In many ways, Pride 2020 is unlike any other Pride in recent history. With Pride events all around the world being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the global conversation of Black Lives Matter, this June feels less celebratory for many.
At the same time, Pride 2020 is possibly the most authentic Pride month we’ve seen in a very long time. The first Pride march was to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprisings, which were riots in New York against police repression led by trans women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
Today, the LGBTQ+ community has made amazing strides forward in the pursuit of equal rights. There is still a long way to go for true equality, especially for our trans siblings and trans women of color, who still face many obstacles in their daily lives.
This illustrates the importance of having safe spaces for LGQTQ+ people to communicate and congregate. At Medallia this safe space comes in the form of our Q-Field Employee Resource Group. Every year the Q-Field group puts together pride events to celebrate Pride Month and engage allies at Medallia.
Like all events this year, these have shifted to a virtual format, including a ‘Queer Film’ guided conversation around Netflix’s film, Circus of Books. This event was especially fun as it was co-hosted by Medallia’s Parents Employee Resource Group since the movie is a true story about two parents’ unexpected connection to the gay community. In July, Q-Field will be hosting the Annual Pride Variety Show virtually where Medallians can share their talents with the entire company.
To keep the conversation of Pride going, I sat down with a few members of Medallia’s Q-Field to see what Pride means to them, and how they will be celebrating this year:
What does Pride mean to you? Having grown up in a small town in Arkansas, I was closeted well into adulthood. It took moving to the DC Metropolitan region and fully learning who I was on my own to truly accept myself and come out. To me, Pride means being my authentic self, no matter who is around, or what they believe or think of me. Pride means lifting up others, accepting people who are different, and using my privilege to fight for justice for those who still live in fear of coming out due to their environment or those around them.
How do you show your Pride year-round?
By living and acting authentically every day. Even though I’ve been open about my sexuality for over twenty years now, I still remember what it’s like to try and hide it — lowering my voice, metering my speech, or not saying much at all. One of the main reasons I came over to Medallia is our value of bringing your whole self to work. I also try to educate myself and support political candidates who are interested and invested in furthering the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
What does Pride mean to you, and how do you plan to celebrate?
Pride to me is a celebration of the rights that the people before us fought to get and a reminder of all the rights we still are fighting to get. I still have hope for Buenos Aires Pride, which is in November, and not canceled yet.
Nikki Amberstone (she/her/hers)
What does Pride mean to you, and how do you plan to celebrate? Pride is a symbol of strength for me. I am a proud queer woman. I spent my entire life hiding that, feeling shame for who I am, that I shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Upon meeting more queer friends, I felt finally like I could develop a true community. My neighborhood hosts Queens (NYC) Pride every year on my block, which is the first gay sports bar in my borough. We are loud and proud here in Jackson Heights, Queens! We plan on still hosting a virtual Pride, to get together as a vibrant, queer community.
We hope everyone has an amazing Pride 2020, and continues to work toward equality for all in the LGBTQ+ community. This year the Medallia Q-Field Employee Resource Group has selected the LGBT Asylum Project as the non-profit organization we are supporting as part of Medallia’s Gift Matching Initiative. Learn more and donate here and make sure to select ‘Business/Organization’ and note Medallia so your donations can be tracked toward this initiative.