Celebrating Pride Month 2024 with Business West Colleagues

Author
Louise Holland
Social Media Executive | Business West
25th June 2024

June has been the celebration of Pride Month, bringing with it an historical significance, celebration, reflection and joy.

Pride began as a protest. In 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police, the bar frequented by the LGBTQ+ community, which incited 6 days of protest and riots, thereby pushing the gay liberation movement into the public eye.  

The first UK pride was held on the 1st of July in 1972, in London, the date chosen for being the closest Saturday to when the Stonewall riots took place.  

In the years since then, Pride has evolved into a joyous occasion, celebrated internationally. We remember the past and the beginnings of Pride, rooted in protest and the fight for rights, whilst we celebrate the LGBTQ+ and being allowed to be our authentic selves.  

Whilst we have regular discussions at Business West in our LGBTQ+ and friends EDI adjacent groups, we wanted to share what Pride means personally to our colleagues.

Hear from Matt Tudge, Bella Manara Santos, Phil Smith, Emma Carter and Jenny Ablett about what Pride means to them.  

Matt Tudge - Head of Skills Planning: 

Pride to me as an ally means recognising love is love and celebrating the diversity of human existence. There's not enough mainstream representation of LGBTQ+ life without it being a plot device or worse, so Pride is a chance to celebrate being human in all its many guises. 

Bella Manara Santos - Business Engagement Executive: 

As an ally, pride month gives us the opportunity to celebrate how far we've progressed as a society. It's also a great time to remember all the people whose struggles have led us to have this freedom to be ourselves with pride. I like to spend pride month reading more books and stories about the LGBTQIA+ movement and educating myself on how to be a supportive ally, both in the workplace and in my personal life. My favourite book so far has been 'All The Young Men' by Ruth Coker Burks, which I cannot recommend enough.

Phil Smith - Managing Director: 

Pride to me means kindness, tolerance, acceptance and fun. Every year Pride puts a smile on my face. 

Emma Carter - Membership Director: 

I believe Pride Month is an opportunity to give some dedicated time and space to celebrate the acceptance, work and education within the LGBTQ+ community. Whilst also acknowledging, remembering and recognising those individuals (current & historic) who have worked, campaigned and supported issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community over the years. On a personal level, it is a time to reflect on the personal journeys my child, friends and family have been on AND thank those fabulous allies who supported them along the way. 

Jenny Ablett - Membership Account Manager - Bristol:  

Pride means that my LGBTQ+ friends, colleagues and acquaintances are not just celebrated, but should be safe to be themselves wherever they go, every day. 

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