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Finding new ways to show pride

Finding new ways to show pride

“Nobody hands you a book saying, 'Here's how to be gay.' I'm still figuring out how I, Amy, am gay and I think that's fine." Amy, New York

"I came out as a trans person four years ago, and it's been harsh on me in a lot of ways because the world is not a kind place for us…Being trans or being part of the LGBTQ community is really helpful for us to know that we are not alone." Osiris, Buenos Aires

“It was a relief that my parents knew but then I still had everything else around me to deal with and that made it really difficult." Andrea, Alabama

Beyond the floats and costumes, the chants and songs, Pride—and Pride marches—are about community. They're about people coming together to support each other, share their stories, and celebrate their freedom. They're about finding your voice…and sharing it with others.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that sense of community was often difficult

And, around the world, the pandemic also threatened LGBT+ freedoms. In many communities and homes, bullying and harassment increased, and many countries that persecute LGBT+ people stepped up their attacks. As travel restrictions limited mobility, LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees often faced challenges in their search for the support they needed.

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“Being gay in the Middle East is not accepted in our households or communities. Personally, my family did not accept me right away, and it took some time— about four to five years—for them to come around."

Basil, Baghdad, Iraq

For this year's Pride celebration, JPMorgan Chase decided to honor those voices and communities. The bank has been a strong supporter of NYC's Pride for over 15 years. But this year, instead of launching a float in the parade, the bank decided to do something a little more personal: Provide a forum for people around the world to tell their stories about coming out, living their truth, and finding their LGBT family.

Chase's “Stonewall"—formerly Sheridan Square—branch is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Around the corner sits the Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 riots that marked a turning point for LGBT+ rights—and inspired New York City's first Pride march.

In honor of 2021's Pride, the branch launched “Sounds of Pride," an interactive art installation that highlights the voices and stories of LGBT people from around the world. Proudly bedecked in a rainbow of flowers, the branch honored the blossoming of the LGBT+ community. Some of the flowers played audio recordings of LGBT+ people sharing their stories—and their support—with other people in their community.

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“Hi, I'm Jo. Humanitarian, dog mom, Virgin Islander, beauty queen, and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. Standing proud means that I am not afraid to occupy the spaces that we were once told we were not good enough for."

Jo, Virgin Islands

To help reach out to the larger community, Chase sponsored Pride Island, a socially-distanced music festival being held in New York City—and streamed around the world—on June 27. The bank is also sponsoring MarketFest, a virtual directory of LGBT+-friendly small businesses.

On June 24, the bank also sponsored “Savor Pride," an immersive culinary experience featuring celebrity chef Tiffany Faison. Usually held in-person, Savor Pride streamed online this year, making it available to viewers around the world. The program raised money for NYC Pride and “God's Love We Deliver," a charity that provides food and nutritional support to people too sick to shop or care for themselves.

Please join us in honoring the rich history and exciting diversity of the LGBT+ community. Pride 2021!

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