In collaboration with FlyMates First, Flywire’s Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity committee, and our Flywire Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate our FlyMates who identify as queer along with allies who are comfortable doing so in celebration of Pride Month 2022. It was completely optional to participate in this blog.
Flywire Pride was created to celebrate our LGBTQIAA+ FlyMates and as a forum to connect and build community globally. As a workplace made of multiple, intersecting identities and histories, Flywire is committed to building workplace equity, promoting leadership, and providing high quality, culturally sensitive support to our FlyMates. We’re always striving to create a culture that is inclusive, respectful, and that values the diverse perspectives of all groups.
In that spirit, we sought to answer: What does Pride mean to FlyMates? Here is what they had to say:
What does Pride Month mean to you?
“It’s a celebration of love and the freedom to love who you love!” -Terence Goh (he/him), Client and Payment Experience Specialist working from Singapore
“Sharing, caring and supporting any views or issues one might face, both personally and professionally.” -Anonymous FlyMate
“To give visibility and claim there's still a lot to be done regarding the rights of LGBT+ people.” -Cesar Carrion (he/him), API Product Director working from Valencia, Spain
“For me it's the time where we, LGTBiQAA+ community, can help other FlyMates where their social conditions are not as open as in our country.” -Victor Gil, Application Support Engineer working from Valencia, Spain
“I feel like Pride Month gives me a chance to fully embrace myself and my queer side in public. Being LGBT is something you can hide, and although I don't tend to do it, I don't necessarily scream it out either. Pride Month, somehow, gives me the chance to talk more about the history of my community, it gives me the chance to be a bit more flamboyant even at work, it gives me the opportunity to shout how proud I am to be part of this. I feel like I can raise my rainbow flag high during the whole month and it would be justified. I just wish I could feel the same throughout the year.” -Paola Scarfullery (they/them), Solutions Specialist working from Valencia, Spain
“It's an opportunity to show the diversity within the community, remember those we've lost during our fight for our rights and celebrate those who still live and thrive around us, fighting for a better tomorrow. It's still a very important time to double our efforts for change and push forward initiatives to make LGBTQ+ lives better.” -Marina Lallave, Payment Support Specialist, working from Valencia, Spain
What is your experience being part of the LGTBiQAA+ community and allies at Flywire?
“Learning more about other people and what their experiences are good or bad, and what we can do to make things better.” -Terence Goh (he/him), Client and Payment Experience Specialist working from Singapore
“I'm new to Flywire, so I look forward to what the future holds. The conversations I have had to date have been supportive and non-judgemental.” -Anonymous FlyMate
“Flywire is an amazing place, diverse and open to anyone whoever you are, you can be truly yourself in Flywire.” -Cesar Carrion (he/him), API Product Director working from Valencia, Spain
“My experience is the best, because I've never felt different from the non-LGTBiQAA+ community.” -Victor Gil, Application Support Engineer working from Valencia, Spain
“The employees at Flywire have been nothing but supportive. I never hid the fact that I was part of the LGBT community, and I never received any type of discrimination for it. Pride has been something we celebrated in the past at the office, and both people from the community and allies have showed up to give support and learn. While not everyone understands everything about gender identity and sexual orientation, I can tell they genuinely want to learn and care about not making mistakes.” -Paola Scarfullery (they/them), Solutions Specialist working from Valencia, Spain
“It's wonderful to feel seen and heard from every part of me, and my bisexual identify is a very big part of who I am, having marked my experiencess ever since I came out of the closet when I was a teen.” -Marina Lallave, Payment Support Specialist, working from Valencia, Spain
“Overall I've felt very accepted by my team, who know I'm bisexual but I still feel like there's room for further education on these topics.” -Loriana Anton (she/her), Payment Experience Associate, working from Valencia, Spain
What does the LGTBiQAA+ community and allies at Flywire mean to you?
“It allows people to be their authentic self and a FlyMate part of the Flywire family.” -Terence Goh (he/him), Client and Payment Experience Specialist working from Singapore
“I'm proud of being part of this Flywire community.” -Victor Gil, Application Support Engineer working from Valencia, Spain
“They have been a source of strength when it came to my gender identity. Flywire was one of the first places where I changed my pronouns when I realized I was non-binary. I was afraid of telling some friends, of telling my family, but it felt quite easy to just change them at work, put them in my email signature. A lot of people had their pronouns already so it was just that, EASY. I didn't have to explain further, I didn't make any big announcements, but a lot of FlyMates started using neutral pronouns with me after that, even in front of external clients. I cannot even stress enough how important this is. Feeling the validation from my colleagues without me having to explain or force it is a gift. Having FlyMates address me with my correct pronouns in public even when it might be confusing for others means the world. FlyMates have helped me in my journey to my gender identity, and I couldn't be more grateful.” -Paola Scarfullery (they/them), Solutions Specialist working from Valencia, Spain
“It's a great opportunity to educate and continue our activism safely, feeling supported and heard by the higher ups is very important, it gives us the chance to talk about very important topics without feeling like we're walking on eggshells.” -Marina Lallave, Payment Support Specialist, working from Valencia, Spain
“Representation, knowing that I'm not alone, support.” -Loriana Anton (she/her), Payment Experience Associate, working from Valencia, Spain
What progress has been made at Flywire to support the LGTBiQAA+ community?
“More visibility of the community for FlyMates around the world.” -Terence Goh (he/him), Client and Payment Experience Specialist working from Singapore
“When I joined Flywire several years ago there was not even a mention of Pride Month. Sure, LGBT people worked at Flywire and they were not necessarily in the closet. However that was a passive type of supporting, doing the bare minimum - not discriminating. However for the past years the community has risen, has started to talk, to show themselves. The activities, the open forums, the fact that offices get decorated for Pride, having an openly gay executive in the company... We've started being stronger, but there's still a long way to go!” -Paola Scarfullery (they/them), Solutions Specialist working from Valencia, Spain
“Specifically I love the development a lot of FlyMates have done including their pronouns on their respective bios and signatures, along with updating our guidelines to be more inclusive to everyone.” -Marina Lallave, Payment Support Specialist, working from Valencia, Spain
“Having an executive who's part of the community means a lot, and things like the Flywire Pride ERG are great to see.” -Loriana Anton (she/her), Payment Experience Associate, working from Valencia, Spain
Share a story from the LGTBiQAA+ community that has inspired you.
“A couple of years ago we attended our friends’ wedding. They had been together for years and finally were able to get legally married in their 50s. Our son was a page boy in the ceremony. A lot of us in attendance were crying because we were so happy that they could finally have this gorgeous day with loads of friends and family in attendance and lovely speeches. Later the couple asked me why we were all crying! And I had to explain that unlike any old wedding, this one was extra special because of the long wait. It reminded me to appreciate all of the beautiful things we take for granted each day that others have to fight for, wait for or simply give up on.” -Mia Watanabe, Legal & Regulatory, Working from Singapore
“Showing the courage to be who you really are and using that as a strength in the way you treat others. Listening is important!” -Anonymous FlyMate
“I was impressed with last year Paola's presentation. They had the courage to show them as they are.” -Victor Gil, Application Support Engineer working from Valencia, Spain
“I can't share just one story, every surviving story, every lost battle, every LGBTQ+ person inspires me in their own way, because our stories are stories of constant battle and fear but also of immense love and strength.” -Marina Lallave, Payment Support Specialist, working from Valencia, Spain
Anything else you would like to share?
“I generally feel we have an open environment in which people feel comfortable sharing or not sharing as much as they would like about themselves at work, and I think it is important that everyone feels that freedom without judgment or criticism.” -Mia Watanabe, Legal & Regulatory, Working from Singapore
“Thanks for doing this Flywire LGTB+ community.” -Cesar Carrion (he/him), API Product Director working from Valencia, Spain
Head over to our Instagram page, @InsideFlywire, where we’ll continue to feature the LGTBiQAA+ community and allies throughout Pride Month.