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UNERASABLE: Celebrating the resilience and contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community in Pride 2023

Dear Friends,


As we gear up for Pride 2023, I am thrilled to share with you Thoughtworks' chosen theme this year: "Queer is Unerasable." This theme resonates deeply with our values as a company and reflects our commitment to amplifying the narratives and achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community.


"Queer is Unerasable" puts a spotlight on the rich tapestry of LGBTQIA+ history, celebrating the stories and accomplishments of queer individuals throughout the years. We will highlight the powerful voices from throughout our communities, recognizing their enduring influence on the LGBTQIA+ movement and society at large. 


A purple square with the words: Queer rights are human rights in bold
Why this theme, you might ask? As societies around the world face an unsettling tide of regression in LGBTQIA+ rights, we must assert that queer rights are human rights, reminding ourselves that the strides we have taken forward were hard-won. We are committed to ensuring that the advancements we've achieved are not undone and that the invaluable contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly those of intersectional identities, are never forgotten.


The narratives we champion through this theme are not mere historical footnotes. They are the heartbeats of individuals who have bravely challenged the status quo, paving the way for the rights and freedoms many enjoy today. And, most importantly, these narratives should serve as a stark reminder that we must safeguard against rolling back to the "before times


At Thoughtworks, we have a deep-seated passion for driving positive change. Our culture is rooted in inclusivity, and our initiatives reflect this ethos. We continuously strive to foster a workplace where everyone is respected, supported, and valued, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. If you wish to learn more about our commitment to our LGBTQIA+ employees see how we go Beyond Diversity.


Now, how can you, as an individual, contribute to ensuring "Queer is Unerasable"? 

  • Say your name, say your pronoun: Encourage those you interact with to share their pronouns, whether in person or in email signatures. This simple action validates and respects everyone's gender identity, fostering a culture where people feel seen, heard, and acknowledged for who they truly are.

  • ​​Be an Active Ally: Take the time to educate yourself about the LGBTQIA+ community, its history, struggles, and achievements, and leverage your understanding to advocate for equality and inclusion in your workplace and throughout your communities.

  • Foster an Inclusive Workspace: Strive to build a workspace that respects and welcomes all identities by actively dismantling exclusionary practices and promoting inclusive behaviors and policies.


The power to uphold the unerasable nature of Queer history and existence lies with all of us. I invite you to join us in acknowledging, celebrating, and safeguarding the compelling narratives, accomplishments, and historical impact of the LGBTQIA+ community. 


Together, let's ensure that Queer remains unerasable.



Frank Reta


Honoring LGBTQIA+ voices

Below are the stories of a small selection of LGBTQIA+ individuals, icons and allies. Their impact, bravery, openness and achievements are remarkable, and we are proud to amplify their voices during Pride to ensure that their impact endures. Within Thoughtworks we are sharing and celebrating hundreds of these stories – we hope you enjoy discovering them.
Marsha, a black woman in an elegant dress and sunglasses, with a hand-crafted progress pride frame

Marsha P. Johnson (she/her)


Marsha was one of the most prominent figures of the gay rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s in New York City. Relentlessly positive, Johnson was an important advocate for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, those affected by H.I.V. and AIDS, and gay and transgender rights.
Keith, a white man in glasses is shown concentrating on a painting, framed with the progress pride flag frame

Keith Haring (he/him)


Keith Haring was an American pop artist who advocated for safe sex and AIDS awareness through his images. Haring drew from a young age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and was influenced by cartoons such as those by Walt Disney, Dr Seuss and Looney Tunes.
Penny, a woman with Malaysian heritage, in a blue suit with short hair and smiling eyes, is framed with the progress pride flag

Penny Wong (she/her)


Penny Wong is the first openly lesbian woman to serve as an Australian federal parliamentarian and federal government cabinet minister. Wong, Labor Party Senator for South Australia, was an instrumental figure in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia.
Roxane, a woman sitting on a chair with a mike next to her. Her books, Bad Feminist and An Untamed state are displayed ion a stool to her right.

Roxane Gay (she/her)


Roxane Gay is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Bad Feminist and other books and publications, a professor, editor and social commentator.
A colourful self portrait of Frida Kahlo. She has her hair in an updo with a floral headpiece and is framed with the Pride colors

Frida Kahlo (she/her)


Frida Kahlo is celebrated for many things outside of her artistic talent. One aspect of her life and character that has brought about waves of admiration and adoration, is her openness around female sexuality. Her modern attitudes towards sexuality and her ability to openly explore them within her life and work have solidified her status as an icon among artists in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Sushanth, of Indian origin, is wearing a black kurta and a white beaded necklace stands smiling into a camera and framed with the Pride colors

Sushant Divgikar / Rani Ko-HE-Nur (he/she/they)


Sushant is an Indian model, actor, singer, columnist, psychologist, motivational speaker, drag queen, pageant director and video jockey.
A black and white photograph of Willem, a young white man with short dark hair, sitting on a sofa and looking into the camera

Willem Arondeus (he/him):


Willem was a Dutch visual artist, illustrator, tapestry weaver and author. While Arondeus had many artistic talents, he is much more recognized for his courageous acts of rebellion as a member of the Dutch resistance during World War II — leading a plan to defied the Nazis and saved thousands of Jews.
Alison, a white woman with black framed glasses, wearing a dark green shirt and black jacket, carrying a backpack  -- framed with the Pride colors

Alison Bechdel (she/her):


Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist. Originally known for the long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, she came to critical and commercial success in 2006 with her graphic memoir Fun Home, which was subsequently adapted as a musical that won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015.
Constanza, a woman wearing glasses, a white collared shirt inside a black sweater, leaning into a mike  speaking

Constanza Valdés (she/her):


Constanza Valdés is a trans female Chilean political activist and parliamentary advisor.
An old black and white photograph of John in his football uniform standing inside a crowded stadium

John Blankenstein (he/him)


John Blankenstein was a Dutch football referee and gay rights activist. He was notable for being one of the first homosexual athletes to come out in the Netherlands.
An oil painting of John, formally dressed, sitting on a chair, smoking a pipe. He has a grey cat sittin on his leg.

Arnold Aletrino (he/him)

Arnold Aletrino was a Dutch physician, criminal anthropologist and writer, who published works on homosexuality in Dutch and French. He was a member of the Tachtigers, a group of young and revolutionary Dutch authors, who despised the pious poetry and prose of the mid-nineteenth century Dutch Victorian writers.

Shon smiling into the camera. She is wearing a black sequenced dress, red lipstick and large silver hooped earings

Shon Faye (she/her)


Shon Faye was born in Bristol in 1988. She is an English writer, editor, journalist, and presenter, known for her commentary on LGBTQIA+, women’s, and mental health issues. She hosts the podcast Call Me Mother and wrote "The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice".
A side profile photograph of  Pedro speaking into a mike. He has curly dark hair and is wearing a white shirt with black checks.

Pedro Zerolo (he/him)

Pedro Zerolo, was a Spanish-Venezuelan lawyer, politician and a town councillor of the city of Madrid. Zerolo was also one of the most important LGBTQIA+ activists in Spanish history and helped achieve the right to marriage and adoption to homosexual couples in the country.

Photograph of Jean smiling. He has shoulder length wacy hair, a beard and is wearing a white shirt

Jean Wyllys (he/him)


Jean Wyllys is a Brazilian politician and activist who was the first openly gay federal deputy elected in Brazil. He is a defender of LGBTQIAP+ rights and social causes.
Maria, a white female, smiling at someone. She jas short brown hair and is wearing a blue and black horizonal striped Tshirt

María Monjas Carro (she/her)

María is a poet, feminist, and co-educator from Northwest Spain. She works on educational processes on gender, coeducation, ecofeminisms and prevention of sexist violence with teachers, educators, students, young people, families and associations. María has published essays, poetry and children’s books.

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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