Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It is also a month that celebrates diversity, love, and inclusiveness. At Bellhop, our non-discrimination policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity. As Pride Month comes to a close, we want to celebrate the members of our team who are a part of the LGBTQAI community. A few employees shared their thoughts about pride and Pride Month below. 

Zak Million

Associate Product Manager

Pride Month at Bellhop! Bellhop Blog

I have been with Bellhop for six years now, and I was one of the first openly gay employees (some have called me the “trailgayzer”) at Bellhop. The company has grown a lot from the beginning in terms of becoming more open, inclusive, and diverse in the hiring of individuals from all types of backgrounds. I am happy to be a part of the ever-changing culture that is Bellhop

Pride Month is important to me because representation and celebration are important to me. Pride Month allows individuals to celebrate not only how far those in the LGBTQIA+ community have come but also to celebrate where the community is going.

I will leave you with some names to research on the LGBTQIA+ community: Marsha P. Johnson, Larry Kramer, Michael Sam, Alan Turing, James Baldwin, Christine Jorgensen, Bayard Rustin, Sylvia Rivera, Billie Jean King, Laverne Cox, Harvey Milk, Gilbert Baker, RuPaul Charles, and Lena Waithe.

And to those mentioned above and beyond … thank you. 

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Samantha Zimmerman

Long Distance Move Coordinator

Pride Month at Bellhop! Bellhop Blog

Pride Month is truly so important, in my opinion, because it highlights aspects of a community not often seen in everyday life. Though LGBTQ+ pride is something that should be celebrated and felt all year long, I think the education, visibility, and encouragement behind Pride Month is extremely crucial. One of my favorite parts about working for Bellhop is the open-mindedness and accepting culture we have here. Not only do we have a Pride Group, but everyone as a whole is extremely accepting, non-judgmental, and the culture itself fosters the freedom to be yourself at work, which is something I feel many companies lack, even in 2021. I feel this is important, especially in this day and age where not all queer individuals receive that same level of acceptance in their workplace, unfortunately.

Pride Month is an exciting time for me as a pansexual woman because I get to not only celebrate my own sexual orientation but also those who do not always receive the same level of visibility— such as transgender and non-binary individuals. Being a local performance artist in the LGBTQ+ community, Pride Month is also a time that local businesses show their allyship by hosting queer events and donating profits to local and national LGBTQ+ organizations, which I’m fortunate enough to be a part of so many this year. Performing is such a big part of my life and being able to do it for a good cause alongside many wonderful local venues and businesses just really instills that Pride is very alive in Chattanooga.

Ahmi Minakawa

Quality Associate

Pride Month at Bellhop! Bellhop Blog

I am an immigrant with a passion for traveling and learning about new culture’s history, religion, and sociology. Originally from Brazil and raised in Japan, I moved to Chattanooga 7 years ago for school and I plan to graduate with a degree in International Studies. I love people and my job at Bellhop really allows me to learn new ways to effectively communicate with upset customers. Working here challenges me to humble myself and be better.  

I knew I was queer at 9 years old, but it was not until college that I started to embrace my lesbian self and find wonderful people who supported me. The journey is not easy but know that you are not alone, and that one day you will find those that will love you for you.  

Harrison Stevens