Pride 2020: How We Celebrated Virtually

Pride Month, celebrated in June in the Americas and EMEA, began more than fifty years ago as a protest against institutional violence, and came about in large part thanks to the actions and leadership of Black transgender women and the Latinx community. 

This year, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic causing the cancellation of pre-planned events, and with a national and global refocusing on racial equity, the firm’s LGBT+ Network worked hard to safely connect our firm’s people across the globe virtually while encouraging allyship across the LGBT+, Asian, Black, and Latinx communities. The firm flew the Progress flag, Transgender flag and Pride flag at various points throughout June.

Events kicked off with a conversation hosted by the EMEA LGBT+ Network between Bentley de Beyer, global head of Human Capital Management, leading a discussion with Tiernan Brady, global director of inclusion at Clifford Chance and twice campaign-manager for marriage equality in the public referendums of the Republic of Ireland and Australia. Tiernan and Bentley discussed the intricacies of running public campaigns, how to influence cultural change, and the progress of LGBT+ rights across the world.

Gary Giglio, outgoing region head of Private Wealth Management in New York, moderated a panel discussion featuring leaders of LGBT+ nonprofits to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the LGBT+ community and ways in which their organizations have adapted to the current environment. Stephanie Smith, global head of Banking, Investing and Lending Operations, gave inspirational opening remarks touching upon current events and racial and LGBT+ injustice. The panel featured Larry Cohen, executive director and co-founder of Point Source Youth; Alex Roque, president and executive director of the Ali Forney Center; and Glennda Testone, executive director of The Center. 

Our Dallas LGBT+ Network took to Zoom to celebrate, and showed their virtual pride with themed Zoom backgrounds. The “Out@Work” Zoom panel discussion included Stephen, a managing director in the Merchant Banking Division; Ashley, a vice president in the Global Markets Division; and Mallory, an analyst in the Global Markets Division, who shared their stories of coming out at the firm. The discussion also featured a conversation on the meaning of allyship, and how individuals can lend support to all members of the LGBT+ community.

Maeve DuVally, a managing director in Corporate Communications, spoke about her experience coming out at Goldman Sachs as a transgender woman.

Network members and allies also participated in virtual hangouts, which brought together colleagues from around the Americas in lightly moderated happy hour sessions to discuss LGBT+ experiences inside and outside the work environment. 

Additional virtual events that the network hosted throughout Pride Month included book club discussions,  Rainbow Friday in EMEA, and rainbow cake competitions.