At Splashtop, inclusivity is one of our fundamental values. No matter who you are, you are seen, appreciated and celebrated for who you are, and we want you to bring your whole self to work.
While our values are clear and are embedded in everything we do, the truth is that not everyone feels comfortable being their authentic self at work. There is still much work to be done.
That’s why Pride Month is so important! Beyond the festivities and fun, this month is dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ+ voices and culture to support LGBTQ+ equality rights. So, in honor of Pride Month, this year we’re doing things a bit differently by highlighting the voices of our LGBTQ community at Splashtop.
Q & A with Ian McGarvey and Chris Fernandez
Q: What does pride month mean to you?
Chris Fernandez: It’s like the holiday season, but LGBTQ in June. Imagine TV specials with queer content, streets draped in rainbow flags, and then there are the costumes and suddenly…🎵 “It’s beginning to look a lot like Pride Month. Everywhere you go…” 🎵.
Ian McGarvey: For me, Pride Month is about being public and unapologetic about who you are. Seeing others being out and proud helps build support and community. It can also be extremely helpful for people who haven’t come out yet.
Q: How did you come out at Splashtop?
Chris Fernandez: Though I don’t usually share too much about my personal life at work, I had recently gotten engaged and felt I wanted to share the news with my team. From there, people asked for the details, and I let them know that my fiancé’s name is Darrick. So, I guess you can say that my engagement announcement was how I came out at work!
Ian McGarvey: As a bisexual man with a husband, I felt that I could be myself at work without fear of discrimination. So, it was just a normal day for me, and I casually shared weekend plans with my husband before a meeting. It’s very important to feel safe and accepted at work, and I feel grateful that I can be myself here.
Q: What are your favorite ways to celebrate pride month?
Chris Fernandez: I like to switch things up. Sometimes I do SF Pride sometimes San Jose Pride. Last time I went to SF Pride, I walked in the parade with my former company, SolarCity. This year, I got a pedicure and painted my toes the color of the transgender Pride flag.
Ian McGarvey: I usually celebrate in a low-key manner by watching TV shows and movies that celebrate LGBTQ+ artists. Two of my favorite shows are Legendary (a ballroom competition) and RuPaul’s Drag Race, where one of the world’s most famous drag queens hosts a competition to find the next super drag queen.
How Do the Rest of Us Celebrate Pride at Splashtop?
We celebrate Pride by uplifting our team LGBTQ+ voices, having fun and supporting organizations that fight for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. This year, we are matching up to $10,000 of employees’ donations to these three organizations:
- The Trevor Project Focusing primarily on LGBTQ+ youth and mental health, The Trevor Project provides a hotline and other prevention efforts to help young queer people. They seek to provide a safe place for queer youth to heal and find support.
- The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community – This center provides community, leadership, advocacy, services and support to the Silicon Valley’s LGBTQ people and their allies.
- The SF LGBT Center – The SF LGBT Center connects the diverse LGBTQ community to opportunities, resources and each other to achieve a vision of a stronger, healthier and more equitable world for people and their allies.
Please consider donating to these organizations, as well.
What else can we do?
Be an LGBTQ ally.
This can come in many forms, from being a good listener to sharing a safe space with someone to be their authentic self. Don’t give in to gender assumptions nor entertain anti-LGBTQ jokes. Speak out to those who do, even when it’s uncomfortable. Ultimately, being an LGBTQ+ ally is about taking a stand for all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation and even the color of their skin; everyone deserves dignity and respect. Be an ally!
Happy Pride Month #Loveislove