Attending Pridefest this year was a particularly special experience for me. This was the first year in some time that I attended a Pride event and wasn’t a part of a large corporate group. (In fact, my previous employer, Microsoft, admirably forewent corporate showboating in the parade and instead donated funds to several important and impactful organizations supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.) It was also the first time in over two years that I have been able to experience such an event in-person. The experience was powerful and reminded me that the celebration is all about interpersonal connections, joy, and support – something the world is in dire need of right now.
Although Pride celebrations happen all over the world and most provide a welcoming and celebratory environment for queer folx, there are still many places in the world where being queer is dangerous or even criminalized. Although I’m incredibly proud of my home city for its diversity, I recognize that as a cisgender, white male, I still am afforded significant privilege to feel safe and comfortable most of the time when I travel, even as an out gay person. As a global organization and in accordance with its alignment to the Sustainable Development Goals (including Goal 17: Reduced Inequalities) Caravel Labs recognizes the need to support LGBTQIA+ rights everywhere around the world.
I look forward to the day when Caravel Labs is of a size to participate more deeply in Pride (and other efforts that support Queer and intersectional communities of all types) and be an influential force for global equality. I trust that we will do it not for the marketing opportunity, but instead because uplifting diverse voices and creating safe, supportive environments is always the right thing to do.