Pride month 2022 is here
Find out what Pride means to co-chairs of A&O's LGBTQ+ network, Jim Ford and David Lucking.
Pride is a celebration of LGBTQ+ communities across the world and promotes inclusivity, equity and education around LGBTQ+ history.
Global co-chairs of A&O’s LGBTQ+ network A&Out, Jim Ford and David Lucking, share their views on the importance of Pride and what it means to them.
What does Pride month mean for you personally?
David: It is a real opportunity to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, to acknowledge the bravery of the generations of LGBTQ+ pioneers who spoke out and fought for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, but also to take stock and remind the world of the threats that the community continues to face. Despite everything that we have achieved, we cannot be complacent as LGBTQ+ people still face prejudice, and LGBTQ+ rights are currently being eroded in many countries all over the world.
Why is it important to mark Pride?
Jim: Pride month can create a feeling of inclusivity for LGBTQ+ colleagues as well as positive engagement from allies. It gives us time to reflect on what we have achieved together throughout the year and throws a spotlight on why it matters and what more we can do.
David: I am very aware that in 2022 some colleagues still feel uncomfortable being their open and true selves in a work context. We should all ask ourselves why that is. Are we doing enough to ensure that people feel comfortable bringing their whole self to work? It is important to reaffirm the message that A&O is an inclusive place to work where no form of discrimination, including discrimination against LGBTQ+ colleagues, will be tolerated and that we actively celebrate our diversity.
How will you be celebrating Pride?
Jim: As well as participating in A&O and client activities, my children are now at an age where they are aware of Pride month and are asking questions like “what’s the rainbow flag for?” So it’s a good opportunity to talk to them about the importance of love and inclusivity.
David: Pride is about celebrating together. I have fun memories as a younger associate of cartwheeling through puddles one rainy Pride weekend in London with A&O friends. Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in Love’ was blaring in the background. My cartwheeling days may be over (maybe…?), but I will certainly be popping some champagne to celebrate all the colours of the inclusive LGBTQ+ rainbow this year.
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