We spent time with Gap Inc. employees from the company's LGBTQ-focused business resource group, GEAR (Gay Employees, Allies + Resources), who shared the unique ways they wear their pride. Join us as we celebrate LGBTQ equality — this month and all year.
Here's one story. What's yours?
There are some people that seem to walk with a spring in their step and always face the world with a smile. With Alosha Shkolnik, Associate Art Director at Old Navy that spring is more like a full-blown groove and that smile is usually accompanied with a good laugh.
“Wearing your pride is about standing out by being yourself. It’s the way you carry yourself, the way you carry your body, the way you move through space.”
In the studio with us, he’s constantly moving. He’s relaxed and witty. As he peppers his jacket with polka dots, he mentions taking inspiration from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who famously paints the world in pop-art polka dots, turning everyday spaces and structures into expressive spectacles.
And Alosha approaches each day with that same kind of wonder and playfulness.
“I see the world through kind of a multi-colored lens. Everything is dashed with a little bit of magic and curiosity. I love to see the humor in the world wherever I can.”
But it isn’t all about the laughs. The act of self-expression for Alosha is something that carries weight behind it. It’s about “being yourself in the most ultimate way,” he says.
This month, Gap Inc. employees will participate in local Pride events around the country, including in Albuquerque, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Sacramento, San Francisco, Vancouver and Washington D.C.
And the importance Gap Inc.’s culture of equality and celebration of the individual is not lost on Alosha.
"I'm surrounded by people [who] not only celebrate who I am, but offer their own contributions of self-expression, individuality and creativity to the world," he says. "It's something I wish everyone could feel. It's essential... I think about that every day."
It's easy to see that Alosha's confidence comes from an energy within. He's kinetic. But it's his openness — his invitation to those around him to move, to express, to engage in their own way — that is most contagious.
"The best part about wearing your pride is that there's no wrong way to do it. There is an entire rainbow of possibilities."