Channel Manager, EMEA

Showing Our Pride — and Celebrating Each Other — During Pride Month

Showing Our Pride — and Celebrating Each Other — During Pride Month

Here at Zoom, our core value is Care — we care for our community, customers, company, teammates, and ourselves.

Our core value influences all that we do, and for Pride Month, we wanted to invite all Zoomies to experience the welcoming Zoom culture of caring and openness. As the leader of Zoom Pride, our Employee Resource Group (ERG) focused on the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) community, I’m excited to share how we’ve been celebrating Pride Month through activities that uplift LGBTQ+ voices, culture, and rights. 

Pride Month at Zoom was all about learning and discovering the history, challenges, and opportunities of the LGBT+ community; getting a chance to volunteer and get to know other Zoomies around the world; and most of all, have loads of fun in the process! Here’s a look at what we did.

Pride Month at Zoom

Zoom Pride established the theme “Fierce & Fabulous in Tech” to center each event as part of our Pride Month celebration. Hear from a few Zoom Pride members on what Pride means to them and how we’re celebrating at Zoom.

‘Fierce & fabulous’ guests

We were grateful to hear from an amazing lineup of guests, who inspired us with their stories and talents.

First, we welcomed Miss Coco Peru, iconic drag queen and LGBTQ+ activist, who wowed us with her singing and storytelling. Miss Coco’s theme was “Foundation,” and with it she shared the history of Pride, woven in with her own personal stories about growing up in the Bronx, marching in Pride Parades, and standing up for LGBTQ+ rights. “Respect those who came before you so that you can be a good example for those who come after,” she said.

Screenshot from Zoom Pride event with Miss Coco Peru.
Clockwise from top left: Miss Coco Peru, Zoom hosts Daniel Elliott and Denise Stickland.

Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls joined us to talk about his activism, which started at an early age. The son of gay parents, he gave a powerful testimonial supporting marriage equality when he was 19, which went viral on YouTube. Senator Wahls shared his lessons for engaging in advocacy work — “I try to spend less time focusing on things that are outside my ability to control and more time focusing on the specific, tangible things that I can affect change in,” he said. “Maintain humility and an open mind as you go through the process of doing this work, because it doesn’t happen overnight and it never comes easy.”

Screenshot from Zoom Pride event with Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls.
Clockwise from top left: Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls, Zoom hosts Steve Boyle and Jaquie Rosa Elgin.

Representing our “Fierce” theme, So You Think You Can Dance star and Lady Gaga backup dancer Mark Kanemura lit up the virtual stage with an electric dance party for Zoomies. Kanemura talked about his creative outlets and dance inspirations, noting that one of his proudest moments as an artist was choreographing pieces for So You Think You Can Dance. “I’m proud of myself for going in there with my own perspective and voice and creating queer pieces of choreography on that show, and it makes me so happy and proud that people within our community could watch those pieces and feel excitement.”

Screenshot from Zoom Pride event with Mark Kanemura.
Zoom host Justin Ostergard, and dancer and artist Mark Kanemura.

The Power of Self Identity

Wrapping up our Pride Month celebration, our DEI team organized “The Power of Self Identity,” a Zoom Talks session in partnership with GLAAD to introduce Zoom’s new Pronouns feature and highlight the importance of pronouns. 

We believe that providing options for you to share more about yourself is important for you to feel more included, express yourself, and be seen while connecting with others. As an ERG, Zoom Pride was honored to have been included in the process for developing the Pronouns feature, along with GLAAD and other individuals and organizations.

Alex Schmider, associate director of transgender representation for GLAAD, and Precious Brady-Davis, a diversity and inclusion expert and communications professional, talked about how pronoun sharing — in Zoom meetings and everyday communication — can help everyone respectfully refer to others.

Screenshot from Zoom Talks event on  the power of self identity and pronouns.
Clockwise from top left: Zoom host Natasha Cougoule; Precious Brady-Davis, diversity and inclusion expert, communications professional, and author; and Alex Schmider, GLAAD associate director of transgender representation.

We feel so lucky to celebrate Pride with all our guests and colleagues! Thanks to our guests for giving us the opportunity to learn, feel seen, find community, and share our own unique stories.

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