Don’t hide your pride: at home with our Proud Heroes

21 Jun 2020 | Corporate Responsibility | by Robin Nierynck

Don’t hide your pride: at home with our Proud Heroes

The motto for this year’s Christopher Street Day – Berlin’s famed LGBTQ celebration and demonstration – is “Don’t hide your Pride.” 2020 has been different in many ways, for Pride but also many other aspects of life. With social distancing restrictions still in place, Pride marches have been transformed and rethought from street celebrations to digital gatherings.

At the time of writing, our Berlin offices have partially reopened, but like many other companies around the world we continue to work predominantly remotely. For many, this means more time at home than perhaps ever before – and that also changes how we experience our private environment. We joined members of our Proud Heroes community (a network of LGBTQ members and allies) in their homes for a conversation about finding connection in isolation, changing relationships… and teleportation.

Sven: “The old normal was better than the new”

How long have you lived in Berlin?
Almost 2 years. Although I’m German I moved here from Gothenburg, Sweden.

How would you describe your home in one word?
Not so strictly one word: I arrived after a long journey.

Sven Delivery Hero

Sven Kurzbach works as Associate Project Manager, Strategic Projects, at Delivery Hero.

Is there anything you discovered about yourself in isolation?
Home office creates a greater flexibility in life: You spend less time travelling to work, location doesn’t matter when all meetings can be attended virtually, and deliveries and appointments are less of an issue when you are at home.
This new normal also made me realize how important friends and relationships are, which has made me feel very vulnerable at times.

Did you establish any new habits or routines that you’re proud of?
Cooking. During isolation I was lucky enough to get a new kitchen, and thanks to the restrictions I have been using it a lot. I’m particularly proud of mastering Korean spicy tofu. And I’ve come to the realisation that I want a Thermomix!

How did COVID-19 change the relationships with your co-workers, friends or family?
I miss the small interactions with my co-workers that I usually have in the kitchen, during lunch, and in general the eye to eye contact. When it comes to friends, I connected even closer with some, found out new sides in them and learned to appreciate them even more. Giving and taking is important here and shows who is real.

Do you have any objects in your home that remind you of Pride, or a moment when you felt proud?
A pride flag/rainbow flag. It makes me feel happy that I’m able to show it publicly. I feel privileged but it also reminds me of how much hate there is out there.

The opportunities for gathering have been limited for many of us. How do you keep a sense of community?
With co-workers, I often connect via Zoom. With friends, I enjoy meeting up in a park while keeping distance. Social media is also important to stay connected during this time.

The CSD motto this year is “Don’t Hide Your Pride.” What does that mean to you?
Hiding is still a big topic for many minorities including LGBT people. This year is a year where we can not celebrate so openly on the streets during pride. However this should not hinder us to show that we are there. This is especially important for people that live in countries where it’s not as easy as in Germany.

If you could beam yourself to any place right now, where would you go? Why?
A club in Berlin. The old normal was better than the new. I am a social person that likes to dance and meet new people on a night out. Summer in Berlin with clubs where you can dance during the day and enjoy the sun is simply the best. And I want to be at the Delivery Hero summer party!

Gerald: “I am proud to be surrounded by great teammates, family, and friends”

Gerald Delivery Hero

Gerald Taylor works as Senior Treasury Manager at Delivery Hero.

How long have you lived in Berlin?
I’ve been living in Berlin for the past 2.5 years.

How would you describe your home in one word?
Flavor

Is there anything you discovered about yourself in isolation?
I should get out more often and enjoy life.

Did you establish any new habits or routines that you’re proud of?
I cooked a bit more often than usual and enjoyed playing music out loud (hope the cops don’t show up). It gave me some vibes and the neighbors enjoyed my playlist.

How did COVID-19 change the relationships with your co-workers, friends, or family?
It changed in so many ways: not being able to see them physically of course is the most obvious one, but we keep in touch on- and offline. Even if I don’t have anything to say, I will message my colleagues and family with some random stuff and have a good laugh. I also enjoyed the lockdown “Wine & Zoom” birthday surprise by my team – Kudos!

Do you have any objects in your home that remind you of Pride or a moment when you felt proud?
I don’t have a particular object that reminds me of Pride at home, but I am proud to be surrounded by great teammates, family, and friends. They have been giving me that extra boost lately, especially as I am far away from home.

The opportunities for gathering have been limited for many of us. How do you keep a sense of community?
Social media was the way to go, and FaceTime meetups with friends and family. My mom, dad, and I even had movie nights, where we would stream via Zoom, and I ended up spoiling the movie just for fun… It felt like old times and I also had similar experiences with my close friends.

The CSD motto this year is “Don’t Hide Your Pride.” What does that mean to you?
Live and let live. Enjoy life to the fullest and BE HAPPY!

If you could beam yourself to any place right now, where would you go? Why?
The Caribbean. Beach, party party and more party … oh and spend time with the family.

Jo: “I discovered that I am much more introverted than I thought”

Jo Delivery Hero

Jo Bailey works as Associate, Core People Operations, at Delivery Hero.

How long have you lived in Berlin?
I have been living in Berlin since September 2019, however I lived here previously for a year for my Erasmus year at University.

How would you describe your home in one word?
Hmm, in one word I would describe my home as safe. It’s a place that I can come back to after a long day, where I can relax and cook dinner with my housemates.

Is there anything you discovered about yourself in isolation?
During isolation, I discovered that I am much more introverted than I thought! I always knew I was an introvert but I have found myself enjoying this slower pace of life. It has been nice to have more time to myself, before the lockdown I felt like I never had time for anything. I feel a lot calmer than before as there isn’t such a social pressure. Saying that, I am glad restrictions are slowly beginning to be lifted and I am glad to see some friends again.

Did you establish any new habits that you’re proud of?
A new habit I have established (well it’s more of a hobby) is gardening! I have a balcony, which was totally empty a few weeks ago, but I have now filled it with a variety of vegetables and herbs. I love the routine of watering and taking care of the plants everyday, it gives me a great sense of purpose outside of work. It helps me to feel connected to nature which is sometimes hard to do when living in a busy city. I am super proud of this new habit because when I had plants in the past I always ended up accidentally killing them. Once I even killed a cactus, I didn’t even know that was possible…

How did COVID-19 change the relationships with your co-workers, friends or family?
COVID has had a huge impact on the relationships I have. First of all, I started at DH on the 1st of April so I started completely remotely. Before this, I had never worked from home before so it was definitely an adjustment at first! It was a strange time to start a new job, however I felt so welcomed by my team straight away. It was amazing going to the office for the first time a few weeks ago and getting to meet them in person! I feel like I have been better connected with my friends and family which has been great, although sometimes it gets a little overwhelming having to solely communicate with people virtually.

Do you have any objects in your home that remind you of Pride, or a moment when you felt proud?
The main object in my room which reminds me of pride is the bisexual flag that I have on my wall. Even though we are physically separated, it is a reminder that I am part of a greater community and it gives me comfort if I am feeling alone.

The opportunities for gathering have been limited for many of us. How do you keep a sense of community?
In order to still feel connected with the LGBTQ+ community, I make an extra effort to talk to my queer friends and to educate myself on issues currently facing the community. This helps me to feel connected and to look at the bigger picture.

The CSD motto this year is “Don’t Hide Your Pride.” What does that mean to you?
To me, ‘Don’t Hide Your Pride’ means that you should be able to be your authentic self without fear of persecution due to your gender or sexual identity. However, although same sex marriage is now legal in many countries, the fight for equality is far from over. It is still a criminal offence in 73 countries to be LGBTQ+ and in some places people can still be punished by death just for being queer. Just last week two black transgender women (Dominique Fells and Riah Milton) were murdered in a 24 hour period just for being themselves.
‘Don’t Hide Your Pride’ acts as a goal, the continuing global fight for our community and we will not stop until LGBTQ+ people all over the world no longer need to hide who they are. Most importantly – pride is a protest, not a party.

If you could beam yourself to any place right now, where would you go? Why?
Hmm, if I could beam myself anywhere it would be back in time to Berlin CSD in 2018. This was the first Pride I attended and it always has a special place in my heart. It made me so happy to be surrounded by so many proud queer people and it reminded me that I am not alone.

About the author


Robin Nierynck

Senior Specialist, Global Communications
Delivery Hero