At Hornblower Group, we believe that sharing life stories is one of the first steps to understanding diversity and inclusion. In honor of Global Pride Month, we asked our Crew across the company to share their stories of what Pride means to them. Here’s what they shared:
Raymond Andujar, Regional Account Manager, City Cruises US
Pride to me means knowing who you are, standing up for what is right in your heart, and finding strength in humor during life’s most difficult challenges. Always be proud of who you are as an individual, and most importantly, always stand for what is right!
Alfredo Ramirez, Group HR Training Specialist, Hornblower Group
Pride is an opportunity to celebrate and honor the continuous journey of living authentic and uninhibited lives as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a time to reflect on the individual and collective struggle in navigating and creating spaces to thrive and be fully oneself.
Joey Dadd, Travel Centre Workforce Planner, Journey Beyond
The pride movement means so much to me. I am incredibly lucky to be born into such a progressive country at a progressive time. I couldn’t imagine being in a time or country where I could not be myself. The LGBTIQ+ community has been through so much in terms of achieving rights and acceptance. I have such admiration and respect for previous generations who got us to where we are now.
Amber Cross, Director of Sales, Greater Los Angeles and Orange County
Pride for me means being an out and open family who are an active part of our community. I am so fortunate to live in a time and location where who I choose to love is not scrutinized to the level that others like me have experienced. I know so many people have paved that path for us. My wife and I have been married for almost 12 years, and we have 2 beautiful children. We have built a wonderful life together, and every day we walk proud, hand-in-hand, as an example that love exists in so many forms.
Nate Herremans, Systems Administrator II-C, Hornblower Group
Pride is about being true to yourself. It is being proud of who you are and having the ability to share your diversity with the rest of the world.
Mark Pickett, Director of Crew Engagement, Hornblower Group
Pride means several things to me: Remembering why/how Pride started, celebrating how far the Pride Movement has come, and planning for the work that still needs to happen. It is all about living as your authentic self.
Mandy Carrier, Corporate Benefits Manager, Hornblower Group
Living authentically. Being proud to go against the grain and be outside of the mainstream.
Jonathan Drapinski, Guest Services Manager, and Nicole Yeager, Assistant Guest Services Manager, Boston Harbor City Cruises
Nicole: Pride means being free to express who you truly are without judgement or negativity.
Jonathan: When the calendar turns to June 1, we get to live through a month where the fights of my community over the past few decades are now given a chance to be celebrated. It’s a chance to feel free but also reflect where advocacy is still needed. Although political legislation continues to shift state by state with laws affecting LGBTQ+ people, Pride Month brings a moment to showcase our community’s resilience, passion, and creativity.
Though political legislation that affects LGBTQ+ varies state by state, I’m proud to live in Boston—an environment this is rich in diversity and cultivates an acceptance for all.
Aimee Dunstall, Store Person, Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions
I think it’s great that everyone gets out there to celebrate at Pride Month events, wearing all the bright colours and getting to be who they want to be. I used to go to Picnic in the Park a lot during Feast Festival (South Australia’s Pride Festival).
I came out a long time ago; I was about 20 when I realised I didn’t want to date guys anymore. My mum knew I was gay all along, but I hadn’t realised yet. Growing up in a family with two brothers, I always felt like one of the boys. I had short hair as soon as I could ask for it, and my mum had to dress me in boys’ clothes because the minute she would put a dress on me, I’d rip it off. I was very lucky that everyone in my family, even my grandparents who were strict Catholics, was so accepting. They all just loved me for who I was, and if I was happy that is all that really mattered.
Matthew Thomsen, Event Services Coordinator, City Cruises US
Pride brings the opportunity to celebrate together, unapologetically and freely, amongst a world determined to build walls where bridges of equity and equality should be placed.
Raul Rodriguez, Guest Service Supervisor, HMS Ferries Puerto Rico
Pride means a lot to me. It’s not just about having my voice heard but educating those around me and achieving a clear perspective of diversity.
Gabe Biser, Onboard Human Resources Manager
Pride to me means being empowered to be my true, authentic self, and to help elevate or empower others to become theirs.