Guest Blog: Loud and Proud? Why do we celebrate Pride, and what is the thought-process involved - David Savage, Group Technology Evangelist, Nash Squared
The world is an increasingly complex place to navigate.
Last winter the World Cup was hosted in Qatar against a backdrop of huge controversy, with an array of human-right concerns calling into question the idea that the tournament was a ‘World Cup for all’.
Teams from a number of nations had planned for their captains to wear rainbow-themed ‘One Love’ armbands, but following FIFA’s (football’s global governing body) threat to impose sanctions on their players, a number of European associations advised team captains not wear the armband.
To many this seemed a backwards step, especially as LGBTQIA+ Qataris face far bigger punishment than a yellow card in a football match for simply being who they are.
Many clubs in Football now find themselves owned by nation-states where laws persecute the LBGTQIA+ community. Yet the same clubs have rainbow motifs and wear rainbow laces on occasions such as Pride or on days like International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Where does that leave fans of those clubs? For many they may have supported these institutions their whole life, and yet now they are accused of being instruments of sports-washing.
In many countries around the world the basic human rights of the queer community are under attack. Bev referenced both Uganda and some states in the USA in her communication to our Group on the 1st of June. Why? Last year, Florida governor and prospective US presidential candidate Ron DeSantis signed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. The legislation bars teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through to the third grade.
Put simply, despite huge strides towards parity for the LGBTQIA+ community in some aspects of life, in some countries, in recent decades, there appears to be a concerted attack and rowing-back of some of these measures. Countries queer people may have visited 5 years ago now feel unsafe for some.
I started by talking about football because it highlights the complexity of the challenges faced for many. If a club such as Paris Saint-Germain (who are owned by Qatar) wear rainbow-laces is that a good thing, and should LGBTQIA+ activists work with the club to encourage greater understanding, whilst queer people in Qatar are at risk.
Some people would say that state-ownership has no place in the game and you shouldn’t interact with the club; that you are inadvertently part-taking in pride or sports washing.
This article doesn’t have the answers. It is an attempt to reach out to the Queer community from our organization and say “we are alive to these issues, we are here to listen, and we are here to support you”.
Our Employee Resource Group, NASHpride exists to give members of the LGBTQIA+ community a space they can feel safe being themselves, wherever they might live.
Where Pride is concerned, we might not always get our decisions 100% correct when there are so many different views on how best to support the queer community. We have organised events to educate, to bring people together, and to make everyone feel at home, because Nash Squared is home to so many different individuals and that is part of our strength..
But, as Bev wrote, “This month let's embody Pride alongside one of our important values, HUMAN and create a workplace where everyone feels seen, valued, and supported.”