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.
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The most striking thing about Damien Merino is his openness, his warmth, his genuine interest in getting to know you. He is unapologetically himself, and this is immediately clear in nearly everything he does.
It’s no surprise, then, that Damien’s mantra is “live your life” — a phrase he says is inspired by his mom.
“She was always a big proponent of me being true to myself, and to others,” he says. “Wearing your pride doesn’t necessarily mean what we physically wear on our bodies, but how we live our authentic selves every day.”
Damien, a project manager for Old Navy Store Operations, will march in San Francisco’s LGBTQ Pride Parade this year as he has in years past.
“I remember my first Pride in San Francisco, being at 4th and Market, standing outside the [Old Navy] store there and watching the crowds gather, and being emotionally overwhelmed because there was so much support, so much love.”
In addition to San Francisco, this month Gap Inc. employees will participate in local Pride events around the country, including in Albuquerque, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Sacramento, Vancouver and Washington D.C. It’s truly a time for our Gap Inc. family, and their friends and families, to show up and celebrate together.
“Sometimes as a gay person in this world, you feel really isolated,” he says. “It’s important to be there for our young queer community. I believe visibility is still a huge tool — we’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go.”