Maria Wayne, QinetiQ US IT Service Desk Analyst, says, “Pride is the freedom to be my authentic self while being an active participant in work and society. To love freely while being healthy, happy, and gainfully employed.”
How did Pride start? What is the history of Pride?
Gay rights activism started as early as 1924, and progressed to serve the community through the ‘50s and ‘60s, when businesses around the country had the potential to be shut down for having LBGTQ+ employees or even serving LGBTQ+ customers. Individuals in the community gathered in bars, clubs, and places where they could openly express themselves and be around others who were safe. Because of this, police harassment of gay bars was commonplace and many of these businesses were shut down.
Before Pride was a celebration, it began as a protest on June 28th, 1969. The Stonewall Inn was a bar located in Manhattan, New York that was a safe haven for the LBGTQ+ community. During a police raid of the bar, an activist and transgender woman, Marsha P. Johnson, cast the first brick in retaliation, jumpstarting the movement. The community rose up together to fight back against the raids, the police department, and the injustice they’d been facing for many years.
Evolution of the Flag
The pride flag was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978 and was first flown at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Each color represents a different aspect of the movement: life, healing, sunlight, nature, serenity, and spirit. During the Black Lives Matter protests in 2017, Philadelphia added brown and black to represent LGBTQ+ people of color. People of color have often been left out of the narrative despite being a driving force of the movement. In 2018, Daniel Quasar created the Progress Pride flag. The flag has the traditional rainbow with a triangle moving forward containing a black and brown stripe and the trans pride flag. The triangle pointing forward symbolizes the renewed effort of the LGBTQ+ community to include all marginalized groups while progressing forward to a better future.
How to Show Pride All Year
QinetiQ offers many Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to our employee base, including the JustLikeQ ERG, which participates in community work promoting equity of the LGBTQ+ community. JustLikeQ is open to all QinetiQ employees and serves to support the LGBTQ+ community. JustLikeQ also provides a safe space for discussion on current events impacting this group.