Talking Pride: Nick Johnson
Tell us about yourself, and your Virgin Atlantic story
I started at Virgin Atlantic in May 2008, working in the cabin crew safety training team, which then led me to being a training team manager. I then moved into sales, and loyalty as a partnership manager and am now working as a leisure sales account manager. I love it.
What does Pride mean to you and why is it important?
Pride to me is a form of belonging and being accepted for who you are! We have a long way to go in this world for people to really feel safe and accepted for who they are.
Tell us about the Pride internal network and your role in it
PRIDE@VirginAtlantic, our internal network has been operating for over 4 years now. I am the chair of the network and along with my fantastic committee members and executive sponsor we have been building some great momentum recently.
Describe a Pride event for someone who hasn’t been there? Why should everyone attend at least one Pride event in their life.
Pride is for everyone, if you get the opportunity to attend a pride celebration then you must. You’ll have the best time ever and will be accepting everyone for who they are.
How have things improved and what needs to happen next?
We still have a long way to go! To understand how, here are a few questions:
-Has it ever been illegal to be straight?
-Have you ever been bullied, beaten, stoned, tortured just for being straight?
-Have you ever been discriminated against just because you were straight?
-Ever been disowned by your family or friends for being straight?
-Ever had less rights than other humans just for being straight?
-Ever felt uncomfortable being out with your straight partner in public or being scared to hold their hand?
-Ever been sent to conversion therapy or chemically castrated for being straight because you're wrong and unnatural?
I hear some people say "Oh you have all these rights now, what is the point?" History tells us laws can be undone, society can regress, darker times can creep back in. Same-sex 'activity' is still a crime in 70 countries. In 13 of those, it's punishable by death.
Please respect the need for Pride. For me its not just one month, it is an ongoing awareness to keep the rights we have fought for because we can easily lose them in a heartbeat.
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