How Indeedians adapted to virtual Pride celebrations this year
As a Client Success Specialist and member of our iPride Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) in New York City, Johnny Snyder (He, Him, His) is celebrating his second Pride Month at Indeed. He shares how last year’s Pride Month gave him a new perspective and how he’s celebrating this year.
As a gay, mixed-race man working in the restaurant industry before Indeed, I had spent so much of my New York life working in one of the most diverse industries out there, but it was always a “be seen, not heard” atmosphere, even in management.
I remember being told to “dial it down” by owners, referring to my flamboyance in greeting patrons and employees, while at the same time being praised for all the hard work I was doing. I just never understood how I could be commended for doing a good job and in the same breath, essentially be told to not be myself. But this all changed at Indeed.
Gaining a new perspective with iPride
I couldn’t believe how immediately comfortable I felt when I first joined iPride, Indeed’s employee-led LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Resource Group. A corporate job with a focus on marginalized communities was such a foreign concept to me, and I was so thrilled to be a part of it.
To have senior leadership sponsor and actively participate in Pride activities was incredible to me. It still is! Because of this group, I marched in my first NYC Pride in 2019! Truth be told, I danced on the double-decker bus. It was the first time I was able to see this march from that perspective, and it was an amazing experience.
Adapting to #PrideInside
Now, with the world changed due to COVID-19, we’ve had to adjust the way we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pride march here in NYC and around the world by doing things virtually. Our regional leadership has done an incredible job with putting together intersectional events with other IRGs to allow for all Indeedians to still participate in Pride month, just in a different way.
From celebrating our great wins including the recent Supreme Court ruling on outlawing LGBTIA+ employment discrimination, to the focuses we still need to have on getting our transgender family protected beyond just the employment world, as well as fighting for justice for our black and brown family, there has been plenty to learn and celebrate.
Read more: Astra’s experience transitioning at Indeed
Some of the unique things we did this year included virtual dance parties and happy hours, as well as a number of workshops, vigils and challenges to keep the spirit of Pride alive while still staying safely inside.
One of the highlights this year was the virtual GenderCool event, an organization created through a neighborhood connection between a trans woman and a child who was transitioning. We met champions who shared their coming out stories and how their personal journeys were impacted by unconditional love and support.
More iPride perspectives
Some of my fellow iPride members shared how the experience of having to be apart ended up bringing us closer together while celebrating Pride inside this year.
“I may not be able to celebrate Pride the way I would prefer this year but a cool silver lining came out of Indeed’s Virtual Pride – not only were we able to access international Pride events online but everyone was in the exact same virtual situation. This meant that we could all connect and have the same experience without feeling like you’re staring through a window into another person’s house. We all got to be in the same “virtual” house together.” – Radissen Ramoutar, iPride Toronto
Some Indeedians like Kimberly even took the opportunity to educate family about important history related to Pride such as the Stonewall uprising, which essentially kicked off the Pride movement.
“Today we focused our lunchtime conversation around what happened at Stonewall and why Pride is celebrated every June. In our home, it is important to teach our boys that yes, we are all different but we all deserve to be treated fairly regardless of age, sex, race, religion, or gender reassignment. How boring would life be if we were all the same?” Kimberly shared in an Instagram post this month.
“Even though we could not celebrate Pride month like last year by participating in parades and events as a company, I was very happy to see all the amazing virtual events and the way Indeed celebrated in every possible way! I am so proud and thankful to be working for such a company that’s so dedicated to its diversity and inclusion!” – Shintaro Nakagawa, iPride Japan
Check out Shintaro’s amazing Pride inspired lip sync battle
Our iPride Co-Chair in Dublin, David Kirwan, perhaps sums it up best.
“Although we were physically apart, I felt closer, more supported and more connected than ever. We truly were all in this together. It wasn’t easy and we struggled at times throughout the planning and execution of our virtual events, but we got through it together.”
Being a better ally
I am so grateful to Indeed for providing this space for marginalized groups and the people who support those that fall into them. I’m an active member of almost every IRG at Indeed now, because I truly believe that you cannot be an ally for anyone if you aren’t an ally for everyone.
I’m proud that iPride has used its platform this month to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as they fight against systemic racism. In the spirit of Stonewall, we have made sure to acknowledge the many aspects that make up our intersecting identities to stand alongside all groups fighting for equality and in opposition to discrimination and injustice.
I see now that there are companies where you can be noticed and praised for doing a good job while still allowed to be your authentic self. And thanks to Indeed, I can help to do my part to make this space more inclusive, whether it’s from the top of a bus in one of the largest Pride parades in the world or educating myself from home with the support of my company and colleagues. After all, without diversity, inclusion & belonging, a company and the people within that company cannot grow to their full potential.
Happy Pride Month to everyone!
Learn more about iPride at Indeed in the video below: