To many, Pride evokes thoughts of rainbows, parades, and celebration. Even as I sit at my desk right now, I think of the rainbow flags flying on Market Street and the crowds of people that will descend on the Civic Center this weekend for the SF Pride Parade. And, I also think about what all of this means to me as an LGBTQ individual. Like many, I kept my identity hidden for most of my teenage years for fear of acceptance. Seeing a rainbow flag or any sign of support meant the world to me. And, while I’ve become comfortable with and proud of my identity over the years, it still means so much to me when I see any effort to make the LGBTQ community feel welcomed and celebrated.

As a SparkPost employee, I’ve been fortunate enough to work at a company that celebrates its LGBTQ community. This last month, we’ve hung a rainbow banner in the office, been given Pride t-shirts and pins, and had a special movie afternoon where we watched “Milk”. Our social team also created and promoted a Slide Share that gives viewers “A Brief History of Pride.”

Now to some, this may seem like a corporation taking an opportunity to promote its brand during Pride. We’ve all seen the special rainbow swag and designs that many companies are promoting. While there may be some truth in that, I’d rather not make a negative out of a positive. For many years, Pride came and went, and wasn’t cause for celebration at SparkPost. In fact, it never crossed my mind that it was something to be celebrated at the office at all. But there’s something about seeing your company take the time and the effort to make specially designed swag, hang a rainbow banner, and set aside a whole afternoon to watch a movie about a historic LGBTQ pioneer, that really makes an impact. Like those flags on Market Street or the upcoming parade, these small gestures make me feel welcome and fill me with Pride.

So thank you SparkPost for putting in that extra effort to make your LGBTQ community feel recognized and welcome!

~ Matthew