A Celebration of Love and Community: An HGS OSS June Huddle

4 Jul 2024

At HGS OSS, inclusivity is at the core of everything we do. That’s why our June Huddles are such a celebrated and highly anticipated event! We have always valued the LGBTQIA+ community, and June is an incredible reminder for everyone to continue conversations for safe spaces and gender inclusivity during and far beyond June. 

This year’s Pride, titled Hue & You, is a celebration about you and your identity, living freely and without fear. We wanted to spread a rainbow of joy through avenues of creative expression: iconic talent shows, fabulous drag transformations, and the sharing of heartwarming tales and stories.  

Before we get into our June huddle celebrations, let’s take a quick refresher – what’s Pride about? 

Celebrating Pride Month at Our June Huddle 

Pride is a staple celebration during June. During Pride month, LGBTQIA+ members and allies march in colorful outfits, carrying signs representing their causes and organizations. While it has its roots as a protest (and it always will!), everyone has their way of celebrating it! The goal always remains the same: LGBTQIA+ visibility and gender equality! Here at HGS OSS, we do our best to facilitate a vibrant and open celebration that resonates with our community.  

Vice President of Global Corporate Communications, Shilpa Harsh, mentioned that our Pride Month is not just a celebration but also an endless commitment, “to honor the struggles of those who came before us, to amplify the voices of those still fighting, and to pave the way for a world or a future where every individual can be authentically themselves and without fear. 

Group CEO, Partha DeSarkar, also highlighted in his opening speech that inclusivity is central at HGS, and that the battle does not stop in Pride month alone, emphasizing, It’s not about just a Pride Month, it is about how we behave 365 days a year. 

In fact, across the global offices of HGS, we’re celebrating Pride every day! Pride is more than a month-long celebration; it’s a continuous reminder of the LGBTQIA+ community’s struggles and milestones. It’s a reminder of the journey that got us here, and the journey we still need to take. So, we invite everyone to paint the world with Pride every day, 365 days a year! 

Hue & You – a Heartwarming June Huddle! 

As mentioned, this Pride Month huddle celebrates the beauty of our own gender identities! We held a wide array of games and competitions inspired by queer history and culture. From trivia games to site-wide performance contests, our teams showcased what Pride is about. 

Celebrating Drag Artistry and the Creative Freedom of Gender! 

Drag has become a staple when it comes to showcasing the artistic freedom of gender. It’s a good way to break the stigma against gender. We invited our WFH teams to take up their makeup sponges and blend their sharpest contours for our Fiercest Drag Transformation contest! Our participants gave us a jaw-dropping transformation that left us in awe. Without further ado, let’s give a round of applause to our top transformation for June! 

Thanks to everyone who joined our Fiercest Drag Look contest – turns out HGS OSS is full of makeup experts.

Showcasing Bright Megastars of the Born This Way Contest! 

Kicking off center stage, we still can’t get over how showstopping and mesmerizing our performers were during the Born This Way contest! The audience screamed their lungs out, cheering and chanting on their favorite superstars because our drag queens graced the floor with extravagance. Some of our performers even impersonated queer icons like Taylor Swift, others popped off with rainbow props on stage – we didn’t know that anyone could dance in high silver heels! Meanwhile, iconic HGS OSS drag queens banded together to form a gorgeous girl group and giving the crowd a showstopping performance to the queer anthem “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera! As they entered one–by-one, the crowd was up on their feet, dancing to the beat! 

Our HGS OSS Superstars grouped together for a pic!   

Of course, Born This Way is not just for our drag performers – it’s for everyone! More performers walked in at our The Curve site as HGS OSS’ very own boy band pulled off groovy moves, perfectly slaying the stage.  

A round of applause to our megastars who brought home the title! You really showed us your unique artistry and creativity in freely expressing the hue in you. 

Hearing Pride Stories at our Out, Loud, and Proud Contest 

We want our participants to be heard, that’s the spirit of the Hue & You huddle! Our participants shared their inspirational stories that melted our hearts in the Out, Loud, and Proud contest. Pale Valdez shared remarks they heard as a kid from elders, “Ay, dalaga na siya” (“Oh, he’s a grown-up woman”) – commenting on their femininity. However, they were able to find the light at the end of the tunnel, discovering who they really were. Everybody deserves to be loved.” 

Meanwhile, Ramon Salvacion shared their coming-out journey in his small town, and how it seemed impossible to be their authentic self. Ramon advised the audience, First, accept yourselves… Do not be content [with pretending], just be who you are. 

Thank you everyone for sharing your heartwarming stories! Everything may be rocky, especially at first, but we’re proud of you for your bravery in continuing the conversation on inclusivity.  

What’s Next for HGS OSS? 

We may be ending our Hue & You huddle with flying colors, but the commitment to pushing acceptance and inclusivity will always be in our hearts, every day, not only in June. Never be afraid of showing your true self (and colors!) with us because diversity is always welcomed in the HGS OSS community. Pride Month may be over, but we’ll always stand tall in our advocacies and walk the talk. And, hey, know that we are one with you in waving the pride flags every day for a better tomorrow! 

Before we go, we invite you to check out our June huddle photos on the HGS OSS Facebook page! We have a lot more in store for 2024 – and we cannot wait to tell you all about it. Until next time!