Celebrating Pride at H&M

Family is the people who love you, no matter who you love.

H&M is proud to support the LGBTQIA+ community today, tomorrow, and every day. We believe in the power of diversity, equity, and inclusivity. 

For the second year in a row, we are celebrating chosen families. These families go beyond biological bonds and instead are centered around the people who choose to lift you up, and who you choose to lift and celebrate. While this isn’t a concept exclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s undeniably intertwined with the queer experience, and something worth championing. 

In honor of Pride this year, we spoke to our friend Dominique Jackson of FX’s Pose and her chosen family, Tabitha Gonzalez and Edwin Torres Jr., about what family means to her. 

Tabitha Gonzalez, Dominique Jackson, and Edwin Torres Jr.

Who is your chosen family?

: Tabitha is my chosen and proven sister. Her role in my life is that of support, of mentor, and so much more. She’s closer to me than any blood relative that I may have. I have anxiety, and Tabitha’s the one who most of the time I’ll call on. Her phone is always on. Through everything, she’s always so supportive, never judgmental, and always offering encouragement and empowerment. 

Edwin is the love of my life, my fiancé. His role is more than just to love me and care for me and support me. He protects me at all times. He’s the person I trust more than ever. He assures me that I am worthy of every bit of success that I have. 

What do you mean to each other?

Edwin: You’re my love, baby. 

Dominique: Papi, you’re my everything. Sis, you’re my heart. What do you think?

: Sis, you’re my heart. I love you. When I think of what we have, we have honesty, empowerment, and support. We’re family.

: We’re family. 

Dominique: We support each other when understanding that no human being is perfect. We understand that we have to look within ourselves first especially when dealing with others. We come to each other just to help each other, to support each other, to cry with each other, to be on the same level with each other as human beings. 

What role does Dominique have in your life?

: She’s my confidante. She’s someone I can tell my darkest secrets to and be truly authentic and myself. She’s always honest with me and she tells me the truth even when I don’t like it. 

Edwin: Dominique to me is a very special, beautiful woman. She’s a Black strong powerful woman I fell in love with years ago and to this day, she is a great step-mother to my children, who love her very much and go crazy for her every day. 

Why do you think a chosen family is important? 

Edwin: Because we keep it real. 

: I know how important it is when we find others that are like ourselves. A large proportion of LGBT youth have families that don’t understand them, that don’t want them to be themselves. It’s important to find chosen families–someone you feel safe with, someone who will help nurture and guide you to be the best “you” you can be. I’m glad for my family who I’ve chosen. 

: Chosen family is important because we all want to be loved for who we are, for what we are. We want to be loved in our entirety. Sometimes biological families do not have the space for that. Chosen family becomes thicker than blood because you unite over circumstances, situations, and many other things that bring you together, not to put each other down or judge each other. But to uplift each other, to encourage each other. To be great despite what the rest of the world says about you. 

What daily life activities do you share together? 

: With Edwin and Tabitha, we do lunch together a lot because we’re always hungry. We travel together. Traveling allows us to discover the world together and to do it from the space of knowing where each of us came from, both Tabitha and Edwin and myself know what it’s like to be homeless and to see planes fly over and wish that we were in them. And now we have that opportunity to do it together and to enjoy the world together as a family. 

How we’re making a difference
Many countries are putting on their own local Pride activities this year, including the US, which has a long-standing relationship with The Trevor Project, Rainbow Railroad, and The Marsha P Johnson Institute. These partnerships allow us to support and uplift the LGBTQIA+ community in meaningful ways. 

The community and Pride is very important for many co-workers at H&M and we also support the LGBTQIA+ community internally, not least via internal colleague resource groups which provide a platform to connect, share ideas and drive positive change within our organisation. In addition to these local initiatives, we are proud to donate on a yearly basis to United Nations Free & Equal, UN’s global initiative against homophobia and transphobia. 

At H&M, we believe that it’s not enough to simply celebrate Pride for one month out of the year. H&M's support for the LGBTQIA+ community goes beyond just words; we take action through partnerships, internal initiatives and global programmes, and we oppose any efforts to restrict the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. We are committed to creating a world where everyone can express themselves freely and be celebrated for who they are. 

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