GLIDE Co-Executive Director Kristen Growney Yamamoto shares her reflection on Embrace, Encourage, Empower: the 2013 San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade on June 30, 2013.
As I walked to the staging area for GLIDE’s float at Sunday’s Pride Parade, I relished the fancy outfits, rainbows and happiness in the air. I was also struck by the number of corporations lined up… contingents from PG&E, United Airlines, Sutter Health, Dropbox, Wells Fargo, Twitter, Google were among those I passed. I know there were many more. It was phenomenal to see so much corporate support for the parade and their LGBT employees.
When I started working in 1993, I didn’t know any openly gay employees. There were several employees that my friends and I ‘suspected’ were gay but we knew they would never admit it to us since we weren’t close friends. This was at a large consulting firm in Boston. It wasn’t until 1993 when I moved to San Francisco, that I met co-workers who were openly gay at work and it was no big deal. ‘How cool’ I remember thinking. And today, we see hundreds of companies, large and small, lining up to march in the parade and in support of LGBT rights and values.
As I explain my awe at the incredible support and attendance at Sunday’s Pride Parade to my children, it’s hard to express how proud I am to have to experience the turn of the tide and that the freedom to love who you love is the only reality that they will know. Our reality is that we know many families with same sex parents and lovely children. They are our friends and we are pleased to celebrate with them and their love.
GLIDE has been an advocate of unconditional love and acceptance for over 50 years. It takes leadership, courage and desire to unconditionally love and protect the rights of all in our community. Happy Pride !!