Q2 Team Members Share Their Experiences During Pride Month

Q2 Team Members Share Their Experiences During Pride Month

By Q2

27 Jun, 2023

Q2's mission to build strong and diverse communities resonates during Pride Month, which is celebrated in many cities across the globe. Three Q2 team members shared what Pride means to them. 

Will Finch
Data Centre Engineer

How is Q2’s mission to build strong and diverse communities reflected through its employee resource groups?  
This might sound corny, but I’ve never felt so welcomed, represented, and accepted at a workplace before. Before joining Q2, I told myself that I would not live in fear. If a company tolerates any level of discrimination, it is probably not the right place for me. How excited I was when every single person in the PrecisionLender team and Cloud Lending Australia team didn’t think it was a big deal (in the best possible way). I have stronger relationships with my colleagues because I don’t have to hide myself. I want to take this opportunity to give them a big shout-out – Thank you!  

My personal experience makes me believe that Q2 is on the right track with its inclusiveness. Q2 is an example of how strong and diverse communities should be – raising awareness and showing that despite our differences, we have a lot more in common than we may think.  

How do you celebrate Pride?  
Australia has an annual celebration that happens around February-March called Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. During this period, Sydney hosts multiple events around the city to not only celebrate but also discuss many issues that the LGBTQIA+ community still faces. This is a very important period for me and my husband. It is the moment we reflect on how far our community has come, but also how far we have left to go.   

I celebrate Pride by acknowledging and being thankful for those who fought and are still fighting for the LGBTQIA+ community, especially in Australia. It brings me an incredible feeling of gratitude when I see the 78ers in the Sydney Mardi Gras parade. It is because of them that I can live my life more freely.  

How can others get involved and show their support during Pride Month and beyond?  
I knew from a very young age who I was and the thought of exposing it always scared me. It actually still scares me to this day. I worked in places where making fun of gay people was normal, or “just banter”. I knew that some people didn’t mean any harm, but those “meaningless jokes” gave more power to those who wanted to express their hatred. I wasn’t out back then, so I knew it wasn’t directed at me. But it reinforced that I wasn’t welcomed there.  

If I had one person to tell them that those jokes weren’t ok, I wouldn’t have felt so isolated. It didn’t have to be much. I wasn’t expecting someone to call them out, but simply not laughing would’ve been enough for me to feel a bit more accepted.  

You don’t have to wear rainbows to show your support. You can show your support by being receptive to your colleagues, friends, and family. Most of the time, we live in fear that our relationships will negatively change because of who we are.

Manny Martinez
Training Specialist

How do you celebrate Pride? 
I try to focus on the history of Pride itself but also the community. For a long time LGBTQIA+ people were either erased or were somehow the exception to the rule as if they were allowed to be remembered in history because of XYZ. I want to learn and remember (and teach others about) all our history. We have been around for as long as humans have existed and will always be around, we like everyone, should be proud of our impact on societies around the world. 

What does Pride Month mean to you (and your family, if you are inclined to include them)?  
Pride month for me is a time of remembrance and celebration. I find myself often posting on social media, talking to friends and family about the past. Many of us grew up in a world where having kids and getting married was something we knew we would have to give up if we ever chose to come out. It makes me incredibly happy to see my friends be able to get married and have families and my niece and nephews be in/have friends in the community where coming out is far less of a thing than it used to be. I am proud of how far we have come and it is encouraging to see the future generations take up the efforts to keep us going. 

Who is a key LGBTQIA+ figure you admire and why? 
There are truly so many key figures in our community it is hard to choose any one person. So many refused to not be themselves that they forced the world to accept them and in doing so changed the way many people view us as individuals and a community. So many people have done so much for our community that we will never know about. Corny as it may seem, I admire everyone who wakes up and just chooses to be who they are, love themselves and love those around them. The acceptance we fight for is not just for us. It is for everyone. 

How can others get involved and show their support during Pride Month and beyond? 
The correct thing is to say go march, be kind and reach out to not just those in the community but everyone in need. The reality is not everyone wants to be that active in anything – not just Pride or the LGBTQIA+ community. Right now, if you want to get involved and show your support just do something. Use your vote, stand up for the person in school or the office who is being bullied or who is distant and silent. Learn the history of our community, share that knowledge with others. If you want to help us, help us open the eyes of others outside our community.

Dani Ammer
UX Designer

How do you celebrate Pride? 
This seems to be ever evolving as I grow more comfortable with my own identity and the cultural narrative around Pride changes with our environment. Today it involves a lot of education about LGBTQIA+ history, supporting Queer businesses, and donating to causes that provide support and change. 
What does Pride month mean to you and your family? 
Pride month means an opportunity to lean in, listen and learn. Also, I have a three-year-old, and I’m very excited to take him to events where he can see people celebrating and having a wonderful time.  

Who is a key LGBTQIA+ figure you admire and why? 
Tony Kushner. When I was growing up, the narrative around the AIDS epidemic was not one of empathy or kindness. It wasn’t until I read the script for his play Angels in America that I became exposed to a different narrative – one showing the human toll of the crisis - and it had a real impact on me. 
How can others get involved and show their support during Pride Month and beyond? 
The LGBTQIA+ community is at a pivotal moment and people’s lives are at risk. Others can provide support by calling their representatives, calling out dangerous legislation, donating to causes that provide safety or support for the community, and showing up as Allies.

To learn more about Q2's focus on culture and community, click here


Written by Q2