By Richard Lawrence-Allen
Here at RSVP we boast a wonderfully diverse workforce formed of trained actors and performers from all different backgrounds, from all over the world. Amongst this workforce we have a large number of incredible LGBT+ staff throughout all levels of the company, from agents on the phones to managers and supervisors and even company directors as well! This past Pride month we wanted to show support to all of our LGBT+ staff in our own RSVP way and make Pride 2018 the best Pride celebrations we’ve ever had!
Pride means a lot of things to a lot of different people and each year during the month of June people around the world celebrate their pride in the LGBT+ community in different ways. LGBT+ Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a spontaneous uprising of the LGBT+ community against their persecution by the Greenwich Village local police force in Manhattan, New York City. These riots constituted the most important event that led up to the gay liberation movement, a movement which continues to fight for LGBT+ equality across the globe to this very day.
Here in London, Pride events fill the entire month of June and the celebrations culminate in a stunning parade which has been held in the city every summer since 1972. The parade started modestly in the 1970s with just 2000 marchers, but now the event sees in excess of 15 000 participants and attracts an estimated one million visitors to the city making it currently the largest annual queer event held across the UK. No matter how you celebrate LGBT+ Pride, whether you identify as being part of the community itself, or are an ally showing your support, the month of June serves as a reminder of how far the LGBT+ community has come in the years since the Stonewall uprising. Pride celebrates those that came before and fought for the rights that the LGBT+ community enjoys today, it allows for further visibility of the community and reminds us of how far we still have to go before the LGBT+ community is truly treated equally and without persecution in all corners of the globe, both legally and socially.
The theme of this year’s Pride in London was “Pride Matters” as a reminder as to why Pride Events are still so important, whether as a protest against social injustices, a celebration of where the community is today, a symbol of freedom or a platform for diversity. With this in mind, for the month of June, each day RSVP’s social media team flooded our Instagram and Twitter accounts (@rsvpmediauk) with memes that they lovingly crafted themselves featuring an empowering quote from their LGBT+ heroes and gay icons. We totalled 60 bright, colourful, and most importantly, inspirational memes in all and received great responses from staff, clients and strangers alike.
Here is our Mega Meme, a compilation of all of our memes from over the month. Check out our whole Pride meme collection on our social media accounts @rsvpmediauk.
In addition to this show of solidarity to the LGBT+ community through social media, we got our baking hats on once more and raised a wonderful £185.00 from all our goodies, donating all of the money to the LGBT Foundation. The LGBT Foundation provide a wide range of support services to LGBT+ people and work with heath care and other professionals to help make public services more accessible and inclusive for the LGBT+ community.
Our Pride celebrations came to their glorious climax last Friday, one day before the Pride in London parade kicked off, with our own little pre-party here in the office. Our classic, Queen-heavy, playlist piped out some great feel-good Freddie Mercury vibes in our reception area to all those who came to visit and pick up some of the treats that we’d brought in to hand out. We had plenty of fizzy pop to give around as well as sweets, sweets, and more sweets too. There were the chalky-but-cheery Love Hearts to spread their messages of love and joy, and lollipops and fruit chews of every flavour under the sun! Faces were painted with smiles, rainbows and a very healthy dose of glitter, and balloons were stacked from ceiling to floor!
Our favourite rainbow outfit of the day was definitely Marie's incredible rainbow dress!
We had a wonderful celebration here and hope that we brought the message of Pride to all our staff and those that follow us on social media. Thank you for a wonderful Pride Month everyone, and here’s to next year!
A great snap from one of our staff of the Pride in London parade itself! Happy Pride everyone!