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Why I'm Proud

PeopleJason Hanasik, Gap Inc. DirectComment

My name is Jason. I’m gay. And I’m especially proud to say that during Pride Month.

Before coming to Gap,  I was working for a major corporation on the East Coast when I walked into the break room for my lunch hour.  A CNN “breaking news” slide flashed across the projection TV in the corner of the room.  Former Mayor Gavin Newsom had just started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in San Francisco, CA.   

I couldn’t hold back a smile. Sadly, it lasted only a few seconds as a coworker muttered an expletive directed at the GLBTQIA community.  Others joined.  This behavior was allowed. And if I complained, I had no guarantee that I wouldn’t lose my job… for being gay.

Six years later, I’m working at Gap’s online division. And while the company doesn’t outwardly back political causes, it does the right thing in supporting me and in building a diverse workforce.

Last Fall, I watched Google’s contribution to the It Gets Better viral internet campaign supporting gay teens.  With tears still wet on my face,  I explained to my VP that I thought Gap Inc. also needed to be a beacon of diversity and compassion to not only its employees but also to the worldwide GLBTQIA audience and their supporters.  Before our meeting was over, he put a call in to the Gap Inc. brand presidents to discuss the idea.  Two weeks later, a group of co-workers and I produced Gap Inc.’s video contribution to the project.  

At Gap Inc., I do not fear that I’ll lose my job for speaking up about my passions, and I feel incredibly supported by the leadership to pursue them.