Earlier this month, we launched Pride Forever, celebrating the past, present and future of the LGBTQ+ community by elevating stories from around the world, like the ones from the Stonewall Forever living monument. This interactive digital monument was created by the LGBT Community Center of New York City (“the Center”) with support from Google, and it connects diverse voices and stories from the 50 years since the Stonewall riots to the modern-day movement for LGBTQ+ rights.
Those voices include members of Google’s LGBTQ+ community, too. In offices all over the world, Googlers are reflecting on their own journeys and sharing their stories with the world. Here’s a glimpse of what seven Googlers say pride means to them.
“For over a decade, I struggled to accept that I could possibly be trans. Then in 2012, Argentina passed its gender identity law–the first in the world to allow gender self-determination. While far removed from my home in Indonesia, it meant that people like me might finally have a chance at transitioning and living without harmful legal and medical gatekeeping. It gave me the courage to accept myself and start standing up for my right to be.” — Jean, Singapore
“Two years ago, I was honored to create a Google Doodle for Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag representing diversity, unity, acceptance and pride. The first flag was made by hand, so I wanted to create a Doodle with the same handmade feeling. I learned to sew (not easy!) and recreated the flag in my tiny kitchen just a few blocks from where Baker made his original eight-color flag back in 1978. As an LGBTQ+ person, the flag and this Doodle were beyond personal to me, and it’s part of why I joined the Google Doodle team, in hopes of having opportunities to brighten and strengthen people’s days.” — Nate, San Francisco
“We were both engineers working in male-dominated industries where being a lesbian was difficult. We were asked on a regular basis about husbands or why we weren’t married. California’s Prop 8 in 2008 (banning same-sex marriage) was an eye-opening moment for us. Although the prop passed, there was a large public opposition campaign standing up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. It felt like a turning point for people across the United States showing that it was OK to support the LGBTQ+ cause without substantial retribution.” — Candace and Michelle, South Carolina
“Many people have shaped my life—but perhaps the most meaningful people in my life are my husband, whom I have been with for nearly 30 years, and my son, who gives me more joy (and a fair amount of frustration) than I could have ever imagined. For them, I owe thanks in large part to a valiant handful of New Yorkers whom I’ve never met. Their act of defiance at the Stonewall Inn 50 years ago ultimately enabled me to live, love and be who I am.” — William, New York
“When I first came out to my parents, my dad told me I’d never get a good job, and I’d lose all my friends unless I ‘changed my mind’ about being gay. That really hurt—that being gay is still seen as different, even to well-meaning people. Marriage equality in the U.K. in 2013 felt like a huge validation. The fact that this was part of an international wave, it was really a feeling of progressive acceptance.” — Nick, London
“The original LGBTQ+ initialism was created in the late 1980s to introduce a more inclusive name for the gay community. To me, the LGBTQ+ acronym represents a diverse group of people that are unique and resilient. I am so proud to be a part of a community that is constantly evolving its boundaries for inclusion and actively championing societal equality. Even though there is still more to be done, being able to lean on one another for support—no matter where in the LGBTQ+ spectrum you fall—binds us together and has enabled us to make impressive progress across the globe.” — Andrew, Sydney