June marks a significant celebration of a progressive and inclusive society, Pride Month. It is a time when people show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community by making them feel accepted and recognizing their sexual orientation despite the decades-long prejudice imposed by a less open-minded public.
Since the first Pride March in 1994, members of the LGBTQIA+ community have become vocal about their sexual orientation. Event organizers have also begun leveraging social media and other platforms to allow LGBTQIA+ members to express themselves while calling on allies to participate in the movement.
Telus International Philippines (TIP), a leading provider of business process outsourcing solutions in the country, spearheads various activities inside and outside their workspaces to foster gender inclusivity.
For this year’s celebration of Pride Month, TIP invited media practitioners to their Vertis North office to participate in “Work With Pride,” a jacket designing activity where they can unleash their creativity and show that they’re an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Brand Marketing and Culture Director for the Asia Pacific and AI Telus International Carlos Giammattei believes these opportunities, where allies can replicate the message of pride and acceptance during the meaningful month, spread awareness for better inclusivity in the country.
He shared that these steps start to “open doors to make sure that, at some point in the future, there’s not gonna be a country or a person who will not feel comfortable celebrating pride.”
“We know that pride goes beyond the brink. Pride is something we have to take even further than the month of June. Pride gets celebrated every time somebody feels comfortable enough, every time somebody feels confident enough to request their managers to address them in their preferred pronouns, and every time somebody sees their names on the screen, and it’s their true gender expression that’s being showcased,” Giammattei added.
Leading the jacket designing activity was Fred Telarma from the SoFA Design Institute. As a designer, Telarma specializes in avant-garde fashion but produces clothing that conveys a strong message. During the activity, he emphasized the need for authenticity to allow participants to share their stories through their work.
Aside from supporting the LGBTQIA+ community through productive activities like jacket designing, TIP also implements various amenities in their workspaces to make their employees feel like they belong.
Those who self-identify as he/him or she/her can use the gender-assigned restrooms. In the meantime, individuals with other identifiers have gender-neutral lavatories at their disposal.
With the help of Spectrum Philippines, TIP’s resource group for the LGBTQIA+ community, the company constantly educates its employees about the relevance of an inclusive workplace where everyone is safe to express themselves and be true to their personalities.
“Over the years, Telus International has been honored to have such a fantastic team leading diversity efforts. We have celebrated several SOGIE sessions for leaders, human resources, and team members to learn more about sexual orientation and gender identity expression,” Giammattei said.
Pride Month celebrates the love that knows no gender. It’s the time when people support and accept members of the LGBTQIA+ community, proving that society has come far in creating a safe and inclusive environment where everyone is welcome.