Content+Cloud was proud to march in the Manchester Pride Parade for the second time. Supporting the LGBTQ+ community, our colleagues, friends and family joined thousands of people participating in the Parade across the city centre on Saturday 26th August.
History of the Manchester Pride Parade
Each year, Manchester Pride sets out a theme for the Parade. This year, it was Queerly Beloved: a celebration of love, community, self-expression and the transformative power of dance. Through the Parade, we all brought the dancefloor to the streets of Manchester to mark the power of dance in empowering and liberating the LGBTQ+ community.
As much as Pride is a celebration of love, it’s important to remember that it’s a protest. The origins of the Manchester Pride Parade stem back to 1988, when 20,000 people protested Section 28. Since then, Pride has become a key event leading the fight for LGBTQ+ liberation.
This year, the Queerly Beloved theme marks ten years of marriage equality in the UK, since the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was passed on 17 July 2013. The act enabled civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage, if they wish; and enabled individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage.
With the great feedback we received from everyone who attended last year’s Manchester Pride Parade, we knew that we had to return. We’re proud of everyone who marched in the Parade with us and embraced the spirit of the day, from our colleagues and their loved ones along with our friends from Microsoft.
Sharing our experience of Manchester Pride Parade
We asked some of our colleagues from Content+Cloud and Microsoft to share their thoughts. Find out what it meant to them to march with us in the Parade.
Thea Fineren, Chief People Officer, Content+Cloud
Thea was integral to bringing us together on the day and was proud to be representing Content+Cloud, bringing her daughter along with us.
“Manchester Pride is a hugely positive celebration of difference, and it was great to be part of that. Content+Cloud wanted to make a difference not only by financially supporting the ongoing efforts to strive for equity but also to send a clear message to all folks internally and externally that we stand for inclusion and in the theme of the march, love in all forms. I am continually in awe that communities driving for equitable rights focus on positive messaging, overriding all negative sentiment with pure positivity, even when it must often feel like an uphill battle – the march is the epitome of that.
“One of my key reflections was the reaction the community had to parents wearing ‘Proud mum/dad/parent’ t-shirts. I witnessed multiple occasions where marchers would leave the Parade to bear-hug bystanders who were making a statement to support their children, or perhaps were raising children in a ‘non-traditional’ environment.
“It was hard not to get emotional witnessing this, as thoughts drift to how hard it might have been with their own family dynamic. The length of the hugs and emotions made me think that key to supporting the community is education, helping parents and the next generation understand better.
“It was important to me to expose my five-year-old to the Parade to normalise love in all its forms and to celebrate our differences so that she can continue to fly the flag – she had a ball!”
Neil Condron, Head of Content, Content+Cloud
Neil shared his thoughts, explaining why he returned to march with us for the second time: “I’ve being coming to Manchester Pride for years (mainly for the party!), so when I heard Content+Cloud would be in the Parade I knew I had to be part of it.
“As an ally I feel that it’s more important than ever that we stand up for our friends and family in the community, and show that love and acceptance are more powerful than hate and division. It was such an honour to march alongside colleagues, friends and the lovely folks from Microsoft. I’m already looking forward to next year!”
Harry Rudge, Business Change Consultant, Content+Cloud
Returning to join us for the second year, it was great to hear how Harry found the Parade this time around: “Attending Manchester Pride this year meant I got to hang out with and meet some awesome people from Content+Cloud and Microsoft, and the vibes from everyone were great.
“I think it is important to attend pride and remember it is still a protest! We still have a long way to go in terms of equality and pride is an important way to raise awareness but also spread love. The whole weekend was all about love, fun, and just being free to be you!”
Aman Sangha, Marketing Executive, Content+Cloud
Aman shared her experience of walking in the Parade for the first time: “As I walked the Parade with Content+Cloud and Microsoft, all I could feel was love and community from everyone in the Parade and the crowds.
“There was a massive sense of pride and acceptance which spread to everyone regardless of sexual orientation. It was an amazing experience to support, and to feel part of something much bigger than myself.”
Kevin Lasitz, Partner Development Manager, Microsoft
At Content+Cloud we’re proud of the strength of our partnerships, and so it was great to have the extra support with some friendly faces from Microsoft joining us this year. Take a look at what Kevin had to say about his experience: “It was incredibly inspiring and heartwarming to see, hear and feel the love and support from so many people lining the streets of the Parade and throughout the Pride weekend celebrations. The cheers and well wishes from everyone demonstrates the amazing progress our LGBTQIA+ community and our allies have made in our ongoing quest for respect, inclusion and equal rights.”