BLOG: What Pride means to me
By Joanna Dardzinska, Finance Officer at A2Dominion Group
Pride for me is a celebration of the freedom to express who you are and to feel safe, accepted, and respected.
It's also a reminder that even in 2020, there’s still lots of work to do to stop homophobia - which is still prevalent in countries around the world.
I was born and raised in one of the most homophobic countries in Europe.
There, the government has implemented policies hostile against LGBTQ+ people.
Members of the government have openly encouraged members of society to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community.
I left my country to escape this systemic homophobia, bullying, and discrimination.
I’m angry and sad that we are still not equal.
In some countries, we do not have basic human rights and must hide our true identity in fear of persecution, imprisonment, or even death.
I am lucky and grateful to be safe in the United Kingdom, a country where I am respected and protected by law.
I can be myself at work, knowing I won’t lose my job because of my sexuality.
I can marry the woman I love, have children, and start a family with her.
I’m glad that those that live next door to me are friendly and supportive, happy to have my girlfriend and me as their neighbours.
I hope that, if not my generation, our future generation can live and thrive in a world more inclusive and accepting than it is now.
I hope that love will win in the end.
Throughout the month of June, A2Dominion have encouraged colleagues from across the group to share what Pride means to them.
Staff could create blogs, take photos, or record videos from their homes sharing their experiences, with their responses being published to the A2Dominion intranet - Joanna’s blog was one of the responses.
BLOG: Why is celebrating Pride still important in 2020?
23 June 2020
Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, but it is so much more than just a parade. Behind the rainbows and dancing lies the struggle against oppression and fight for a more equal world.
BLOG: What does Pride mean to me?
16 June 2020
I was raised in a fairly traditional environment in which the importance of Pride was continuously put into question, with the majority of people struggling to see why the celebration of LGBTQ+ identities and sexualities should even be a thing.
BLOG: Time for tangible action to ensure diversity and tackle inequalities
12 June 2020
The racism, injustice and discrimination that still exists in our society will not change by itself. A message from the Black Lives Matters protests has been that it is not enough to simply not be racist, changing society requires us all to actively be anti-racist. To help to make change happen.