The Travel Guide for Celebrating Pride - United Hub

The best places for celebrating Pride in 2018

By Benét J. Wilson, June 09, 2018

Cities across the globe are celebrating LGBTQ Pride all-month long. Below are seven global cities that have stepped up their game when it comes to celebrating everyone's right to self-identify.

Chicago

View of the Chicago skyline from lincoln park

The Windy City became one of the first in the U.S. to hold a gay pride parade — hosting theirs on June 27, 1970, a year after the Stonewall riots in New York City, a key moment in the LGBT social movement. Chicago was named to Expedia's 2018 list of the 18 most LGBTQ-friendly cities around the world, based on history of activism, protection laws, LGBTQ-friendly establishments, neighborhoods, business practices and its ability to throw a rocking good (and open) party. While you're there, see some of the places recommended by Visit Chicago's LGBTQ+ itinerary. The Chicago pride calendar includes both the Chicago Pride Fest, which will be held June 16-17, and the Chicago Pride Parade on June 24.

Mexico City

The country's capital city is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its first pride parade this year. Mexico City has an active and growing LGBT population that enjoys the gay nightlife district of the centrally located Zona Rosa, home to great restaurants and popular nightclubs. This year's Pride March will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018, starting at the Angel of Independence and passing through iconic spots in the city including the Monument to Cuauhtémoc, the Palace of Fine Arts then ending in the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square.

New York Skyline at Sunset

New York City

The Stonewall Riots of 1969 in this city kicked off the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. New York-based nonprofit Heritage of Pride plans and produces the city's official LGBT pride events every year. This year, the festivities kick off June 14 with the Human Rights Conference, a gathering of activists, artists, educators, journalists, policymakers, students and others engaged in LGBTQIA+ human rights around the world to discuss human rights through performances, presentations, politics and policies. Other events include OutCinema, Cosplay & Pride and Youth Pride, culminating with the March — featuring grand marshal Billie Jean King — on Saturday, June 24. The NYCGo.com website has an entire section that includes itineraries, the latest events and the scoop on great nightlife, dining, shopping and entertainment for LGBTQ visitors.

Denver

Aerial view of downtown Denver at sunset.

Denver also made the Expedia list for several reasons, including the fact that the city's first gay bar, The Pit, opened in 1939. This year's annual Denver PrideFest, to be held on June 16-17, is one of the biggest parades in the country. While you're there, Visit Denver has built the perfectthree-day weekend itinerary for those who want to go beyond the pride festivities, with stops in places like historic Capitol Hill, the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre and the Denver Art Museum.

Houston

Pride Houston, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, is pulling out all the stops this year with 10 Days of Pride events from June 14-24. Things kick off with a Grand Marshal Reception where parade leaders will be honored. Other events include the finals of the Pride Superstar singing contest, artist Jumper Maybach's Gallery Show, the Salvation pool party and the Rainbow on the Green drag show. It culminates in the 40th annual Pride parade on June 23, with 700,000 participants from around the world expected to attend and ends with a Pride after-party. Check out the favorite spots of LGBTQ locals you may want to visit.

London

Great Britain's capital city will be celebrating its LGBTQ community from June 9 through July 7. The annual Pride Festival, which has doubled in size since 2015, will offer a wide variety of entertaining, thought-provoking, social and engaging events with performances to be held at venues around London. They include comedy improv, a binge-watch film evening, a Great Gatsby-themed party, cabaret, theatre, music, business networking, fitness boot camps, a self-defense workshop, bowling, museum events, talks, walks and more. But the main event is the Pride in London Parade, which will be held on July 7. Last year's event had more than one million attendees, and those numbers are expected to rise this year. Visit London offers tips on where to go, what to do and where to stay before, during and after the parade.

Los Angeles

Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California.

The Expedia list cited Los Angeles for its decades of being a gay haven and also being home to the incorporated city of West Hollywood, one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. Christopher Street West (CSW), a non-profit organizatoin, created the world's first permitted parade advocating for gay rights on June 28, 1970, and has produced the LA Pride Parade and Festival every June in West Hollywood. Pride events began on May 22, and include concerts, LGBT Night at the L.A. Dodgers baseball game, a Youth Pride dance and LGBT Night at Universal Studios Hollywood. This year's parade will be held on Saturday, June 9from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. And while you're there, take recommendations from Discover Los Angeles and check out activities like Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTs in Hollywood at Hollywood Museum. You can also help the city celebrate LGBTQ Heritage Month in June by touring the city through the lens of L.A.'s pioneering LGBT history.

Dublin

Ireland's capital city goes all out with its pride festivities via the Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival, held from June 21-30, which culminates with a parade on Saturday, June 30. Dublin hosts one of Europe's biggest parades, with more than 30,000 attendees and more than 60 floats in 2017. But if you're staying before or after Pride, the Visit Dublin Center offers information on city and day tours that show off the best of the city and Ireland.

San Francisco

The City by the Bay holds a two-day bash to accommodate those coming from around the world to the LGBTQ-friendly city. But before experiencing the pride festivities, you may want to take a tour of the city. One recommended by San Francisco Travel is The Fabulous Foodie, which highlights the city's rich culinary history. On Saturday, June 23, and Sunday, June 24, the city held a celebration and rally with events, including concerts, performers, exhibitions and food that culminate with the San Francisco Pride parade on Sunday.

Buenos Aires

Aerial view of the capital city of Argentina.

The Paris of South America held its first pride march in 1992, with 300 people who wore masks to protect their identities. Skip ahead 26 years, and the city hosts one of the most popular Marchas del Orgullo (Pride Parade), with more than 100,000 people from around the world in attendance on Saturday, November 10. But before you jump into the festivities, you can visit gay-friendly Buenos Aires neighborhoods including Recoleta, Palermo and San Telmo, known for shopping, food and art. You can also go shopping in the Buenos Aires Market. A pre-parade party kicks off the celebration in the afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in Plaza de Mayo, where participants arrive in costume for photos ops with stars and LGBT activists. Then, watch the 11-block-long parade that starts at 6:00 p.m.

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city also has one of the biggest and most diversified population in the world, including a substantial LGBTQ community. Visitors can enjoy global and Brazilian cuisine in restaurants like the famous Mocotó in a city known as the Latin American capital of gastronomy. The city is close to beaches and has a vibrant network of gay nightclubs. The largest gay pride parade in the world will be held in Sao Paulo on June 17 and is expected to draw nearly four million people.

Washington Monument in the Spring

Washington D.C.

The history of the Capital Pride celebration goes back to 1975, when it started as a one-day community block party. This year's festivities start on Thursday, June 7, when the Capital Pride Alliance hosts the Capital Pride Heroes Award at a gala event. There's an opening party on June 8, a pride brunch and festival on June 9 that culminates with the Capital Pride Parade at 4:30. The celebration ends on Sunday, June 10 with the Capital Pride Festival that will offer a day of entertainment, music, food, drink, education and celebration.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your Pride-inspired getaway.

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Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

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