This year, Workplace Pride’s celebrated Amsterdam Pride with its first content-related event, entitled “Stories from the Heart”. LGBTI Prides are of-course a moment to celebrate the success of the LGBTI emancipation movement and the solidarity of the community. However, it is also a moment to reflect on what still needs to be done around the world.
With this in mind, the Foundation worked closely with its member, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their Influentials Programme Building Bridges to stage a truly eye-opening event for Workplace Pride members. The gathering, which was held at the Hotel de l’Europe, included 12 LGBTI activists from Africa and the Middle East who were brought to the Netherlands by the Ministry to enter into dialogue with fellow activists, strengthen their network of allies in the region and be empowered in their activism. The activists told their own, often very emotional, but always courageous and inspiring stories of what it means to be LGBTI in their countries and how they personally fight to make progress for LGBTI inclusion.
Ranging from authors to Pride organisers, business people to grass-roots activists, the ‘Stories’ speakers showed how universal the desire to be accepted and respected is amongst the LGBTI community; wherever they are in the world. In some cases, these activists risk their careers, their reputations and even their freedom to undertake their work. For this reason neither their names are mentioned, nor their faces shown in this article.
The event deeply touched the nearly 100 participants of the event who are now even more aware that LGBTI activism stops not at an organisation’s front door, nor at national boundries. It is an ongoing effort that starts in each single office or workplace.
Thanks go again to the Foundation’s new member, Heineken, for hosting the event and placing the subject matter in the context of their own challenges for LGBTI inclusion around the world.
For information about the Influentials Programme Building Bridges, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
For information about the Stories From the Heart event, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org