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The Many Voices of Pride: Robert’s story

In partnership with Uber July 3, 2019

"It’s not just about the rainbow flag." (Uber)

The LGBT+ community is made of many different identities, all of which are as valid and important as the others, and every single one deserves to fly their flag with pride.

For Pride 2019, PinkNews has teamed with Uber to tell stories that show how important visibility is to a diverse rainbow of sexual and gender identities.

This is Robert’s story…

What it was like growing up as gay?

I grew up in the suburbs of London, out in Zone 6 and it was perfectly fine. I went to high school there, went to university in Warwick. But wasn’t out.

I went into investment banking as many graduates do, they were great people but I didn’t feel like I could be my natural self. I was always kind of making up excuses or making up stories. I still wasn’t out.

Eventually I ended up at Uber. Going into the Uber offices in San Francisco and seeing other people like me, and the fact that Uber is a young company with a lot of young people in the business, to me felt a bit safer.

I was among young peers and it felt more likely that I would be accepted.

I went to the first mixer drinks for pride at work. The fact that the event took place in the first place, made me feel like I belonged. I walked in by myself thinking “oh my god who’s gonna be there.”

Then everyone sort of turned and said “hey who are you, how are you doing?” and it just felt like home.

What’s it like working at Uber as an LGBT+ person?

So Uber has always had an employee resource group for LGBTQ+ employees. As an American company, it started over there. When Uber were looking to get a european chapter up and running, I raised my hand. So the ERG exists for the employees of Uber and also helps to shape the business decisions of Uber.

Do you think we need more education around the different LGBT+ identities and communities?

I think a lot of people associate pride with a flag, with being gay or lesbian or maybe trans.

As we go forward there are more definitions and it’s fantastic to see that you can be yourself despite the stereotypes that exist. It’s not just about the rainbow flag.

The fact that we’re now seeing more than just one flag is great it’s not just about being one label, it’s about being who you want to be.

Read all the personal stories from the Many Voices of Pride campaign here.

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