Our green apron-wearing Starbucks partners (employees) share the importance of Pride Heritage Month and what it means to them.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your pronouns, your career, your role in the business and how long you’ve been a Starbucks partner?
My name is Carla and my pronouns are she/her. I currently work as a store manager at Quay Street and I have been a partner for 13 years.
My name is Sarah and my pronouns are she/her. I have been a Starbucks partner for 13 years, starting off as a barista and then moving on to the role of supervisor.
My name is Konrad and my pronouns are he/him. I've been a Starbucks barista for two years.
My name is Alma Renée and my pronouns are they/she. I am originally from Rome but have been living in Manchester for almost three years. I work as a barista and have been a Starbucks partner for almost two years.
My name is Izzy and my pronouns are she/her. I have been working as a Starbucks partner for five years and I have loved every moment of it.
My name is Arleta and my pronouns are she/they. I graduated from university and currently work as a barista for Starbucks. I have worked here for seven months.
My name is Laurie and my pronouns are he/him. I’ve been with Starbucks for 13 years in many different stores working as a supervisor. I can honestly say that over the years I’ve made many friends for life through Starbucks.
My name is Beth and my pronouns are she/they. I’ve been a barista for just over a month and I’m about to start training to become an English teacher!
My name is Billy and my pronouns are he/him. I am 22 years old, Manchester born and bred, currently working as a barista and training to become a web developer. I have been a partner for two years.
My name is Liam and my pronouns are he/him. I have been working as a barista at Starbucks for almost two years.
My name is Ania and my pronouns are she/her. I’ve been with Starbucks for the past 15 years, working as a supervisor.
What does Pride Heritage Month mean to you? Why is it important to celebrate the landmark?
Pride Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. June is the month chosen to celebrate Pride because it was the month of the Stonewall Riots, the protests that changed LGBTQ+ rights for people in the USA and beyond. During Pride Heritage Month, we are offered a chance to come together in love and friendship, to show how far LGBTQ+ rights have come even if there is still some work to be done in places. This is our chance as members of the community to teach tolerance, educate people in Pride history and continue to move forward in equality. It is vital to celebrate this landmark because if it wasn’t for the LGBTQ+ people who came before us and fought for our visibility, for our rights and for our community, we wouldn’t be as liberated as we are today. During this month remember the people who paved the way for each and every one of us. -Alma
It’s important to celebrate Pride Month to see how far we have come over the years. It is also a chance to witness how people have changed their views for the better. I believe that everyone should be equal regardless of gender and sexual identity, skin colour or age. - Carla
To me Pride Heritage Month means celebrating who you are, coming together as a community, offering inclusion, love, acceptance, and friendship. It is also an opportunity to have conversations and learn more about the LGBTQ+ community and to be educated by those who are part of it. - Sarah
While I am not a part of the LGBTQ+ community personally, I think it's great for the community to ensure every voice is heard and be celebrated during the month of June. It shows that we can all find peaceful ways to help and understand each other. - Konrad
To me, Pride Heritage Month is about recognising the impact that LBGTQ+ individuals have had on history, not just locally, but nationally and internationally too. It is about raising awareness and understanding the challenges LGBTQ+ individuals have faced, and ensuring that we, as a society, are doing all we can to alleviate the associated pressures and difficulties. - Izzy
What does LGBTQ+ inclusion mean to you?
LGBTQ+ inclusion to me means acceptance. Since I first came out as a teenager in the 90's, acceptance of those who are different has massively changed for the better. We’ve gone from being too scared to talk about who we love, to being proud enough to shout about it in the streets. – Laurie
To me, LGBTQ+ inclusion is about making everyone feel comfortable and welcome in any given environment, and never assuming anyone’s gender identity. - Beth
LGBTQ+ inclusion is important to me as it makes me happy knowing that people can be accepted for who they are, with no worries or concerns about having to hide themselves. – Liam
It means creating a space where people can be themselves without shame. As a mother, I like to take my two daughters to attend the Pride parade to show up for the community and to teach my daughters about the LGBTQ+ community and what they stand for. I will always offer my help in whatever way I can to any member of the LGBTQ+ community. - Ania
Who inspires you and why?
My mum is the person who inspires me. She has Crohn’s disease and because of it she has her good days and her bad ones. But even on her bad days she carries on doing what she has to. She has always been an amazing role model for me. - Carla
Freddie Mercury inspires me, both as a musician and as a person. He was an unapologetic gay man in a world that didn't accept who he truly was. Freddie helped raise awareness of HIV and AIDs related issues and was an overall amazing singer and songwriter. - Billy
Robert Smith of The Cure for always being 100% true to himself and consistently pushing the boundaries of gender expression through both his looks and music. - Beth
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don't worry about having to define yourself. You don't have to tell anyone until you're not ready. When you do, be happy that you did and ignore the negativity. Those people aren't your friends, and you don't need to waste your time on them. - Areleta
I would tell my younger self that it’s totally fine to feel like I am different to my peers, that it’s okay to feel like I don’t belong and that there's absolutely no reason for me to believe what people shout at me in the streets. I would tell my younger self that I need to allow myself time to understand myself better, that I need to practice self-love more, and most importantly, that tomorrow isn’t as dark as yesterday seems. Lastly, I would tell myself to embrace my femininity, my queerness and my love for clothes and make-up because all of those will turn me into a gorgeous, proud, queer, trans woman. - Alma
If I could give my teenage self a piece of advice it would be to hold my head high and embrace my Pride. Never let anyone make me feel ashamed of who I love. I’d tell myself that the future will be different, as with acceptance, things will change rapidly for the LGBTQ+ community, to the point where people won’t live in fear for being their authentic selves anymore. – Laurie
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of finally accepting who I am and having the people closest to me accept me as well. -Billy
I am most proud of the people around me! We all push each other to become better, more well-rounded individuals and I wouldn’t be the person I am without my family or friends. - Izzy
I am most proud of my sister for coming out at the age of 16 to all our family and completely owning who she is without any fear. - Liam