In recognition of Pride month, we asked a few members of PRIDE, a Student Club at HBS, to share their thoughts about the significance of this time and why it matters to them. The responses remind us that Pride month is not simply a celebration for the out by the out but also by allies for the closeted. We are reminded during this time of year that "being a leader who makes a difference in the world" is sometimes accomplished simply by being yourself.

Sam Bokher

Experiencing my first Pride month in the U.S. made me realize how much support exists for the LGBTQIA+ community. This led to me eventually start to come out to my friends. For me, Pride month is about showing the closeted queer people that they're not just accepted but loved and celebrated. It's about inspiring everyone to be their true self.

Christina Byrd

Pride is a riot. We now incorrectly see it as a parade or as an excuse to wear tutus and party, but the reason it exists is because queer people (of all genders and races) were not allowed a safe space of their own. And on a wonderful and terrible night in 1969, we fought back.

I and my entire community owe our freedom to those brave warriors, most of whom were people of color and genderqueer or transgender.

I celebrate PRIDE because I deserve to exist freely like any other human in this country, and I will continue to speak out until every person in the LGBTQ community (regardless of race or gender) is free to do the same.

Daniel Stefanus

When I was in the Navy and closeted, Pride was one of the few times a year that I would hear shipmates say supportive things about gay people. It revealed allies, fostered bonds, and helped build the bridges that allowed me to come out in my communities.

But Pride has also been so much more. It reminds us of our journeys: furtively watching it from a distance, tenderly venturing into our first events, then celebrating it with all hands on deck. Pride is a marker of time, a rite of passage, a gathering, a healing, an emancipation.

Pride is our moment in the sun. Our time to show, share, and shine after centuries in shame and shadows.

Charlotte Lawson

I've never been to a Pride parade. I didn't have the courage to go before I came out and once out, I found myself living in a small city that did not host a large-scale Pride event. So, what do I know about Pride month?

To me, Pride month represents more than parties and parades. It's a time of year when I'm extra likely to see rainbow merchandise, LGBTQ+ themed events, and messages of love for my community in advertising. It's a time when not just queer people but also our allies become more visible. The importance of ally visibility cannot be understated. It makes it easier for others to come out - either as queer or as allies themselves.

This year, Pride month has been extra special for me and my family. After a long COVID delay, my wife Bethany and I finally got to publicly celebrate our marriage in Greenville, South Carolina on June 12, 2021 with our infant daughter. While we've known implicitly that we are loved by our friends and family, the ceremony and reception gave our village a forum to make their love explicit. In many ways, that is what Pride month is all about: a reminder to make tacit support tangible.