One of the most fulfilling parts of working at Scout is partnering with colleagues who share your values. As part of the Google Ventures portfolio, we at Scout had the privilege of supporting the LGBTQ community by marching with the GV troops in San Francisco’s June 2019 Pride Parade. Our Scout Pride Team was a small but mighty force armed with rainbow wristbands, purple balloons, and of course, our beloved mascot: the Scout Turtle.
We couldn’t wait to dance down Market Street and celebrate our LGBTQ peers, but wait we did. And wait. And wait. Over an hour after we were set to march, we were no closer to the main event and our stash of snacks was waning. The Scout Pride Team decided to quietly slip away from the GV crowd and cheer on the marchers from the sidelines. I’ll be honest – I was disappointed we didn’t get to march in the official parade. I felt it was my responsibility, my duty even, to participate. But, as Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” tried its best to blow up the speaker it was booming from and as Frank and Joe paraded hand-in-hand down the runway waving their heart-shaped “Together 19 Years!” sign, I realized I was exactly where I should be: with my colleagues, showing our support for the community. In the flurry of feathers, wigs, and sequins, it was easy to forget that Pride was born not from a love of rainbows and rhinestones, but from the sheer need to survive.
Pride 2019 was especially significant because it marked the 50-year anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots which ignited the LGBTQ movement in the United States. The Stonewall Inn was a gay club in Greenwich Village notorious for its mafia connections, overpriced drinks, and it’s dance floor. For these reasons, it was often the target of police raids and brutality. In June of 1969, the New York Police Force tried to disband it permanently, inciting six days of rioting and launching LGBTQ rights into the forefront of the American consciousness.
One year later, the first Gay Pride Parade marched on June 28th, 1970. Fred Sargeant, co-organizer of the first New York City pride march, describes the event in his first-person account: “There were no floats, no music, no boys in briefs. The cops turned their backs on us to convey their disdain, but the masses of people kept carrying signs and banners, chanting and waving to surprised onlookers”. Unlike the celebration it is today, the first Pride Parade was an open act of defiance, and the first fight in the long battle for LGBTQ rights and acceptance.
That battle is not yet won. Still today there is no federal law that explicitly protects the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination. The Equality Act, which passed through the House of Representatives in May 2019, aims to do just that; however, its chances of Senate approval are slim. Clearly, there is still work to be done.
But, when I reflect back on June 30, 2019 and remember my Scout Pride Team cheering on marchers while gobbling up rainbow sugar cookies made by our president’s wife, I can’t help but feel, well, proud. Proud that Scout is a company that understands the necessity of diversity and inclusion. Prouder still that Scout is dedicated to prioritizing and improving upon its own diversity. And proudest of all that Scout shows up and stands up (and bakes cookies) for the causes and the people it cares about.
It’s truly inspiring to be a part of a company that lives up to its values. Want to know what being a Scout is all about? Check out our careers page to learn more!