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Pride 2023 Reflection: What Pride Month Means to Me

The first Pride parades were held in in June 1970 in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (the 1969 riots against anti-gay police brutality in Greenwich, Manhattan).  Fast forward to 2021 and according to the annual report by Outright International there were Pride parades held in at least 107 countries - several of which I have attended (Dublin, London, Sydney). 

Over the past five decades, Pride has garnered a wide range of definitions based on increasing awareness and associated progress. For some, Pride is about parades and parties (of which I attend too many to recall). For others, Pride is about political and social advancement for the LGBTQ+ movement.  In short, Pride means many things to many people.   

But, what does Pride really mean to me?  I have never asked myself this question.   

Perhaps it's Pride in the journey I have been on – both personal and professional.  I am an extrovert (although that is neutralising with age!) and generally opinionated and passionate about an inclusive environment for all but I have never been an active advocate for LGBTQ+ rights or as some say ‘a flag bearer’ for the movement.   

On my personal journey, I have been very lucky to be able to live my life as a gay man without having to fight to be who I am.  The family I have been brought up in, the friends I have made, and the social and sporting environment I have enjoyed for many years – being gay has never been a challenge for me – it’s just been normal!   

My professional journey has not always been that easy.  Forging professional relationships as my career has evolved has posed different challenges – working with colleagues from different backgrounds with different levels of tolerance required me to adapt and understand what 'me' I can be.   

At Thirdera, I have been extremely lucky to become a part of a global, diverse organisation that promotes a culture of inclusivity where everyone can really belong.  The company recently launched its Be You program – promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) for all Eranauts!  With many exciting activations planned, our goal is to promote respect and tolerance of many diverse groups within and outside our organisation.   

Following the success of our first Pride Month back in June 2022, we will launch 2023 Pride Month with a number of exciting events for our teams to participate in.   

I appreciate my journey is not the same for many.  The LGBTQ+ community still suffers prejudice and discrimination.  The importance of Pride – and where it originally started – is not just a once-a-year event; but the significance of June with the focus it brings to equality, inclusion, and belonging cannot be underestimated and will hopefully continue to help those who struggle to be their authentic selves feel more confident and safer to be the ‘me’ they want to be. 

Thank you Thirdera for allowing me to be me!


In Memoriam

Barbara Burgerlent Family photo

A photo of Barbara BurgerLentz (right) with her wife, daughter, and family dog

I'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate the life of a fellow LGBTQ+ member and Eranaut who passed away earlier this year. Barbara Burgerlentz was an integral member of our team who had a warm, one-of-a-kind personality reflected in both her professional and personal ventures. Barb's assertiveness, affability, and strength were clear from the second you met her. For someone who has experienced the hardships and challenges of being an LGBTQ+ member, Barb had such a welcoming demeanour and an inspiring level of sensibility. She will be missed but we will remember her and embody her spirit always. To honour her this Pride Month, I'd like to share an excerpt from our 2022 Pride blog that shares what Pride Month meant to her:   

"Pride means to me being able to fully share the joys and struggles of family life just like everyone else without fear of economic or professional consequences. Because I am able to do this at Thirdera, I am a proud LGBTQ+ Eranaut and I am genuinely able to reassure other Eranauts that Thirdera is a safe place for them too."

I could not have said it better, Barb. 


Ronan Kevitt

Ronan Kevitt is Chief People Officer at Thirdera. With 30+ years working as a Strategic Leader in the Human Resources arena across many industries Ronan has a passion for building high performing global teams to deliver on a company’s customer, growth and people agenda. In his role at Thirdera, Ronan actively influences organisational change, developing and implementing innovative strategies in support of workforce engagement whilst at the same time, he is committed to fostering a culture of professional and personal growth for its global and diverse workforce.