When Copenhagen Pride concludes this weekend with its world-famous parade, the city of Copenhagen transforms into a rainbow-hued celebration. The parade is the crowning event of Pride, which this year, as always, celebrates equality and acceptance amongst people of all genders.
Ford is proud to stand with Copenhagen Pride and has worked tirelessly on its programs to combat the discrimination many people may face due to their sexual orientation.
Ford's Tough Talks series addresses bias in the automotive industry. Rugby legend Gareth Thomas hosts the program, which features in-depth interviews with prominent figures from the LGBTQ+ community. Their stories center on their encounters with prejudice and the steps we may take to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The host, rugby player Gareth Thomas, knows firsthand how challenging it can be to open up about sexuality in a predominantly male setting like the sport. He was one of the first rugby players to publicly identify as gay.
Ford's Tough Talks series isn't only about fighting prejudice; the company also wants to foster a more welcoming atmosphere in the workplace and work more closely with the LGBTQ+ community.
An employee of Ford, Ed Rogers, is interviewed by Gareth Thomas. Ed Rogers talks about how he has been harassed for being gay in both his personal and professional life while working for Ford. For example, the company's efforts to help the LGBTQ+ community have been met with things like hateful comments on Facebook.
It's been years since Ford first showed his support for the LGBTQ+ community, but he's never wavered. For instance, Ford Globe, Ford's European employee group, has been around for almost 25 years. With more than 850 members, the group is a resource for LGBTQ+ employees at Ford and fights for policies and practices that are open to everyone.
An extremely signal-heavy "Very Gay Raptor"
Ford's "Very Gay Raptor," a Ranger Raptor painted in rainbow colors that garnered a lot of attention when it was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer, is where the story's pivotal discussions unfold. The tough pickup truck not only showed how tough it was in difficult off-road conditions but also sent a strong message that Ford accepted the LGBTQ+ community.
In a recent London "Strongman Classic," the same Ranger Raptor was used. To the delight of a captivated crowd, some of the strongest men in the world compete against one another in a wide variety of combat sports. American Rob Kearney, who considers himself "the world's strongest gay guy," is one such person.
Rob Kearney, like rugby player Gareth Thomas, was afraid to come out as gay in a traditionally heteronormative field like business, but he now loves who he is and encourages others to do the same.
In the video, Ford gives him a call to discuss the personal growth he's experienced since coming out as gay. The opportunity to show him that strength is more than just bulging biceps was too good to pass up, so I swung the hefty 'Very Gay Raptor' at him.