Despite having the usual rainy season in June in the Philippines, no one’s raining on anyone’s parade as we celebrate Pride Month. At this time of the year, we put the flags out with the LGBTQ+ community and empower every individual to take inspiration from the lives of these brave folks.
As for Boldr, our vision for this momentous occasion comes straight from the heart. We are a company that highly appreciates Authenticity, and we do our best to create an inclusive work environment that values diversity and acceptance.
For Pride Month, we went the extra mile in showing our appreciation and support for individuals who constantly inspire us to show our real and colorful selves.
To kick off our celebration, we built our very own Pride Wall, where team members shared their stories of diversity, authenticity, and inspiration. Each band on the wall corresponded to a different story of Pride.
We asked them about what this celebration meant to them, their favorite places to be their true selves, the most empowering LGBTQ+ moments, pieces of advice for their younger selves, shoutouts to the people who inspire them to be authentic, and their plans for Pride this year. We gathered warm and positive responses, and by the end of the month, we can’t help but stare at the beauty we made.
In this rainbow Boldr logo, we read true stories of freedom and self-worth. This is a proud moment for us because we are able to give a safe space for our team members as well as remind them that they have allies in this company.
This was also a perfect time to have a peek on the LGBTQ+ art and culture scene. For Boldr, one of the best ways to deliver the message of hope is to show the LGBTQ+ experience through art.
To get into the spirit of Pride, we had a free screening of the local film Die Beautiful (2016), a story about giving life to the death of a Filipino transgender woman. This opened discussions within teams and provided an avenue for people to voice out the truth about the triumphs and pitfalls of living as a transgender in the Philippines.
Mainstream media, more often than not, has a tendency to create the idea that the LGBTQ+ struggle is always victorious, colorful, and boisterous. Our goal in showing the film to our team members is to remind them that the struggle is ever-existent, and being aware of these experiences can help us understand how we can be better allies.
In the end, the movie screening was a success, and we cap it off with more conversations and unicorn ice cream in the pantry.
All hands were on deck for Boldr’s celebration of Pride. One of our main highlights was a talk led by our Learning & Development (L&D) team. They invited a counselor from LoveYourself health clinics to visit our office and talk about HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), misconceptions about the disease, and HIV policies that should be implemented in the workplace.
Our team members asked plenty of questions about PrEP, a medicine that is 99.9% effective at preventing HIV infection, as well as how to be more respectful and sensitive to those with HIV. LoveYourself responded well, explaining the many benefits of PrEP and how to get it. They also reminded us of the words we should use to create a more inviting work culture. It was empowering for our team members to realize that they can be responsible for ending both the stigma and epidemic related to HIV/AIDS.
Boldr is the first BPO company that housed a talk on PrEP from the only qualified PrEP distributor in the Philippines. We want to get their message out there, so if you’re interested in learning more about HIV/AIDS, you can check out the LoveYourself website.
Our Pride celebration won’t be complete if it were not for the loud and proud moments in the office.
To cap off our series of Pride-related events, we hosted a fashion show with team members dressed up as their LGBTQ+ heroes. Our fierce team members rocked the runway with style and grace and shared their heartwarming stories as members of the community.
In between catwalks, we also had a “Guess that Gay Lingo” segment. Everyone is enthusiastic about learning more about the prominent gay language and subculture in the Philippines. We left the office that day still feeling the warmth and joy that everyone shared during the event. It was a great experience that we’ll always remember.
To echo the Harlem drag balls of the 80s, “Why y’all gagging? We bring it to you every ball!” From promoting a culture of feedback, empowering our team to voice out their opinions, and implementing policies that tackle important health issues, Boldr has always strived to create a space where team members feel safe, valued, and taken care of.
As Pride Month comes to a close, we are delighted that our team members had fun and proudly showed their authentic selves. We have reminded them that more than just a celebration, Pride is a protest. It is a community, and it is solidarity in action.
But we’re not done yet, we’re going to create more avenues for our team to share their colors and walk proudly every day! In the meantime, we continue to #ResistTogether.