The Influence Awards - Final Nominees Announcement -
Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
TIA Tiktok

TIA Team Celebrates: Pride Month

Samuel Butcher
Written By
Samuel Butcher
Published On
Jun 24, 2021
A photo from Toronto Pride, feature a large crowd walking down Yonge Street in Toronto, and 5 people holding large coloured balloon letters that spell PRIDE.

At The Influence Agency, we celebrate all diversity, and that includes LGBTQ2+ and of course Pride Month! We’ve showcased a number of amazing creators throughout the month of June on our @nfluenceagency socials through our Behind The Gram Series, blogs, and more, and now we wanted to turn the tables and allow our amazing team members to comment on what Pride means to them, how they navigate allyship, and much more!

We’ve given our TIA Team staff a series of questions, written by our Executive Producer, Brigitte Truong, and have asked them to answer the three questions that stand out, resonate, or are most important to them when it comes to Pride Month.

Here’s what they had to say!


Questions:

1) What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month? 

2) In your own words, how would you define “Pride?” 

3) What does this annual occasion mean to you? 

4) What do you value most about being part of the LGBTQ2S+ community? 

5) How do you choose to celebrate Pride Month every year, and what will this year’s celebrations look like? 

6) Tell us about a memorable Pride experience that will forever go down as a MOMENT in your life.  

7) Who, in the LGBTQ2S+ community, is someone you admire and why? 

8) How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns? 

9) What can we all respectively do at home to honour and celebrate Pride month?  

10) If you had to choose a walkout song to usher in Pride month your way, which song would you choose?

Answers:

What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month?

Celebration

If you had to choose a walkout song to usher in Pride month your way, which song would you choose?

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now

How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns?

Promote inclusivity and amplify diverse voices even when it’s not June.


What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month?

The first word that comes to mind when I think of Pride is LOVE. My love for the LGBTQ2+ community, my friends, and this important month. 

In your own words, how would you define “Pride?” 

A great way to celebrate Pride from home is to virtually party (hello, @DragTaste) and message all your beautiful friends telling them how much you love them exactly as they are! Support local LGBTQ2+ businesses all year long. You can also use your social platforms to share information about pride to spread awareness, joy, and love. 

Who, in the LGBTQ2S+ community, is someone you admire and why? 

I’m constantly inspired by Ravyn Wngz (@ravynwngz) for her art, activism, and how she educates the community with radical love.


Tell us about a memorable Pride experience that will forever go down as a MOMENT in your life.  

Definitely going to the Pride Parade for the first time! I was struck by the energy of the crowd, the positivity in the air, and the freedom of celebration. There were people from all backgrounds and walks of life, and everyone was having a blast.

How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns?

By having more courage to highlight all types of relationships – and avoiding predictable and tired stereotypes. 

What can we all respectively do at home to honour and celebrate Pride month?

I’m a new-ish father so for me, it will just be about educating my son and teaching him to have an open mind and to treat people based on the content of their character.


What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month? 

The first word that comes to mind is Courage. Despite it being 2021, many people still don’t have the privilege or freedom to be themselves, fully. 

Who, in the LGBTQ2S+ community, is someone you admire and why? 

Raia “Coach” Carey because she is one of the most positive, uplifting, and authentic people I know. Raia chooses to lead with love, empathy, and compassion over everything else. I think everyone could benefit from knowing and learning from someone like Raia. Also, if you don’t already, follow her! (@Coach.Carey

How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns? 

The LGBTQ2+ community doesn’t exist only for the month of June. If brands genuinely want to be inclusive within their campaigns, it needs to be a year(s) long effort. I would also say a campaign isn’t just about what appears in front of the camera. Who are the people conceptualizing these campaigns? Who are the key decision-makers? The photographers & videographers? The makeup Artists and stylists? Representation matters at all levels of these campaigns.


Tell us about a memorable Pride experience that will forever go down as a MOMENT in your life. 

My most memorable Pride experience was attending Pride for the first time in 2019.  We worked with Pride Toronto on their campaign that year and attended events throughout the month of June along with the Pride Parade.  The feeling of being there with everyone, celebrating love in all of its forms, and watching the parade and live performances will forever be one of the best experiences of my life!

How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns? 

Support causes in the LGBTQ2++ Community and does so all year long instead of just in the month of June.

If you had to choose a walkout song to usher in Pride month your way, which song would you choose? 

Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody


In your own words, how would you define “Pride?” 

Freedom. The freedom to love who you want to love and to be accepted for who you are.

What can we all respectively do at home to honour and celebrate Pride month?  

To honour and celebrate Pride month at home, it can be as simple as giving your local LGBTQ2+ influencers and communities a follow on Instagram. If you want a suggestion, Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre could be a start (@BuddiesTO). They are the “largest and longest-running queer theatre in the world” who develop and present voices that question sexual and cultural norms. They are all about celebrating differences and on their Instagram, you’ll be introduced to so many local LGBTQ2+ performers, playwrights, and creators. Once Buddies is able to re-open their theatre doors I highly recommend checking out a show or two. 

If you had to choose a walkout song to usher in Pride month your way, which song would you choose? 

Be Me – VINCINT


What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month? 

I think about how far we have come as a society is not just respecting, but celebrating our differences and freedom of sexuality, choice, and expression. We have come a long way on this front in my lifetime alone, and yet we still have a long way to go in truly eradicating prejudice towards the LGBTQ2+ community around the world.

Who, in the LGBTQ2+ community, is someone you admire and why? 

I really respect Lil Nas X as a successful artist in the world of hip-hop and rap music – which has historically evoked notions and verbose of homophobia – for unapologetically being open and confident in his sexuality very early on in his career despite going against the grain in a world full of machismo and bravado around what a male rapper is “supposed to be”. He was really the first rapper to really step out of those boundaries and stereotypes, and really can be seen as a validation point and trailblazer for more LGBTQ2+ rappers to follow in his footsteps. 

How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns? 

I think inclusivity in both personnel decisions and opportunities for LGBTQ2+ within an organization, as well as with representation in a brand’s marketing and advertising strategy is something that needs to be minded all year round as opposed to the month of June. Too many businesses piggyback the timeliness around pride to show their support and appreciation but it really comes down to a foundational consciousness for equality of representation in the DNA of an organization to affect and impact real change.


In your own words, how would you define “Pride?” 

Pride celebrates equality and visibility for people of all sexualities. The movement strives to destigmatize, educate, elevate and embrace anyone who has been marginalized in the past.

What do you value most about being part of the LGBTQ2S+ community? 

Inclusion. Love. Acceptance. Positivity. Bravery. Self-worth. Selflessness.

If you had to choose a walkout song to usher in Pride month your way, which song would you choose? 

Rubblebucket – Came Out Of A Lady

Bad Boys Blue – You’re A Woman

Baio – Sister Of Pearl

KISS – I Was Made For Loving You


What does this annual occasion mean to you?

To me, Pride is about celebration and education. It’s for teaching the world about the history of the community and breaking down barriers that still exist. It’s about bringing awareness of the inequalities that still exist. It’s about having a good time and uplifting the community.

What do you value most about being part of the LGBTQ2+ community? 

I value the relationships I have built over the years with fellow members of the community. Growing up in a small rural area of the UK, it took time to realize that there are other kids out there that feel a little different – discovering the community can literally be a lifesaver and you’ll find friends for life!

Tell us about a memorable Pride experience that will forever go down as a MOMENT in your life. 

The first time I went to Pride was by accident in Miami. I was blown away at the number of families that were there watching the parade and the genuine joy I saw from all the spectators. I learned so much about what Pride is and it was awesome to see the diversity of everyone participating.


What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month? 

The first word that comes to mind when I think of Pride is love. That love should be celebrated no matter what. 

What does this annual occasion mean to you?

To me, this annual occasion means the time that I can spend celebrating the LGBTQ2+ community, learning more about how I can support the community, and being there for my friends within it. 

How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns? 

Don’t just do it for the sake of doing it. What you say in your marketing campaigns has to reflect how you operate as a company, and if there’s a disconnect, consumers are savvy enough to know and poke holes through your campaigns. Do the research, showcase diversity in the community, but make sure you aren’t contradicting yourself as a brand. This happens much too often!


What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month? 

The first word that comes to mind when I think of Pride is Community. People bond over shared experiences, both good and bad. When you’re surrounded by others who have gone through the same or similar experiences as you, it makes you feel seen for your 100% authentic self. Having the ability to find a group of friends like that in your life is a privilege not many people have.

What does this annual occasion mean to you? 

As someone who struggles with imposter syndrome on a daily basis, this isn’t an easy question to answer… but I think that might be the point. Pride is about having the freedom to be unsure, to question, to figure out where you belong. I value that freedom endlessly. And to anyone who is struggling, I see you.

How do you choose to celebrate Pride Month every year and what will this year’s celebrations look like? 

This year’s celebrations will look a little different than in the past. Before, it was an entire weekend of Pride activities. My friends and I would join all the other celebrators on the streets of The Village and have the times of our lives without a care in the world. And while we do have to be a little more careful this year, we’re still going to (safely) gather for a Pride picnic and just enjoy being surrounded by people we love for the first time in over a year.


What does this annual occasion mean to you? 

This annual occasion is an opportunity for us all to unite and strive towards full equality and respect for human life. Celebrating Pride is more than a rally, a party, or a protest. It is a time for allies to show their support, and community members to express their history in a positive environment. 

How do you choose to celebrate Pride Month every year and what will this year’s celebrations look like? 

As an ally of the LGBQTS2+ community, I find it my responsibility to educate myself every pride month. To become more knowledgeable of proper terminology and pronouns, as well as exposing myself to the expansive history of the community. For example, this pride month I took it upon myself to learn about the life of activist Martha P. Johnson. A brave woman who led protests for equality in New York City. 

Who, in the LGBTQ2+ community, is someone you admire and why? 

Within the community, I admire Elliot Page most. Being able to come out as your true self later in life is an admirable trait. Exposing yourself to the mania of 2021 while pursuing a public physical change, is the type of bravery we should all aspire to have.


What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Pride Month?

The first word that comes to mind for me when I think of Pride is community! 

How can brands do better when it comes to inclusion in national or global marketing campaigns?

Be as inclusive as possible and support causes, organizations, and people who are part of the LGBTQ2S+ community on an ongoing basis, not just for one month. 

If you had to choose a walkout song to usher in Pride month your way, which song would you choose?

Respect – Aretha Franklin


What does this annual occasion mean to you? 

This annual occasion is something that I celebrate all year long, every day. The specifics of #PrideMonth, or Pride weekend, allow for everyone in the LGBTQ2S+ community to have their moment in revelry and celebrate everything that is personal and meaningful to them. It’s also a great way to celebrate allies and get together with friends and family (if lucky enough) — making every Pride moment a memorable one. This occasion allows me to truly live out my life the way that I want to and to celebrate who I am as an individual, and of course, all of my gayness. 

Tell us about a memorable Pride experience that will forever go down as a MOMENT in your life.  

I have been going to the Pride Parade in Toronto for almost 13 years. When I was younger, I would book time off work at any job I was working at, in order to travel from my hometown to Toronto. It was the ultimate way to celebrate and get together with friends, celebrating from Thursday-Monday, every single year. My two most memorable Pride experiences were, my first Pride in 2009, just after I had come out to my family, although I was already out to my friends, and having witnessed the parade for the first time with my two best friends, shedding SO MANY tears of joy, witnessing everything special that it encompasses. Secondly, in 2017, heading to Pride at Dundas Square to witness a free concert by the ever-amazing Years & Years, dancing and singing to every song with my sister and best friends — it was honestly the freest I have ever felt in my life.

If you had to choose a walkout song to usher in Pride month your way, which song would you choose? 

KING – Years & Years

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Charli XCX – Boys


We hope you have enjoyed taking the time to read this piece, and think more about what it means to celebrate Pride, how you can celebrate all people during Pride Month, and supporting the LGTBQ2+ communities.


If you’d like to learn more about what we do here at The Influence Agency, feel free to contact us today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Samuel Butcher is the Social Content Manager at TIA. He is passionate about all things creative & content. In his spare time this vegan-foodie can often be seen travelling and soaking up the sun while capturing amazing photography with his keen eye! You can follow him @smbtchr

3
Share this

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Samuel Butcher is the Social Content Manager at TIA. He is passionate about all things creative & content. In his spare time this vegan-foodie can often be seen travelling and soaking up the sun while capturing amazing photography with his keen eye! You can follow him @smbtchr



Read more from Community


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Stay up to date with the latest marketing, social media tips, guides and news.



EXPLORE BY TOPICS

Read what our clients have to say

Universal Music

"At Universal Music, we are frequently tasked with launching new albums and products with little to no notice which can prove challenging for traditional agencies.
The team at the Influence Agency have proven time and time again their ability to be both nimble and efficient at delivering influencer campaigns that are strategically targeted, creative and most importantly impactful with our artists audiences."

Fraser MacKenzie -
U Music

Plan International

"The Influence Agency is phenomenal. They’re incredible outside-the-box thinkers and we’re a great alternative to the traditional marketing efforts taken for the NFP I work for. We worked directly with Stephanie and Tom, both who had a high level understanding of the industry and a completely professional approach to social promotion. Looking forward to working with their team again!"

Nicki Lamont -
Plan International

Distorted

"As a creator, it was so easy working with The Influence Agency. They've put me forward for a number of awesome campaigns and have given me full creative control to execute them. I can't wait to work with them in the future!"

Distorted Lens -
@distorted.lens

The Rosé Picnic

"The Influence Agency has been a huge part of our success for The Rose Picnic!! We love working with the team and look forward to many more great years together!"

Adam Julian Mahgoub -
Rosé Picnic

Exodus Festival Las Vegas

"The Influence Agency is by far one of the best agencies I've worked with in Toronto. They provide so much value to each and every one of their clients, and I've had the pleasure of working with them on many different campaigns. Not only are they professional, but very personable. They are a delight to work with, and I would recommend them to anyone interested in growing their brand or business in an meaningful and creative way."

Kassandra Nunes -
Exodus Festival Las Vegas

Mel Inspired

"Having blogged for 10 years and having worked with a plethora of agencies, The Influence Agency team has been one of the top agencies I've connected with. Their ability to both balance creator relations and interests, while maintaining the priorities of their brands is incredibly impressive. As a creator, the team is always supportive and responsive and truly makes developing branded content seamless! I always look forward to working with them!"

Mel Inspired -
@melhwang

map
Icon

Connect With Us!

    Icon
    The Influence Agency: Influencer Marketing Toronto