June marked the start of 2024’s Pride celebrations across the UK. Throughout the month, we shared inspiring personal stories from team Virgin Media O2 across our social media channels, highlighting their journeys, and what Pride means to them.

First up was Kaiden McCormack from our Retail team:

“As a trans man, Pride for me is the consistency in being seen and perceived by the world as a human being unafraid to be themselves, regardless of the challenges, preconceptions, and biases throughout society.

“To work in an inclusive workplace has been vital in my ability to grow and develop into myself. It’s also been critical in my own personal transition. Not only do I feel safe to be myself, but it is an absolute pleasure to be around colleagues who are also openly being themselves – allowing them to flourish and express themselves in an authentic way.

To be seen, to be heard, to be encouraged to be my authentic self is everything.”

Balal Naseer from our Fraud team shared his experience with Pride and the community:

“I fall somewhere between fluid and queer. Whilst Pride is a celebration and beautiful display of togetherness, the fight continues every day for equal rights for every person within our community.

“For me, coming from a South Asian and Muslim background, Pride and the community have always been important as this is where I found my own personal tribe and chosen family. We need to continue to equally celebrate our history and present, as well as striving for pure and simple equality.

“We still live in a world which continues to feel it’s right to vilify and attack people for being who they are. This needs to change for us to be able to fully develop and prosper within the general global society.”

We also sat down with ally and one of our Store Leaders, Maxine Wilson:

“The reason why the Pride community is vital to me is because of my brother who is bisexual. He was forced out due to bullying in his workplace, which led him to retreat into himself. I became an ally three years ago so I could better support my brother and understand the community more.

“It’s only after joining that I realised the battle members of the community go through daily – I wanted to support not just my brother, but others wherever I could.

“I feel that Pride is important for all generations, so they know and can learn that they have a safe space and community to rely on. As an ally, I want to help support and be that voice for people that feel they can’t speak out.”

Adam Wilson, Marketing Programme Manager, but also co-chair of our Proudly network, rounded up Pride month by sharing what Pride means to him:

“As a gay man, Pride has always been a celebration of both LGBTQ+ inclusion and my personal journey of self-acceptance. Coming out is just the beginning; the journey to true authenticity starts after. In the workplace, this highlights why Pride and belonging are so important.

“I joined Virgin Media O2 nearly 11 years ago, still understanding what it meant to be LGBTQ+ at work. Today, as co-chair of the Proudly network, I strive to be a visible role model. We’ve achieved so much, from a Stonewall Silver award to inclusive policies, making me proud to work here.”

Catch our round up of this year’s fantastic 2024 London Pride parade here, and keep your eyes peeled for the VMO2 bus at this year’s Leed and Manchester Pride parades this summer!

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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