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Liquid Agency shares what Pride means to them.

June marks a month of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community.

Around the world, the LGBTQ+ community hosts celebrations—ranging from parades and parties to protests—during the month of June. While each are unique in their own way, they all tie back to the Stonewall Riots in New York City. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn. A protest broke out after the officers forcefully demanded to perform sex verification checks on trans women. And it was trans women of color who were at the forefront of this life-changing moment. They helped organize and lead the first official march exactly one year later in New York City.

It was only after the first rally that the pioneers of the Pride movement realized what was possible for their community. Since then, Pride has continued to grow, and more light has been shed on LGBTQ+ rights.

Fast forward 50+ years, and Pride festivals have transformed from several hundred participants to upwards of 5 million. Beyond the parades, brands have used Pride Month as a way to show their support to the community. For example, with openly gay CEO Tim Cook at the helm, Apple marks every June with its Pride Band collection. Companies like Converse, Bliss and Brew Dr. Kombucha offer limited-edition products, with proceeds going to LGBTQ+ nonprofits. It’s important to note that these companies do much more than change their products for a month; they take action, take a stand and put their money where their mouth is.

While the show of support by major brands during June is amazing, it’s critical to continue the momentum year-round. This can be done through the employee experience—creating diversity and inclusion meetings as a safe space for coworkers, as well as companies matching nonprofit donations.

Though there have been many triumphs, the fight for LGBTQ+ equality is far from over, and Pride Month is a great time to recognize that there is more to these festivals than just glitter and rainbows.

At Liquid Agency, we want to share our stories, why Pride is important, what it means to us and how we’ll be celebrating.

“Thinking about trans folx this month and how they are being denied their basic human rights. The fight must continue on for them.”
—Vivian Johnston

“As a trans and queer person, Pride means living my life authentically and never letting someone else tell me who I am. Pride is appreciating and celebrating the range of human experience and expression. It is visibility, representation and continuing to fight for equal rights.”
—Sean Martinez

“I think about my queer family and friends, about how while Pride is an amazing celebration of humanity, the fact that it needs to exist shows how far we have to go, how much those friends and family have to struggle for equality, and how much privilege I, as a cishet white dude, sit in.”
—Nathan Sundberg

“Pride to me means remembering how much the LGBTQIA+ community has done for all human rights and how hard they continue to fight. I think about how I can educate myself and take actions to support the community. Pride means having pride in who you are and loving yourself no matter what.”
—Carolyn Hamaker

“When I think of Pride, I automatically think of my LGBTQ+ friends and family and how they inspire me. Pride is about uplifting and supporting the LGBTQ+ community directly. While there has been a lot of change over the years, it’s not nearly enough. We need to continue to fight for equal rights.”
—Jordan Aleck

“To me, Pride is about supporting my LGBTQ+ siblings and friends and providing space for their voices to be heard and stories told. Just two years ago, I was at a Pride celebration and protesters showed up and began shouting words of hate. It was upsetting that it happened, but also an important reminder that even in a place as progressive as Portland, we still have to fight for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. It’s not over yet.”
—Ashley Heinonen

“I celebrate Pride everyday by celebrating my kids and friends who have shown me what courage really looks like in a world that still doesn’t understand that love is love.”
—Katie Wagner

“To me, Pride encompasses so much. It’s not just about who you are and how you identify, it’s also about how you love. The queer community has the power to teach us so much about the nature of love. To me, Pride is about celebrating all those diverse ways of loving.”
—Sam Tazzia

“Pride was something I grew up admiring from afar. When I finally was able to take part with some of my best friends in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London, it was everything and more than I had envisioned. The outpouring of love, color and joy steals my breath to this day. Experiencing Pride always makes me think about the pain and work it took to get here. And moreover about the work and effort it will take to keep moving forward. Pride is truly a unique expression of fantastical progress.”
—Ally Marie Fischer

“To me, Pride is this beautiful intersection of individuality and community. We are invited to see, hear and celebrate people as their truest selves, while also reflecting on our allyship and learning how to take action and fight for total inclusion and equal rights. Also, as someone in marketing, it’s a time to check-in and evaluate how ideas are represented—to truly acknowledge and give credit to a culture that influences so much of what we see reinterpreted for the masses. The history, the culture, the fashion, the art, even the vernacular and our favorite phrases—many of these moments and movements can be attributed to the LGBTQIA+ community and it’s time for even more visibility and compensation!”
—Liz Loney