Brooke is the Director of the Marketing Intelligence Team with a passion for helping to make data make sense. When not buried in Google Analytics, she enjoys learning, laughing, and talking all things sports.

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Vovia Celebrates Pride Month 2022

Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It is a month dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ2S+ voices, celebration of LGBTQ2S+ culture and the support of LGBTQ2S+ rights.

This year, in honour of Pride Month, we asked our fellow Vovians – What does Pride mean to you? Keep reading below for their response.

“Honestly, I hate saying that Pride month is a time to honour the LGBTQ2S+ community because in my heart of hearts I wish that we didn’t need it, that everyone could be treated as equal and fair without the biases that exist and they were “honoured” every day of the year. However, that isn’t the case so until that time comes I will stand with my queer friends and wave the rainbow flag to try and erase the bigotry that does exist. I also want to remind them all they are loved, seen and heard, everyday, not just for one month of the year. I hope people do know that it wasn’t just always parades and flag-waving, and beginning with Stonewall it was a sometimes bloody and violent fight to get any of the rights they should have had all along and still struggle to fully achieve. One day. One world. One love.”

~ Curtis Schwindt

“To me, Pride means normalizing the different ways people can show and express love to each other, as well as giving language to all of the different sexual and gender identities. When I was growing up there was very limited language around sexual orientation and identity, and because of that there was very little conversation. I have first-hand knowledge of the shame a person can feel when they don’t feel “normal”, when they feel different, and when they feel excluded from the community. Taking pride in yourself and others, and fighting for the opportunity to show up as your true self in any situation (relationships, work, school, volunteer organizations, etc) is what Pride means to me, personally, and it’s what I want to fight for for all individuals.”

~ Brooke Boser

“For me, pride is celebrating who you are, openly and with the utmost freedom. Even if it’s “against” the current rules and norms. Standing strong against thought oppression, even in face of danger. As a Jew, I have a deep understanding of the sufferings of LGBTQ2S+ community. Both Jews and LGBTQ2S+ have been persecuted throughout history by people who have tried to wipe our existence and way of life. Even though we have a lot of work to do, so people will be able to live freely, I see the progress that the world has made and it fills me with hope. Change is gradually coming”

~ Leon Grigg

“Pride means a fair and equal seat at the table with everyone else, and not feeling shamed or criticized for your personal choices/feelings. Being comfortable with all different sexualities and gender identities should be what we strive for in our society. Each year, we, unfortunately, see that we still have a long way to go in ensuring everyone feels safe and welcomed, but seeing the progress over my lifetime has shown that there is hope. Love is love.”

~Dan Dryfhout

“Coming together and acknowledging what it means to be authentic to oneself, and understanding that this is something that should be available to everyone. Pride is an opportunity to honour and celebrate how much progress has been made in illuminating LGBTQ2S+ voices, but it is also the chance to have those tough conversations with myself and others on how much more work there is still to be done.” 

~ Sylwia Wenslaw

“I understand Pride to be people coming out to raise awareness about the rights and inequality that LGBTQ2S+ people face in their life. I have somewhat limited knowledge about the topic since back in India I have never encountered a pride parade as people are still skeptical and scared so there is much less awareness.”

~ Rohan Hegde

“I think Pride gives us the opportunity to celebrate the progress made by the LGBTQ2S+ community and serves as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done. When I think of pride a few words that come to mind are: love, inclusivity, visibility, celebration, respect, acceptance”

~ Natalie McDougall

“Pride is accepting of everyone no matter who they are, who they like or how they identify. It is a safe space to embrace your true self or explore who you want to be.”

~ Dallas Tkachuk

“It means showing your true values and colours. And acceptance of other people’s values, identity and colours. Spreading love!”

~ Arif Rajani

“Pride means treating everyone with respect and as equals, regardless of their personal choices or how they choose to express themselves.”

~ Evan Lowe

“Celebration and show of support and appreciation for the LBBTQ2S+ communities.”

~ Stacey McIntyre

“Supporting underrepresented groups of people to ensure equality and respect.”

~ Tracy Gonzalez

“A celebration of love, inclusivity and kindness to one another.”

~ Susan Murphy

“A celebration of love and inclusion.”

~ Carsen Kendel

“Freedom of being true to oneself.”

~ Dina Komissarova


~ Abhijit Kolhe

Happy Pride month, everyone!