Happy Pride! Every year in June, people around the world celebrate diversity, inclusion, and the LGBTQIA+ community. To us, celebrating Pride means promoting self-affirmation, dignity, and equal rights for all. It’s a time for people from all walks of life to stop and reflect on what it means to be truly accepting and accepted, and the peaceful, positive effect this can have on the world.
In recent chats with some of our Taskers and team members about what Pride means to them, we heard some truly moving stories that inspired us to continue creating a welcoming, inclusive community. Here’s what they had to say:
“Pride is a time where you are truly able to celebrate yourself as a whole person. For many of us in the LGBTQ community, we’ve spent a lot of our lives being ashamed of who we are. Many people still struggle with that even if they are out. Pride is a reminder that we shouldn’t feel ashamed and that we should actually celebrate who we are. I grew up in a small, conservative agriculture town with very few openly LGBTQ role models. Living there, it was hard to see a future where I would ever be able to be openly gay. When I moved away to college, my world opened up and I found myself able to finally picture that future.
It’s important to me to be very open about my identity so that those who are struggling with their own can see someone who has been able to overcome that struggle. I want to be the person who I needed to see when I was growing up closeted. I want to be the person who can give someone at least a little more hope that they can have a future where they are able to be their true selves. When you’re struggling and in the closet, it’s important to remember that there are people out there who support you and who love you. Just remember that if you are struggling, you are not alone, you are not unlovable, and there is nothing wrong with you.
“Pride Month provides a moment to reflect on what has changed for all of us LGBTQIA people, and what still needs to be addressed. I am a gay person, and the challenges I have to overcome on a daily basis are plentiful. From off-handed remarks to downright rudeness and harassment, it happens to all of us—more than most heterosexual people know.
I would love to live in a world where diversity is a virtue, and where everyone can live and love next to each other without hate. If you’re an LGBTQIA person out there struggling with adversity, this is exactly what Pride is for: Be proud, be you, be as out and bold as you want to be, or blend in if that is your thing. Just don’t ever let anyone put out your candle!
“As a queer woman, Pride month is always important to me. It reminds me how far I’ve come in tackling my own internalized homophobia about being gay. It also reminds me that I have a community to support me.
Once upon a time in this country, if you were a queer person, you HAD to stay in the closet to work. Still, many people stay in the closet because they’re afraid that if they come out, there will be repercussions professionally. As an independent contractor for TaskRabbit, I’m lucky that I don’t typically have to worry about that. I can build my own business both within and outside of my LGBTQ community and know that I am supported and valued. Thanks, TaskRabbit!”
Pride month would never exist if queer people were quickly and comfortably accepted by our greater communities.To me, pride is defiance. It’s constructive anger in response to being regularly trivialized and swept to the margins of society. It’s visibility — gathering up on the streets to show your friends and neighbors that there are thousands of people with lives that you are actively hurting when you support policies that treat them as unimportant and ignorable.
Pride is the antidote to shame. As queer people, we have often spent huge swaths of our lives walking around and constantly thinking about how we present to other people for our own survival. We know being open about our sexualities and gender identities can come with a real threat of violence if we’re too open with the wrong person. We do not get the “luxury of oblivion” that traditionally heterosexual people enjoy. We learn to be strategic and to be guarded. Imagine carrying that much anxiety from constant self-monitoring for your whole life. Because you can’t just “be yourself” in casual situations, it can weigh on your psyche and brew feelings of shame and neurosis.Pride is how we get together and flip these rotten thoughts the bird. Though we may be told otherwise by the rest of society, we know we’re living harmless decent lives, and we’re not going to be told otherwise. Not only that, but we’ve developed our own shared culture, and we’re a hell of a lot of fun.
One of our goals at TaskRabbit is to help everyone live lives they can be proud of, no matter who they are or where they come from. Embracing diversity doesn’t just help us celebrate different types of people. It also helps us bring people closer together—which always has a positive effect on the world.