for being their authentic self. Pride is acceptance of yourself and others who are different than you.
It means to be proud of who you are and to celebrate love. It also means to be proud of others who have faced discrimination and struggled to exist in their own skin because of how society treats them. For me, it’s also a reflection of the struggles the queer community has had and continues to have. It’s a celebration but also a commemoration.
To me, Pride is about celebrating love and embracing ourselves exactly as we are!
It means being unapologetically who I am! Queerness does not equate to unprofessionalism.
Pride to me is normalizing the diversity of the human condition under the pillars of honesty, respect, mindfulness, positivity, and collaboration. Pride is about living our human lives with dignity, integrity, joy, courage, and in community with others without fear of being judged for who we are.
To me, Pride means freedom. By most dictionary definitions, freedom is roughly described as 'the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.' That definition is an excellent way to describe Pride as well. They're one and the same.
For me, Pride means standing behind my own values, sexuality, ethnicity, religion/spirituality, and my own personality in general—no matter what other people may think about it.
Encouraging others to be themselves and helping everyone to see we support rather than judge.
Pride means to be self-accepting, self-living, and 'being proud' of who I am, my achievements, my values, as well as who I have become, the good and the bad.
As a bisexual black woman, Pride means being proud of all aspects of my life. Remember that all letters of the community are important and should be celebrated and respected. Even those who are not ready to wear the flag proudly are loved too.
To me, Pride is about self-love and self-expression. It's the ultimate celebration of loving who you are and loving others who might be different than you but no less special. No less deserving. It's finding confidence and assuredness and appreciating individuality within the community.
Pride provides an opportunity to openly express our acceptance, love, and support for the LGBTQ+ community and the awesome individuals who are a part of it. The fact that Pride parades feel like a celebration, a party, is amazing, but understanding the sacrifices that it took to get to that party is deeply meaningful and worthy of celebration.
Pride means not being afraid to show your true identity for fear of rejection or harm.
It means celebrating all walks of life and cherishing people for their differences. It is also about making sure people who have been historically ostracized know that they are loved and have a space where they are safe.
At Meltwater, we are committed to diversity and inclusion and are proud to support our LGBTQIA+ employees this month and every month.