️‍🌈 What Pride means to you #CelebratingPride2021

️‍🌈 What Pride means to you #CelebratingPride2021

As a team we respect and support everyone’s right to be who they are and we ensure that inclusion, equality and diversity are embedded into everything we do as a business. 

Celebrating Pride this year will be different due to Covid-19 but nothing stops us from celebrating and making sure everyone feels proud and united. This year we asked our team to tell us what Pride means to them and share their stories and thoughts. 

Michael Barley-Abbott, Head of Creative

As a teenager and young adult, I struggled with my sexuality and used to do whatever I could to remove myself from any potentially awkward situations, from going clubbing with friends to avoid the pressure of having to ‘chat up’ girls to visiting family members who would always ask ‘how’s the love life?’.

Eventually, I built up the courage to come out to my friends at work, and one of them suggested we go to that years’ London Pride march. The idea horrified me. It’s so public! What if there are cameras? What if I end up on the news?

It was the best weekend of my life.

Going to that Pride march back in 1996 changed my whole attitude towards other gay people and to life in general. It made me realise that I was not alone in the world, and by how much! Seeing the capital of England overrun with gay people was mind-blowing. On the tubes, in the shops, on the street. All happy, and celebrating, blowing whistles, dancing, singing.

And I was a part of it!

No longer did I feel alone and scared and embarrassed by my sexual feelings. No longer did I want to remain hiding away from the world in case the world treated me unkindly. I realised I was a part of this huge (worldwide) community of people who were defined by their love and acceptance and joy. It was a sunny weekend full of music and dancing and flirting and fun. And I came home with renewed life and a confidence in myself that was not there before.

That weekend I told my parents I was gay, and things have never been the same since.

Pippa Hollington, Digital Project Manager 

To me, Pride means freedom and acceptance, diversity and inclusivity. Pride means that it doesn't matter who you are, what sexuality/gender you associate with or whether you are black, brown, white or rainbow; at the end of the day, we are all humans and we should all respect and support each other.

Peter Bottomley, Designer

Pride is all about celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and its diversity. It is a way of counteracting the narrow outlook of the past and instilling more supportive and accepting views within society.

Chara Kalemaki, Marketing Coordinator 

Pride to me is a fantastic way to celebrate how far the LGBTQ+ community has come in the journey for equality and it is also a great opportunity to see how the world could be if everyone just accepted and appreciated each other exactly as they are. 

I love that Pride is open to people from all walks of life, whether gay, straight, bi, trans, black or white, it doesn't matter, everyone is welcomed to join. 
In a world that is becoming more and more polarised, this is an amazing opportunity to celebrate together, educate ourselves, share and hear stories and keep marching for equality.

Kelly Weston, Delivery Partner

To me, Pride means celebrating the progress made for people to live their authentic self and showing my support as an LGBTQ+ ally.

Nicola Parker, Office manager

A celebration of equality, inclusion and acceptance. To discard old fashioned views and prejudice.

Adam Roney, Founder & CEO

Pride Month is a time for celebration, but it is also an opportunity to look back and see where we have come from, where we are today and where we should be going forward.

As we recognise and celebrate Pride Month, we continue to drive inclusion for our LGBTQ+ colleagues, customers and partners. It is our responsibility to ensure Calls9 is a place where everyone feels included, accepted and where we create equal growth opportunities for everyone. 

I am immensely proud of the inclusive and diverse environment we have built at Calls9. It is a testament to the team’s focus on respecting each other and supporting each other to live their best lives both inside and outside of work.