Pride is Every Day: AntiSocial Shares Our Pride Stories

July 25, 2023

Did you know that queer people only exist for one month a year? 

It’s true. On the first of June, we materialize in your offices, your grocery stores, your homes, and your streets to say, “We exist!” A good time is had by all, and then, like Cinderella, we flee the ball as the clock strikes twelve and the first of July rolls around. See you next year. 

Just kidding! We’re here, we’re queer, we work at AntiSocial. We are so proud and honored to have queer leaders and queer staff at every level. Diversity informs our work, our culture, our recruitment, our vibe, our style, our sense of humor. Most importantly, our experiences as LGBTQ2S+ people have given us grit, tenacity, empathy, and a drive to do good work that really matters. Not just in June, but every day.

Today, our queer team members are sharing their journeys and their Pride to honour where we’ve been and pave the way toward what comes next. 


- Associate Creative Director

I didn't have the easiest time coming out. But that doesn’t matter now. Because once the dust clears, and you get to shake off whatever thick heavy shroud you were trying to hide behind, you get to emerge lighter. Like you're coming out from some great hibernation. You get to stretch, walk into the bright sun, and take up space in a world that was waiting for you, just the way you are. 

Sometimes I think my pride might be a defence mechanism. Overcompensation. The feigning of a thicker, rainbow tinted skin so I might feel safer moving through the world. But the truth is, it’s not. It’s genuine and impenetrable and it takes me by surprise every day. Sometimes it’s big and loud and sometimes it’s small. But it’s always there, warming me from the inside like a cup of tea. And isn’t it remarkable how resilient our pride can be? Even when the world is stacked against us. Even when it feels like we might be screaming into a void. Even when we exist in a world with so much spite and ignorance. We can still be so, relentlessly, proud. Always. 

I feel pride every day. I feel it for the community. I feel it for our history. I feel proud to love this piece of me that is so impossibly intrinsic to who I am that I couldn’t live without it. Despite the hardship. Despite the hate. Despite it perpetually being something that makes me different. I wouldn’t choose any other way. That, for me, is pride.


- Senior Talent Acquisition Manager

It was December 2015. I was 25 years old, and it was the first company Christmas party that I was going to bring a woman as my date, confidently introducing her as my girlfriend. All of the previous years, I had brought a man, my longterm boyfriend of six years who my coworkers came to know well. I was nervous, anxious, excited, and relieved all at the same time. In one single night, the perception of me would change—I would be accepted by some, and quietly judged or rejected by others. You get to a point in your coming out journey where you don’t care either way. You have nothing to lose;  the constriction and suffocation of keeping it hidden become too much to bear. When you are finally leaving behind who you were, shedding your old skin, and becoming who you were meant to be, there’s no greater feeling. Not everyone has the privilege to do it. I felt grateful. I considered myself lucky to know I would be met with acceptance by those who surrounded me.

This was nearly eight years ago, which feels like a different lifetime. Since then, through constant and challenging growth and discovery, I met my wife and found my chosen family. I have grown in my career in advertising from a “baby recruiter” to a Senior Talent Acquisition Manager responsible for building and growing teams, training and leading others along the way. I learned to have a voice for myself and others. I learned to be bold and unapologetically myself. I learned that vulnerability is contagious, and to share my experience. I learned to work with intent and conviction. I became passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and made it my personal mission to integrate this into my recruitment practice that I lived and breathed each day. I started Pride Committees and DEI Councils. I wanted to make a difference—I wanted to see the representation that I didn’t have for myself when I was starting out. What a difference it would have made, to realize people existed just like I did. I knew that in other parts of the world people often weren’t afforded the same opportunity to be themselves. To be loud. To be bold. If their voices couldn’t be heard, then I would elevate them.

This is me. This is my Pride. 


- Managing Director

I feel like I’ve had to come out a few times in my life. First to myself, early in my teens, then to all of my close family and friends at seventeen. I was fortunate that every single person in my life accepted me for who I was, and although I was wracked with nerves before telling them, I can look back now and say I was definitely one of the lucky ones. But after university, once I entered the workforce, there was a continuous coming out experience that felt out of my control. I started my career as a client services intern at a small agency in Vancouver, and I was hesitant to tell people about my personal life right out of the gate. Unfortunately for me, the Mariah Carey ringtone on my flip phone gave me away before I had a chance to say the words, “I’m gay,” myself. 

After a few years in the agency world, I decided to go in-house at a major consumer electronics retailer in Canada. In an office of over 1000 people, I was surprised at the lack of diversity among the different teams, the dearth of programs designed to help minority groups succeed in the company, and the blatant homophobia in an overtly male-dominated industry. After hearing a few too many “that’s gay” comments, I decided to jump back into agency life where I felt more confident and welcome. Joining the team at Rethink, I was fully embraced for who I was—one of the founders, Chris Staples, was living his open and proud life, too. It felt like I finally had amazing leaders to look up to and aspire for bigger things in my career.  

It was during these years that I found myself living my truth, but I still struggled with self doubt left over from highschool bullying and the dominant world narrative indicating that the LGBTQ+ community couldn’t rise in the ranks in the same way straight white men had for generations. But there was a pivotal moment that changed everything, especially how I thought about myself: I got to walk in the Vancouver Pride Parade with my parents, who joyously yelled “Happy Pride!” while waving rainbow flags, and Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada. I can’t put into words the feelings I experienced that day. If I could tell my teenage self this day would come, it might have made those high school years a little more tolerable. 

Today, I’m proud to be the Managing Director of AntiSocial and truly believe that social media can be used to positively impact the LGBTQ+ community, and connect us around the globe. In this role, I try to lead by example, live my truth, and raise up other queer people on my team. I champion diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives every single day, and keep them at the forefront of every decision I make. My hope is that my team feels the value, support, and love. 

While June might be Pride Month, for me, pride is everyday.  


- Office Manager

I’ve been lucky enough to discover my identity freely as an adult without worrying about what people in my workplace think about me. Before I joined Corporate America™, I worked at a major fashion retailer where many of my peers were also part of the LGBTQ+ community. My parents were extremely religious and conservative, so until then I never felt comfortable exploring my sexuality or even considering that I might be anything but straight. Seeing my peers live their truth authentically allowed me to dream of the person I could become. Over time, I came out as a lesbian but only to my friends and coworkers. I always felt like I was living a double life—like the version of me that left my house was the one who got to live, while the one at home just tried to survive.

When I was twenty-one, I moved to a new city, and it was the first time I’d ever lived by myself. At first, I knew no one. But then I made friends in the community who I could go to, and I never felt like I was alone. Even if my parents never learned to accept me, I knew that I’d be okay. The way the people in my life rallied around me was a support that I’d never felt before.

Coming out has been an interesting journey (to say the least) but I have always been so grateful for my community—and to all those who paved a way for me to feel safe to hold my partner’s hand in public, to have the space to be me. I know that there’s so much work left to do to uplift my community and pay back the love and kindness that I’ve been shown. Realizing that I was gay was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t take that job in a shop all those years ago. I hope that it helps to know that your life doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s, this community has its arms open, and we’ll catch you when you fall. And don’t forget, Pride is every day ;)


- Strategist

From growing up queer, and navigating a variety of different life stages from highschool, to starting my career—in each of those moments I viewed my queerness in a different light, and with a different sense of appreciation for it. In highschool, as the only out lesbian at the school, I was so heavily influenced by media (read: Ellen Degeneres). What I learnt from that was how to be a safe queer person. Not too political, not too controversial. I always said, “I don’t want people to see me as a lesbian, but focus on the other aspects of who I am.” I was putting my queerness on the back shelf because I knew that would be more comfortable for everyone else. This habit was positively reinforced in many parts of my life—especially my career.

My first job was working in a very corporate environment dealing with medical financing. As a young professional, I really stayed away from starting any conversation about my queerness, except for talking about my partner. When I would travel to smaller cities in Canada for conferences, if I wore a suit I would receive so many comments about how I looked like a little boy, or questioning if I belonged in the women’s washroom. I’d laugh these comments off, let them slip off my shoulder, prioritizing my professionalism over my comfortability as a queer person.

Today I have been able to step into a workplace as my full self. I get to have conversations about the queer experience with both my colleagues and clients. I have made the conscious decision to lead with my queerness in my workplace, a privilege that many do not have in theirs. A campaign titled “Pride is Everyday” comes with many different meanings, for many different people. To me, this campaign represents an understanding of the queer community's experiences beyond mere moments of celebration and rainbow imagery. It encompasses the journey of self-discovery, how we perceive ourselves, and our role within our communities. In this line of work, we have a unique opportunity to uncover these truths to make the best connection possible.

What's Next?

June might be over, but we’re not going anywhere. Watch this space—TBX, AS, and The Heist will be donating our time and money to support LGBTQ organizations throughout the year, not just in June. Details will be shared soon. Are you a queer marketer, queer-led company, or a really cool straight person who wants to fight the good fight with us? Hit us up on LinkedIn or by email. Let’s see what kind of magic we can create together.