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Founder Fridays

With Pride

Each month the owners of Keap reflect on the theme of our Ignite Story, and consider what the topics mean for us as individuals and business owners.

I took this photo in 2016 when marching in New York’s Gay Pride march. It was a day that left me feeling full of hope, happiness and joy.
This year we are in the midst of an uprising against systemic racism, and Pride march is cancelled across much of the U.S. due to COVID-19.

New York Pride, near the iconic Flatiron building, 2016.

Pride has also come under rightful criticism for becoming a vehicle for phony corporate allyship, and a party as opposed to a protest.
But for me, Pride starts within, and not at a parade. It's a private celebration of the personal journey I’ve been on. From a fearful teenager who didn’t know how to reconcile who I was with my life, to a proud 32 year old who feels loved and supported by my family and friends, and the city I live in. It's a reminder to be kind to myself.
Beyond this, Pride is also about sending a message that a loving and embracing world exists out there. This is so important to those of us living in fear and sadness. Knowing that it can get better and that you can be loved for who you are can be a guiding light. Pride says: we’re here, thriving and celebrating loudly and proudly, don’t give up hope.
Finally, Pride is about our shared humanity. None of us can be truly free, until we are all celebrated equally.
Though Pride may be cancelled on 5th Avenue this year, I hope you can feel proud and hopeful this Pride wherever you are. Pride may be viewed as an LGBTQ+ event, but it truly is for anyone who believes in a world of love, equality and freedom. A world full of joy, laughter and smiles on our faces. And, if it takes your fancy, a rainbow flag held in your hand. 🏳️‍🌈
With love,

— Stephen from Keap 🙏

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