What makes you proud about Pride?

Find out how Andrew, the retail transition lead at Virgin Money and chair of Vibrant, our LGBT+ network, is celebrating Pride 2020.

This year is the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots and who could’ve believed we’d be celebrating Pride virtually? We’re not letting social distancing dampen our spirits though. We might be unable to come together in our cities, but we’re still celebrating Pride in a big way. We caught up with Andrew, who was named Role Model of the Year by Stonewall Scotland this year, to find out more on what Pride means to him.

Hi Andrew, what has been your experience of being an LGBT person in the workplace?

At Virgin, you're definitely encouraged to be yourself. It's easy to be yourself at Virgin Money because you are encouraged to think outside the box and do the right thing. And it's also fun, there's a lot of opportunities to get involved in our network and we're given space and time to get involved in the network, which is important. Virgin is really good at making sure that everyone has the opportunity to be listened to.

What does Pride mean to you?

It means fun, learning and coming together. Pride should always be enjoyable, you should always learn something new and it should be a chance to come together – and I'm talking about absolutely everyone coming together. The thing I really love about Pride and what it really means to me is seeing so many different people – different backgrounds, different ages, everything – coming together, having fun, learning and listening to each other.

How do you normally celebrate Pride?

I always go to Glasgow Pride and I normally try to go to at least one other Pride event around the world. I've been to Reykjavík, San Francisco, New York, LA, Manchester, London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Paris and Madrid.

In Glasgow, I meet up with my friends and my family and we'll march in the parade with a group from work. We'll get involved and try to get other people who are not part of the parade involved. I love talking to people and getting to know them.

One of the best things about travelling to a Pride event in another country is that being Scottish I get to wear my kilt and represent my country. The people in Reykjavík were so friendly and they go all out. Their city is beautiful, and it's all painted in rainbows. I made amazing friends for life there. The whole city, if not the whole country, comes together to celebrate Pride.

Andrew celebrating pride

What will Pride look like this year for you?

With in-person events cancelled for now, I think it will be lots and lots of video conferences. I'll be sharing posts and trying to keep in contact with everybody and keep their spirits up. So, this year will be about trying to make a difference to people through video conferences and online events and trying to keep them engaged.

We're trying to work out what we'll be able to do in person but in Scotland the rules are a bit different at the moment. We can only meet people outside and a maximum of eight people from two households. The hope is that we'll still get to do something in person, but the reality is that it might be virtual drinks online.

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