In an increasingly diverse and inclusive world, it’s crucial that businesses, beyond individuals or social groups, acknowledge, support and celebrate Pride. At Cloudscaler, we stand steadfast in our conviction that nurturing an environment of acceptance and equality benefits our employees, our customers and society at large.
Pride is an annual month-long celebration that honours the LGBTQ+ community (the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and other sexual orientations and gender identities). It serves as a global opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together, to appreciate and embrace this rich diversity, and to celebrate individuality. Pride represents the strides made towards LGBTQ+ rights, while also serving to remind us of the ongoing challenges.
It is easy to get behind Pride and its important messaging, but its roots are perhaps less well understood. Few will know the full story, so it is worth reminding ourselves of its origin.
The history of Pride can be traced back to the morning of June 28, 1969, with the Stonewall uprising at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. This pivotal event marked a paradigm shift in the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Police raids of gay bars in Manhattan followed a template; officers would pour in, threatening and beating bar staff and customers, who would line up on the street for the police to arrest them. But this time, when the police raided the Stonewall Inn, the bar’s patrons, predominantly queer and transgender people, stood up against the police harassment and prejudice. This resistance and the subsequent riots led to a surge in activism and helped spark the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement.
A year later, on June 28, 1970, the first Pride marches swept through New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, commemorating the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. These marches began with a strong political resonance, voicing the call for equal rights, and shedding light on the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community. The parade’s official chant was: “Say it loud, gay is proud”. In 2016, then-President Barack Obama designated the site of the riots – Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park and the surrounding streets – a national monument in recognition of the area’s contribution to gay rights.
Pride has grown and evolved over the years, encompassing a broad range of events and activities from parades, festivals, educational workshops, to social gatherings, but its central goal remains the same – to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. The Pride flag, first unfurled in San Francisco in 1978, represents the spectrum of the community and is recognised as a symbol of hope and resilience.
Pride at Cloudscaler
Pride month dovetails seamlessly with our mission at Cloudscaler to foster a diverse and inclusive team. We are committed to creating an environment where all employees feel valued, respected and supported, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our active advocacy for diversity and inclusivity is reflected in our policies and practices.
As one of our team, Jackie, notes: “Most of us have experienced some form of discrimination and prejudice in our lives, and some much more than others, so it’s heartening to see the Pride celebration continue to grow and flourish as it has, and as it should. We need to keep this colourful party going, to promote its goals, to give voice to its strong, positive messages, and to practice what it tells us. We can’t let our focus slip and to this end, Cloudscaler applies a rainbow prism in all that it does.”
For us, embracing Pride means a steadfast commitment to inclusivity, acceptance and equality. Our active participation demonstrates our solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in their ongoing struggle for equal rights. We encourage everyone to learn more about the history and significance of Pride, and the movement for equality.
We firmly believe that together, we can create a world where diversity is celebrated, prejudice and discrimination are eliminated, and everyone can be true to themselves with pride. As part of our commitment, we will be supporting the London Friend charity this year, an organisation that works tirelessly towards LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion and where, since 1972, LGBTQ people have been coming together as London Friend to support the health and wellbeing of others within our communities. Throughout Pride month, Cloudscaler will also host a series of internal events to educate and celebrate to raise greater awareness and empathy across our team. You will also find some of us at the local Pride parade – we’ll be the ones proudly wearing our Cloudscaler t-shirts & colours!
At Cloudscaler, every day is a step towards creating a more diverse, inclusive and accepting environment. This month, we invite you to walk with us – and millions around the world – because together we can, and will, make a difference.