Celebrating Pride at MessageBird

To celebrate Pride Month here at MessageBird, we started the month asking Birds who are members of the LGBTIQ+ community and community allies to share what Pride means to them.

Today, we’re sharing those responses, as we strive to elevate and support diverse communities here at MessageBird. 

We hope you enjoy learning more about what Pride means to members of our team!

Frans-Jan van Steenbeek, Team Lead in Infrastructure

Frans-Jan's photo

Why is it important to celebrate Pride Month?

It's important to celebrate what has been achieved so far for LGBTQIA+ acceptance and rights; it's equally important to recognize there's a long way to go still.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

We don't have Pride Month as such in the Netherlands, but for me Pride celebrations are connected with a deep sense of justice and a personal break with past convictions. I'd like my children to live in a world where Pride is "just" a celebration, not also part of an ongoing struggle.

How do you show allyship for the LGBTIQ+ community in your everyday life? 

I'm open about my allyship, try to confront injustice when I (think I) see it, teach my children about LGBTQIA+ issues and history, and fly the rainbow when that makes sense. 🏳️‍🌈

Lucy Sanchez-Sandoval, Software Developer Associate

Lucy's photo

Why is it important to celebrate Pride Month?

It is important to celebrate Pride Month because not everyone has support systems where they feel welcomed and perhaps even feel safe to be authentically themselves. Therefore, this is a time where we as an entire community can be that support system.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

My brother is part of this community, and for me, this is a time to celebrate him and show him how proud I am of him and that I will always be there for him no matter what because unfortunately throughout the years he has lost and severed relationships that did not accept him for him.

How do you show allyship for the LGBTIQ+ community in your everyday life? 

I attempt to not shop at brands that lobby against LGBTQ+ rights, and I dine and shop frequently at restaurants and shops owned by members of the community. 

Dennis Philipse, Regional Manager Technical Services APAC

Dennis's photo

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride Month is for me a yearly recognition of all the people and the hard work which has been done – and in some parts of the world still needs to be done – to bring your true, authentic self to the world, at the workplace, to your family and friends. 

How do you show allyship for the LGBTIQ+ community in your everyday life? 

Being an openly gay cis man myself, I thank allies for being a role model and coming out for their support for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Stacey Cracknell, London Office Coordinator

Stacey's photo

Why is it important to celebrate Pride Month?

To celebrate differences, remove any stereotypes, and give more confidence to those within the LGBTQI+ community.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride Month allows me to feel supported and not afraid to be open about who I am.

How do you show allyship for the LGBTIQ+ community in your everyday life? 

By being open minded, accepting, and supportive of whoever anyone is or wants to be – no judgments. Everyone is different and should be allowed a place to do this, especially in the workplace as this is where discrimination can occur. So take every opportunity to create a non-judgemental workplace.

Nikita Baranov, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Editor’s Note: For our last employee profile, we’re excited to share our final highlight from MessageBird’s brand new head of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It's so important to support and elevate voices from the LGBTIQ+ community – not just for Pride month, but all year round. We're thrilled that Nikita is here to guide us as we continue our efforts to be a more inclusive workplace!

Nikita's photo

Why is it important to celebrate Pride Month?

In more than one-third of the world's countries, it's still illegal to just be who you are. In the rest, we still see a lot of discrimination against the LGBTIQ+ community on a daily basis. We need to celebrate the successes but also remember the progressive journey – which is still to be taken, not only during Pride Month, but during the entire year.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

For me personally, I'm always reflecting on how privileged and thankful I am to my predecessors, like Marsha P Johnson, Silvia Riviera, or Harvey Milk who had the courage back in time to stand and speak up for the rights of the community where activism was forbidden and punished. Never forget that Pride started with a riot! 

How do you show allyship for the LGBTIQ+ community in your everyday life? 

I always try to establish a safe space for people to be able to be themselves, admit what I don't know, listen and learn, and be the voice for those who have no voice – because every one of us has a platform, no matter how small it might seem, and one can use it and be vocal against any kind of discrimination or unfair treatment. Representation matters!