Loud and proud: celebrating Pride 2019 (and beyond)

Pride is always a special time of year for the global queer community to come together to celebrate, commemorate, and continue to push for progress. It’s no different here at Asana, and Team Rainbow—our queer employee resource group (ERG)—went above and beyond to make queer employees feel seen and appreciated, while inspiring allies to join in and learn more, too.

While we celebrated Pride in many ways this month, we know that showing up every day and building a diverse and inclusive environment where queer employees can thrive is what makes the biggest impact. Keep reading to see a recap of Pride 2019 and to learn how Asana supports queer employees year-round.

What was your favorite Pride event (that you worked on or attended) and why?

“RENT! It was lovely to go off site with members of Team Rainbow to share a community-relevant activity. And the Pride celebration is always amazing.” — Katie D.

Designer Matt R. prepares a screen with colors of the trans pride flag.

“The screen printing event was awesome. So colorful, so interactive, and we got long-lasting artifacts from it.” — Ashley W.

“I really enjoyed Escape the Closet. I love escape rooms and it was really well done. I learned about some activist groups I didn’t know of previously through Escape the Closet, including TGI Justice and No Justice No Pride.” — Kris K.

Asanas of all kinds came out to boogie down and get creative at our Pride celebration.
Photo credit: Andrew Zhou Photography

“I was overwhelmed by the turnout at the Pride happy hour. There was an incredible energy in the room. It’s incredible how Asanas can come together to celebrate a sense of pride, belonging, and just pure happiness.” — Allie J.

“Dublin Pride. Last year was my first year participating in a pride event organized by my work and it was simply amazing basking in the love and acceptance that permeated the streets of our city. It was a very proud moment for me.” — Tadgh D.

Asanas were bursting with pride at the 2019 Dublin Pride Parade.

How have allies, Asana, and/or Team Rainbow helped you feel supported at work?

“Every month, we have a queer-only discussion group. Early on, I worried I wasn’t ‘queer enough’ and the group quickly reassured me there’s no such thing. We all have such different experiences. That’s the point. Coming together in a safe space to talk about our experiences, to celebrate and understand our identities together is what it’s about.” — Nikki H.

Just one of dozens of rainbow-themed treats prepared by our Culinary team during Pride month.

“There’s an unspoken aura of acceptance that circles the office here in Dublin. I talk openly about my relationship and never fear discussing LGBTQIA+ topics, which is something I haven’t enjoyed in previous workplaces.” — Tadgh D.

Lots of pink, yellow, and blue—which are the colors of the pansexual pride flag—at our screen printing event.

“The nuance that is embraced in and beyond Team Rainbow is excellent. As a pan/queer human it’s really nice to not have to explain exactly-what-that-means, and to be included as a legit part of the community. We even have pan flags in the pride decorations!” — Katie D

What’s it like to be a part of Team Rainbow?

Team Rainbow’s awesome Pride committee stands tall.

“It’s like being part of a really warm platonic hug, where you can just be your weird ass queer self.” — Steven R.

“Being a part of Team Rainbow is a pleasure and privilege. It’s a group of individuals who are taking time out of their days to come together for events, programming, or even just conversation around a cause bigger than themselves. I’m thrilled to be at a company that supports that effort.” —Russell A.

Who is a queer icon for you and why?

Rachel Miller, because she’s amazing in every way.” — Steven R. (We agree, Steven!)

“Currently obsessed with Rain Dove, the non-gendered / gender queer (they have used various terms here) model who uses the medium of high fashion to make visually dramatic statements about gender, and specifically how absurd and inappropriate it is to reinforce a gender binary.” — Katie D.

Well, we didn’t quite get a Frida painting, but we did partner with SF MoMA to feature a selection of local queer artists’ work for Pride.

“Frida Kahlo has always been a queer icon for me. Her work is so powerful and often times painful, and there is an intensity to it that’s always resonated with me.” — Russell A.

“Divine. She was bold, fearless, but also incredibly vulnerable. I admire her tenacity and her lasting effect on queer culture, particularly the drag space.” — Tadgh D.

“Audre Lorde. What a force. Her work dissects racism, sexism, homophobia, and many other -isms in such poetic, moving ways. As a queer poet myself, I look to Lorde to learn how to roar with my words.” — Nikki H.

What’s something you learned this month?

“Being hard on yourself is not a sustainable or positive motivational tool. Self-compassion is far more rewarding.” — Tadgh D.

Our talented designer, Hannah S., taught us about unsung heroes of queer history.

“As accepting and diverse as our community is, it still requires the same vigilance to ensure certain voices and actions get amplified. For example, despite celebrating the monumental 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, I had never heard of Sylvia Rivera, who fought for queer people across the intersections of gender, race, and class.” — Nikki H.

Anna H. designed posters featuring the legendary Twin Peaks bar in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood for our Pride celebration event.

“I wasn’t aware of the Twin Peaks bar’s significance as a historic landmark in San Francisco and broader queer history. The bar and its windows are a nice reminder of the little battles that had to be won along the way to get where we are now.”  —Russell A.

Want to learn the history of the rainbow flag? Check out our design team’s Instagram story to see it then and now.

Head of Diversity & Inclusion Sonja Gittens Ottley kicks off our Pride celebration toast.
Photo credit: Andrew Zhou Photography

Happy Pride—today and every day

While Pride month may be over, our commitment to supporting the queer communtity, both inside of Asana and out, is an always-on effort. Here are a few ways that we strive to create an inclusive office, product, and world: 

  • Helping queer organizations and non-profits be more efficient and achieve their own goals with our product and non-profit program.
  • Offering support, space, and career development for LGBTQIA+ Asanas through Team Rainbow, our Employee Resource Group.
  • Monthly discussion lunches for all Asanas as well as queer-only audiences.
  • Outings to queer events and art spaces. We currently work with SFMOMA to highlight the work of local, queer artists.
  • Sponsoring and supporting queer groups and events such as Lesbians Who Tech, Out in Tech, our “RealTalk” series.
  • Consulting with diversity partners like Project Include, Paradigm on company policies and culture.
  • A head of Diversity and Inclusion with objectives and budget to support evolving needs and goals.
  • Including pronouns in job applications, name tags, and as part of our product onboarding. 
  • Actively revising and iterating on our recruiting and hiring process and techniques to eliminate opportunities for biases.

We hope you and your team had a happy and safe Pride!

Special thanks to Steven, Tadgh, Russell, Katie, Kris, Allie, Ashley, Team Rainbow, all the queer pioneers before us.

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