Pride 2024 at Payload

Throughout June we’ve been celebrating Pride Month! 

Pride is an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ communities around the world and takes place in June, the same month as the Stonewall Riots, an event that changed the face of gay rights in the US and other countries. 

Pride means different things to different people but celebrates people being proud of who they are. It offers the chance to come together to reflect on how far LGBTQ+ rights have come, but to also highlight the change that still needs to happen. Pride also provides a chance to promote education on LGBTQ+ history and helps to raise awareness of the issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

This Pride month we took the opportunity to speak to some of our Payloaders to learn about what Pride means to them, and how they celebrate. We wanted to highlight what Pride means to our team and learn about why it’s important to our Payloaders.

A big thank-you to our Payloaders who contributed to this blog post including Alana (she/her) – Studio Administrator, Cassie (any pronouns) – Community Manager, Pip (they/them) – QA Tester, and Piers (he/him) – Concept Artist. 

Meaning of Pride

The significance of pride is more than simply rainbow flags on social media or social events. It’s also an important reminder of the changes that are still needed, as Piers explains “Pride is important to me because it symbolises the ongoing fight for LGBT+ rights and the importance of remembering those who paved the way for us.”

Pip adds, “Pride means freedom from Section 28, from new Anti-Trans legislation/rhetoric, it’s the ability to be one’s self authentically and effortlessly. The quote “No one is free until we are all free” rings true more and more everyday.”

For Alana it also holds an important significance and offers the freedom for the Queer community to authentically be themselves “It [Pride] stands as the opposite of shame in a society that has told LGBTQIA+ individuals to be embarrassed of who they are… it’s a vital reminder that we are worthy of acceptance, regardless of societal pressures. It is a constant assertion that we exist and that our suffering will not erase us.”

Challenges facing the Queer community

Although Pride offers an opportunity for celebration and acts as an acknowledgement of how far LGBQT+ rights have come, it’s also a reminder of the challenges and discrimination that the Queer community continues to face. 

Alana shared that “Celebrating pride honours those who fought for our rights, like during the Stonewall Riots, and those who continue to fight, striving for equal justice, rights, and respect for the queer community. Pride is significant because, while many suffer in silence and ignorance, it allows us the luxury and chance to live our lives authentically.”

The struggle for equal rights is far from over, as Piers highlights  “Being LGBT+ is still criminalised in 70 countries and punishable by death in 12. When we celebrate Pride, it’s not just a party; it’s a protest to show people around the world that we always have and will continue to exist, and we deserve the right to love freely.”

For Pip, their personal experience motivates them to do what they can to ensure that future generations have a better experience than they did, “Seeing some of the similar legislation I had experienced growing up and knowing how taxing it was on a personal level, wanting to try to mitigate this for future generations feels like such a given being apart of the LGBTQIA+ community – no one should have to hide or suffer for who they inherently are.”

Pride Celebrations!

Although it’s important to acknowledge the barriers and prejudice that still exist for the Queer community, Pride is also a time of celebration! 

Our Payloaders celebrate the month in a variety of ways. Pip shared that they partake in a variety of activities, “I tend to go to Pride protests (parades) to celebrate freedom [from Section 28], I tend to watch my favourite LGBTQIA+ films and tv during this month as well!… I play Baldur’s Gate 3 with my housemates or make Pride centric playlists and lastly I attend LGBTQIA+ sober socials a lot more during the summer months as well!”

Piers also celebrates in a variety of ways,  “I celebrate Pride by attending marches, donating to LGBT+ charities and reading up on Queer historic figures.”

This year Alana also has a variety of plans, “I will attend the Pride March in London as well as various Pride activities held in June, including a few pride picnics & parties”

Further Reading and Watching

Pride can be a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about the history and experience of the Queer community and celebrate LGBTQ+ focused stories. 

Alana recommends this video which offers a concise explanation of the Stonewall riots and the impact they had on the face of civil rights across the USA and beyond. 

Piers recommends listening It’s Okay To Cry by the late SOPHIE and shared  “She was a trans Musician and Producer for some of Music’s biggest names (Madonna, Charli XCX, Lady Gaga and Vince Staples to name a few) and has had a huge impact on the music production world and my life as an artist.”

Pip recommends:

  • Video Games: Horizon Forbidden West, The Last of Us
  • Movies: Call Me by Your Name, All of Us Strangers, Uncle Frank, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Love Lies Bleeding
  • TV series: Ratched, Orange if the New Black, It’s a Sin, The Last of Us, Feel Good, Pose, Sense 8
  • Books: Straightjacket by Matthew Todd

Book recommendations from Cassie:

  • In Memoriam by Alice Wynn
  • XOXY: A Memoir by Kimberley M. Zieselman
  • Our Wives Under the Sea

You can read more from Cassie’s detailed and entertaining book reviews here.

Pride at Payload

Throughout the month of June we have been organising various Pride related events including Pride themed cupcake decorating, a charity bake sale, a visit to a Queer focused museum, and of course putting together this blog post. 

However, we understand that there should be a focus on LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion throughout the year, and not just in June!  We strive to provide an inclusive and supportive workplace for all our Payloaders but appreciate that this is a constant journey of improvement and are always looking at what more we can do. 

A huge thanks to our Payloaders who contributed to this post. Happy Pride month to everyone!