13 July 2017
Why we're fiercely proud to support Pride
Last weekend saw one of the biggest ever Pride in London celebrations – and the Virgin family was out in force.
More than 26,000 people are estimated to have marched in the parade on Saturday 8 July, the culmination of a two week event across the capital. 80 of those people came from the Virgin family – representing brands including Virgin Media, Virgin Management, Virgin Active, Virgin Money and Virgin Trains.
“I was delighted to once again join with my Virgin Media colleagues and others from across the Virgin family to take our place in Pride in London,” said Cormac Connolly, our senior LGBT+ sponsor. “On a beautiful sunny day as I marched in this magical city of London, I was never more aware of the gift of life and the importance of tolerance. Sharing and celebrating our unique differences that make us all equally deserving of respect and love.”
This year it’s not just about London. Virgin Media is participating in at least seven Pride events across the UK. Our people took part in Pride in Birmingham in June, and we’re already looking forward to Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Reading in August and September.
And while Pride events are undoubtedly some of the most joyful and fun-filled in the calendar, it’s important to reflect on why we march. As Pride season kicks off every year, it’s not unusual to hear a chorus of, ‘What’s the point?’ Or even the dreaded, ‘Why isn’t there a straight Pride?’
Pride’s not just a celebration – it’s a protest. A protest for the freedoms that LGBT+ people should be able to enjoy. We march for those who can’t. We march for those who marched before us, in infinitely more difficult times when LGBT+ people faced persecution from all corners of society. 2017 marks 50 years since homosexuality was part-decriminalised in the UK, and three years since same-sex marriage was legalised in most of the UK. But to those who think we’ve come a long way, you don’t have to look far to realise we as a society still have more to do.
At Virgin Media, we’re proud to support Pride. Our LGBT+ people are an important part of our diverse workforce. As well as helping to create an inclusive work environment, we firmly believe diversity is crucial to the success of our business.