Every year when Pride comes around I’m reminded of BKB’s support for the LGBTQ community. I would venture to say a higher than average percentage of the staff at BKB are LGBTQ (a testament to both BKB’s promise of cultural diversity and inclusion), yet it never ceases to amaze me the stance BKB chooses to take every year; one of genuine participation and unwavering support.
Gay or straight. Route setter or CEO. The question is never whether or not we’re going to participate in Pride, but rather an emphatic, “OK, guys! It’s April! How are we going to top last year?!” It’s on our national calendar comparable to the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving and celebrated with just as much, if not more, excitement, enthusiasm, and well, pride.
Working together in what most would still consider a “startup culture” can be tough and frustrating at times — there are a lot of voices to be heard, an abundance of ideas, conflicting opinions, and communication spread over multiple channels, time zones, and schedules. It can be difficult for us all to come together and agree on any one, given decision; however, to bring more light to our declaration of love for this time of year, I can confidently say that when Pride comes up, everyone’s response is, “Yep, I got it!”, “No problem, we can do this!”, or “Excited for this year!” Team members devote their personal time to leading initiatives, marketing managers carefully curate the most unique experiences, and creative design teams come up with new swag to top last year’s, month’s in advance.
All this to try and drive home…Pride is a big deal here at BKB.
As a gay man and a BKB employee, I have to take a step back for a second and appreciate my coworkers and BKB as a whole for rallying behind a great cause that has been a very personal experience my whole, entire life. There is no pretense or agenda behind it. It is truly genuine and subtle in it’s support of me.
Check out below what Pride means to our team nationwide and get OUT to Climb and spread the #bkblove this June. — Tim Ryan, National Events Manager for Brooklyn Boulders
At Brooklyn Boulders Gowanus we celebrate the diversity that makes our community so strong. Members that identify as LBGTQ make up a vital part of that strength. We hold BKB Pride annually to increase visibility, acceptance, and inclusion not only in facility but within the surrounding community. As a cultural center, we feel a responsibility towards supporting and celebrating NYC’s vigilant defense of equal rights. — Brandon Mercer, Events and Marketing Coordinator at Gowanus and member / advocate for LBGTQIA+ community
From the infamous Stonewall Riots in 1969 to today, NYC remains home to one of the largest, loudest and most prominent LGBTQ populations in the world; a community that is as much a staple of New York culture as the subway system and skyscrapers. Closer to home, Queens proudly reps Jimmy Van Bramer, the Majority Leader of the New York City Council in 2017 and an openly gay politician. We’re one with our LGBTQ community and actively hang through activities with CRUX Climbing, Out To Climb, and more. So, come celebrate Pride with us this June, and all year, at BKBQB! — Maria Sullivan, Marketing Manager for Queensbridge
The 47th Pride parade will occur in Chicago on the last Sunday of June with an estimated one million attendees in the streets of Boystown. According to Chicago Mag, in 1997, Mayor Daley declared the six-block stretch of Halsted from Grace to Belmont the first official gay neighborhood in America. Chicago is a city comprised of neighborhoods, each with their own unique culture and vibe, and designating one as a safe space for gay-run restaurants, bars, and stores was a huge step in acceptance for a marginalized community. At Brooklyn Boulders Chicago, our foundation is diversity and inclusion. To us, celebrating Pride is a celebration of love, which is why our Out to Climb: Pride Edition is all about #bkblove and an invitation for our internal and external community to join us. — Claire Bao, Marketing Manager for Chicago
Not only do we have a huge LGBTQ community here in our Somerville location, we founded BKB’s monthly LGBTQ night Out to Climb and the weekly QuICK: Queer Inclusive Climbing Klub. Fittingly, Boston Pride is one of the largest and longest running parades in America. This year there will be survivors of the Orlando Pulse nightclub tragedy marching in the parade in memory of those who lost their lives during last year’s event. They chose to march in Boston because of the rich history of LGBTQ pride here. It means so much to our community to be a part of this historic gathering and celebrate the diversity and inclusive nature of this day. Pride is just one example of how we strive to create a welcoming and supportive space for all people every single day at BKB Somerville. — Abby Taylor, Marketing Manager for Somerville
Happy PRIDE from Brooklyn Boulders!