Celebrating Pride at Centrica
We believe our differences and identity should be embraced and celebrated. As part of our ongoing support for the LGBTQ+ community, we’re marking Pride 2023 with our internal #PoweringPride campaign. It’s for all colleagues to show how they are #PoweringPride by sharing pictures and stories about how they show allyship and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, and for those within the community to share why they’re proud to be out at Centrica.
We've created #PoweringPride, so our LGBTQ+ colleagues and their allies share how they ally and what allyship means to them. All colleagues can take real life Instagram selfies – there will be #PoweringPride boards at all offices, so people can take snaps and share them across our internal channels. In addition, our + Network participated in Pride Cymru on 17th June – not only by marching in the parade with over 100 colleagues, but also by volunteering and helping to help set up beforehand.
What is Pride?
In June 1969, the Stonewall riots were sparked by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City. These important protests changed gay rights for a lot of people in America and around the world. That’s why today we celebrate Pride in June.
In this country, the first UK Gay Pride festival took place in London on 1st July 1972 when 2,000 people gathered to celebrate the lesbian and gay community and support equal rights. Back then, life was very different. Until 1967, just five years before that first parade, homosexuality was still a crime. Even after it was legalised, there was still a long way to go until gay people won the same rights as everyone else.
Now, over 50 years on, thankfully a lot has changed, and everyone has the same rights under UK law, regardless of their sexual orientation. Today, instead of being a protest march demanding equal rights, Pride is a celebration of a diverse community and a celebration of people coming together in love and friendship.
Celebrating Pride not only shows how far LGBTQ+ rights have come, but also how there's still work to be done in some places. Pride month is about acceptance and equality. It’s a time for us to celebrate the work of LGBTQ+ people as well as learning about LGBTQ+ history and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
It also calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia was and still can be. Pride is all about being proud of who you are no matter who you love.
Pride is for everyone
Our + network is open to everyone whether they are part of the LGBTQ+ community or want to be an ally to those who are. What is important is that they share a common purpose in building awareness to create an open and inclusive place where colleagues feel respected, valued and are empowered to make a change.
What Pride means to me
To me, Pride is an opportunity to bring to light how far the LGBTQ+ community has come but also to acknowledge how far we still have to go. It amplifies the need for action and protest to exist for the other 11 months of the year. Pride month becomes more and more pivotal every year and it’s so important for companies to progress past rainbow washing and performative action and dig deep into what inclusivity really means. I am proud to work alongside my colleague Krisztina, leading our LGBTQ+ network and building safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people at Centrica and British Gas.
Being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, I’m here to help make a difference for our LGBTQ+ colleagues. I want to enable representation by amplifying voices where I can and continue to educate myself on all that matters to the community by not being afraid to ask questions. I’ll be that supportive shoulder for whoever needs it, whatever and whenever it’s needed. Pride to me means joining in to celebrate and reflect with the community and help organising it all.
I am really excited for us to take part in Pride Cymru this year and can’t wait to march with our colleagues!