Diversity and Inclusion | 28 Jun 2022

Belonging and purpose: Why Pride is more than just a parade

As the first LGBT+ events of summer 2022 start revving up, Vodafone employees explain what Pride means to them.

For many of its attendees, Pride is one the highlights of the year that they eagerly look forward to. Vodafone employees have been both participants and spectators at many previous Prides across the UK. As many events were cancelled over the past two years due to the pandemic, Vodafone UK News was keen to hear from Vodafone employees about what Pride means to them.

For Jonny, a VOXI marketing and proposition specialist, Pride is all about joy: “It’s about celebrating acceptance, freedom, empowerment, and everyone’s uniqueness. Some people aren’t so lucky to live in a country with the freedoms we enjoy. To be able to celebrate that liberty and represent our global community is wonderful.”

Evie, a customer adviser, sees Pride as both a fun, jubilant event as well as an opportunity to raise awareness about important issues. “One campaign I’m passionate about is petitioning to protect trans people under the government’s conversion therapy ban. As it stands, they’re not fully protected,” explained Evie.

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For others, their relationship to Pride is a little more complex and involves issues related to their own identity.

“I’ve got a complicated history and relationship with Pride”, said M, a senior user experience designer. “I identify as trans, non-binary and bi – and those are all big, messy boxes that overlap. I’ve been with my partner for 15 years and she’s a cisgender woman. For a lot of our time together, we would have looked like a bog-standard straight couple to the outside world.

“I’ve always been an ally to the whole LGBTQIA+ family, but, when it came to Pride, I felt like I was gate-crashing someone else’s party. It wasn’t until I came out as trans and non-binary a few years ago that I started to engage with the community more. I realised that I had kind of excluded myself, when there is absolutely a place for everyone who identifies”.

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Vodafone supports its UK trans and non-binary customers with a Name Change Process, while its internal efforts to support LGBT+ employees has been recognised by organisations such as Stonewall and OUTstanding.

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