Stories of Pride from our colleagues across the globe

Pride is more than a month. It’s an invitation to unite, celebrate, reflect, and recommit our unwavering support for our LGBTQ+ community in Hogan Lovells and beyond. We are amplifying the voices of our LGBTQ+ colleagues from across the globe as they answer the question: “What does Pride mean to you?” Read their answers below.

Alexey Kozlov | Paris

This month is a vivid reminder that we come out many times in life, and don’t stop being who we are when June is over. Our call to action is a bit louder in June since we have the stage. It is empowering. I’m endlessly grateful to all my amazing community members and allies whom I’ve met at work: to partners for their leadership, and juniors for pushing for equality harder than any generation before them. Law firms are a place where we use defined terms but definitions are changing too. There is only one way in life and it is forward.

Alexis Sáinz | Washington, D.C.

Pride, for me, means being able to be authentic and to be my true best self – and enabling others to be able to be their true best selves.

When we’re able to be who we are, we aren’t distracted by trying to manage other people’s perceptions. We can engage each other and our work more fully. We can be as excellent, dynamic, and zeroed in on the task at hand as we need to be.

Being intentional about creating mentorship opportunities for underrepresented communities and offering access to new networks, as well as supporting attorneys from underrepresented communities as they advance throughout their careers, are some of the important things we can do to create positive change. I’m very proud of our firm and our DEI team’s ongoing work to make this the best environment for all of our associates, partners, and staff, and the community as a whole.

Stefaan Meuwissen | Beijing

Pride, to me, represents a month in which we celebrate the universal values of love, acceptance, and diversity. As lawyers, Pride also reminds us of the progress we have made for equal rights, while still acknowledging the work that lies ahead as well. It is encouraging for me to see how Hogan Lovells, as a firm, honors this event, and I see it as a symbol of hope for a more inclusive future.

Jacqui Rhule-Dagher | London

Developing my understanding of intersectionality has been key to me being able to feel empowered to bring my authentic self to the workplace. I am happily, proudly, and visibly out. Having visible role models, being part of employee resource groups, and having support from allies are a few things which have brought me to this point.

I can’t overstate the importance of supportive allies when it comes to empowering individuals with multiple intersecting identities. An ally is someone who supports people who are in a minority group or who are discriminated against, even though they do not belong to the group themselves. True allyship requires action and continuous unwavering solidarity. It is not about convenience or optics.

This Pride Month, and beyond, let us remember the words of Audre Lorde who said: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Amelia Lee | Singapore

Pride, to me, means not just being tolerated in my identity, but actively included. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’m acutely aware of the many obstacles that the people like me face (and so many in far less privileged positions than I am), and that’s why allyship is so important. At Hogan Lovells, I’m grateful to be surrounded by peers and superiors who value my contributions regardless of my sexuality, and who have made me – and my partner – feel incredibly welcome.

Andrés Peña Loyo | Mexico City

Pride means being inspired by the past of the community, recognizing the present, advances and setbacks – and dreaming for a better future for the community. It means bringing something unique to the table and working together with different people in order to add experiences and talents from all backgrounds for a common objective. Finally, it means recognizing the privilege I have and using it for a positive purpose, utilizing my platform to amplify the voices of others.

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