Let's Celebrate Pride!
June is a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQIA+ people, lifting their voices, and celebrating the culture in support of LGBTQIA+ rights. We would like to take some time to celebrate Pride.
What is Pride Month and why are we celebrating it?
Traditionally during the month of June, there are parades, drag performances, celebrations, protests, and memorials. Pride Month is a joyous celebration of the voices, lives, and actions of members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s also a reminder to everyone that LGBTQIA+ people deserve the same rights as everyone else. This month is dedicated to helping uplift, promote, and show support for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Showing our support for the accomplishments the LGBTQIA+ community has achieved helps affirm our support of members of the community.
Pride is celebrated every June to recognize the US Stonewall riots in 1969. During these riots, the protesters marched in the streets after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a club that served the city’s gay, lesbian and transgender community. A year after the uprising, to mark the anniversary on June 28, 1970, the first gay pride marches took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the US and the world. Today, LGBTQIA+ Pride events are held annually in June.
Let’s Celebrate Pride!
This year, at Everbloom, we wanted to celebrate Pride by highlighting members of Everbloom who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and the wonderful work they do! We asked for volunteers to participate in this project, and share their experiences and advice for the gaming community and as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in general.
Let’s meet Sikká!
Today, we get a chance to know a little more about a great Everbloom employee, Sikká Stålhjerte!
Please introduce yourself
“Hi, I’m Sikká Stålhjerte and project manager at Everbloom Games. I am non-binary and pansexual, and my pronouns are She/Her and They/Them”
What does Pride mean to you? What does it mean to embrace LGBTQIA+ pride?
“To me, Pride is a revolt against the current standards of society. For far too long society has been held to a standard for one group of people, and cast LGBTQIA+ people aside through mistreatment, disrespect, and legal persecution. Pride is the push back against those standards, to show that we’re just people like everyone else, and to expose how much harm has been done and is being done to us.
It’s also a time for us to band together, and to build community. It’s for protecting those who need our help. It’s for showing that we are a diverse and multifaceted group of people, with dreams and ambitions and love.”
What was your first games industry job and what was it like getting that first job? How did you figure out what you wanted to specialize in?
“This is my first job in the video game industry! I’ve wanted to work in games since I was little. I had such an imagination and vision for telling stories, and video games seemed like the perfect industry to do that. The older I got, the more concerned I was that I’d never find a place in the industry. To be hired here was a huge relief and a sign that there was room for people like me within the industry.”
What skills do you think people in the game industry need to be successful?
“Be compassionate. Be generous. Be creative. Skills, knowledge, and speed are all things that can be learned, and they improve over time. Who you are as a person takes you far in the world, and the industry needs more people full of love and light.”
In what ways do you bring meaningful or important ideas into your work?
“Video games are in many ways a form of escapism and storytelling. Working in them allows me to bring stories to players that will touch their hearts, that will expose them to new experiences with a diverse range of characters and concepts. By being in marginalized communities, I can bring in my life experiences to help shine new perspective on projects, so that we can anticipate audience reception.”
How do you think the games community can go about making the space more inclusive and diverse?
“The video game community has come a long way, but still has a long way to go. Unfortunately, engaging in online gaming is still such a danger for many marginalized people. One of the best ways to address this is to be a shield for others. Call out, or call in inappropriate behavior when it takes place in your presence. Make safe communities for people to play. Make sure your employees represent the breadth of human diversity.”
What do you think people can do this Pride Month to raise awareness about important issues that impact the global LGBTQIA+ community?
“2022 has seen some unjust hate towards the LGBTQIA+ community in record numbers, as violence and hateful rhetoric spreads rampant. It can be scary for so many of us. The best ways to help are to do your research and talk to us about how you can help. Charities, donating to funds for transition goals or rehousing efforts for LGBTQIA+ people. Counteract hate. Vote. Mobilize your friends, and talk to politicians. Protect and love your LGBTQIA+ friends.”
We truly thank Sikká for volunteering for this project and for sharing her thoughts and experiences with us. We look forward to when we can share her work with everyone and we hope that her words will both reach and inform our players.
June isn’t the only month we should be respecting LGBTQIA+ community but it is a great time to do so. If you are reading this and you would like to help make a difference in the LGBTQIA+ community, Sikka recommends the following organizations
Trans Lifeline, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, Emergency Release Fund, Black AIDS Institute, Transgender Law Center, Mermaids UK