Pride Month Employee Spotlight

Pride Month 2021
Employee Submission by: Rachel Wardley
Team: Corporate Services | Role: VP | Location: Washington, DC

Q. What’s your favorite aspect of Pride? Why?
A: THE PARADE!! It’s one time every year when you can feel the genuine warmth and connection in the community. So many different types of groups on display at the Parade – communities for kids, all religious groups, sports teams, allies, and so much more. It’s a real spectacle and celebration: music, dancing, floats, costumes – to share with friends from near and far. The tributes for older generations and PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) floats always make me super emotional, thinking of their bravery and strength. The parade is a celebration of the special, the everyday, as well as the diversity and intersectionality within the Queer community.

Q: Anything you’d like your coworkers to know about your community this Pride month in general?
A: I think it’s important to remember that Pride commemorates the Stonewall riots, a revolutionary uprising against police brutality in NYC that began the modern gay rights movement.  The parades today are generally more corporate, sponsored and supported by major brands, but I think its important to take the time to appreciate and honor the hard work of the activists who came before us. Their efforts has made my life easier in a lot of ways, and I feel inspired to pay it forward by continuing advocating for and supporting marginalized groups.

Q: A specific memory/picture we could share?
A: So many! Each has its own spirit. My first Pride parade was in NYC. The sheer size of the LGBTQ community and seeing so many people living authentically was eye-opening and empowering for me as an uncertain young person. San Francisco Pride was wild! We were serendipitously in Berlin Pride in 2015, which coincided with the SCOTUS decision to give same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry. NYC Pride 2019 was the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and our first parade to experience as parents.  As you can see – we consider June the month to wear our finest rainbow prints- It’s become a bit of an obsession.

Q: Any resources you’d like to share?
A: Capital Pride in Washington, DC is this weekend (June 11-13)! It’s scaled down due to COVID but feel free to check out the events! It’s really for EVERYONE 😊 And a quick video: The ABC’s of LGBTQ+(Queer is not a bad word!)

Pride Month 2021 - Rachel
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