What Pride Month means to Alaska Airlines employees

Video and photos by Ingrid Barrentine

Together, we’re creating an airline people love and that starts with making a positive impact and building a world where everyone is free to love, live, and fly with pride. 

“Alaska Airlines remains steadfast in our commitment to Pride. We will continue to champion diversity, support the LGBTQ+ community, and create a culture where everyone can be their authentic selves,” said James Thomas, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Alaska. “By celebrating our differences and embracing inclusivity, we believe we can soar to new heights together.” 

We’re also a proud sponsor of many Pride Parades around the country. Read more below for locations, what Pride means to our employees and where they like to celebrate. 

“Pride Month to me means celebrating all the different parts of me that for the longest time society made me feel ashamed of. It is celebrating all the activists that came before me that helped paved a softer world for me to be in. San Francisco is a beacon of hope for our community. No matter where you fall on the LGBTQ spectrum, you can come here and this is a safe haven for you.”

– Fabiano F., flight attendant.

“My absolute favorite city for Pride has to be San Francisco. Every color of the rainbow is replicated in the variety of humanity all present to support love, inclusivity, expression, and gender. The reason why we celebrate Pride year after year for the entire month is both a reminder of how far we have come and to set goals towards equity and equality for the future. Even though Pride is a month for LGBTQ+ humans, the movement encompasses a movement of true freedom for all.”

– Jessica T., first officer.

 

“As for where I love to celebrate, my favorite place is San Diego, but the grandeur and energy of San Francisco Pride is unparalleled!”  – Ismael B.

“I feel privileged to work at a company that values my contributions to our common professional goal, but also values and respects me as the authentic gay man that I am. We have come such a long way and made big important strides like the right to marry the person we love and the right to not get fired from our jobs for who we are, and those are just a few of the reasons we celebrate Pride. Are we where we all need to be yet? NO, but that’s why we proudly celebrate who we are, so we can continue to represent and encourage new generations that together, we can make a difference and have a better life for all of us.”

– Ismael B., sales and loyalty market manager. 

“One of the most beautiful things about being a queer person is that it’s inclusive of so many people, including allyship. I identify as a queer person, but also as a human operating in the world, just like everybody else—having struggles and a desire to be loved and to love. And for friendships and a great relationship with my family. Those are just as important to me as every part of my identity. I think that evolution of identity is something very normal for folks in any space.”

 J’Keren S., public affairs manager.

 

“I sometimes still look where I truly belong, but I always think that no matter what and where I would ever go, I always need to be proud of myself and learning to accept who I am. My advice: don’t be afraid to take a chance and shine bright.”

– Marcy P., customer service agent. 

“I Am …” at Alaska Airlines

Our “I Am…” Campaign kicked off in January to celebrate Heritage Months and the diversity of our employees. Keep an eye out for the “I Am…” logo throughout the year to read their inspiring stories.

Our “I Am…” Campaign kicked off in January to celebrate Heritage Months and the diversity of our employees. Keep an eye out for the “I Am…” logo throughout the year to read their inspiring stories. 

We’re sharing this story featuring multiple employees in honor of Pride Month. Alaska Airlines is a long-time supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, our partners and allies alike, and we are committed to creating an environment where our employees, guests, and business partners feel included and belong.    

As we like to say, our Pride flies nonstop, and the same can be said for our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work, which includes everything from improving the guest experience to how we do business and much more.  

We encourage our employees to be their authentic selves, and our commitment is to ensure a welcoming, safe, and respectful work environment for all. This includes adding domestic partners to health benefits, supporting transgender employees with dedicated resources, including gender identity and expression in our people policies, and more.    

We also care about creating an inclusive travel experience. We’ve modernized our reservation systems for broader gender inclusivity, adopted gender-neutral greetings onboard, and curated special inflight entertainment to celebrate Pride Month.   

Collaboration is key, and we also work with partners in the community including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Lambda Legal and provide in-kind support to smaller grassroots organizations & fundraisers such as the Pride Foundation, Oregon Pride in Business, National LGBTQ + Bar Association, and many others.   

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