So, I’m back on the blog today coming off the high of being in New York for World Pride. Jay Strut and I had the pleasure of flying in for the weekend and participating in a few cool activations around the celebration, thanks to Mastercard!
Pride month has to be one of my favourite months of the year. It’s filled with so much positive energy, excitement and is an opportunity to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community’s history, current initiatives and future goals for equality and inclusivity.
On Saturday, Jay and I had the opportunity to attend Pride Island – which was like being at a music festival on a pier that began in the day and finished at night. The highlights for me from Pride Island were getting to see Teyana Taylor and the iconic Grace Jones perform. Another highlight was having full access to the Mastercard lounge where we were able to chill, charge our phones and recharge with a cocktail! As much as I loved watching the performances, crowds are definitely not my favourite thing so it was great to have an area that we could chill out at between performances and catch our breath.
On Sunday, Jay and I attended Pride Fest, which was also a cool experience! It’s basically like a street party, with performances and brand activations happening throughout. We stopped by the Mastercard booth, which ended up being the highlight of the entire trip. I got to see one of my closest friends Jay get her FIRST EVER payment card with her chosen name on it! This might not be a big deal to everybody but for some members of the LGBTQ+ community this is major! To witness my friend beam with excitement and joy once her card was created was something else -I couldn’t have been happier!
Mastercard made this possible through its introduction of the True Name card, which calls on the industry to allow transgender and non-binary people in particular to have their chosen name on their personal debit, credit or prepaid card.
For me, I couldn’t think of a better way to end the month of Pride than with this experience. Even though this may not affect me personally, to see how big of an impact this moment had on one of my closest friends warms my heart. If there’s anything that I can always get behind, it’s the push for inclusivity!