Pride at WestJet with Cliff Galang

WestJet
By WestJet | | 3 min read

June is Pride month and at WestJet we are proud of the diverse identities that make up WestJet’s world. This month we interviewed four WestJetters who are proud members of the LGBTQ2+ community and asked them to share their personal stories and tell us about what pride means to them.

This week, we talked to Cliff Galang, WestJet, Destination Manager, WestJet Vacations.

What does Pride mean to you?

For me, pride has two meanings. Firstly, pride is about honouring and continuing the impactful work of those who paved the way for our community. Secondly, and perhaps more personally, pride is about loving yourself more than needing to be loved and accepted by others. Often members of the LGBTQ2+ community, spend a lot of our lives creating a version of ourselves that we hope will assist us in avoiding humiliation or bullying, with one goal in mind – to fit in. 

Cliff Galang, WestJet, Destination Manager, WestJet Vacations Cliff Galang, WestJet, Destination Manager, WestJet Vacations

Pride is about deconstructing and discarding the parts of our identity that aren’t authentically you and celebrating the parts that are. 

How do you #ShowYourPride at work year-round?

At WestJet, Safety Above All is central to our collective identity and is all-encompassing of both physical and emotional safety. #ShowYourPride at work, means doing my part to create a safe space for LGBTQ2+ WestJetters and ensuring they feel valued and encouraged to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas, 365 days a year. WestJet is a community full of diverse identities. It’s important for me to contribute to this community that celebrates and acknowledges diversity, encourages equal participation and ensures everyone feels comfortable in bringing their authentic selves to work each and every day. 

Cliff Galang with his partner and family Cliff Galang with his partner and family

How do you celebrate Pride month? / What’s your favorite Pride memory?

Nowadays, when you think of Pride, you probably think of fun parades, parties, and rainbows. On one hand, Pride celebrations are amazing as they serve to celebrate how far we’ve come. One of my favorite Pride memories involves my friend Miles on the dancefloor, dancing to Whitney Houston, with a full-length headdress made entirely of balloons. On the other hand, I also celebrate Pride month by participating in events that honor the work of past LGBTQ2+ members who achieved so much for our community. In Calgary, the not-for-profit organization, Calgary Pride, hosts walking tours that commemorate important LGBTQ2+ landmarks and events, along with special guest speaker series and documentary screenings that I’ve found to be incredibly important in gaining a deeper understanding of this community’s history.

What’s your advice for WestJetters who want to be better allies to the LGBTQ+ community?

Come out to your LGBTQ2+ colleagues. By that I mean – come out as an ally, actually speak up and say it out loud – “I am your ally. I want to learn more about your lived experiences, and I’d like to have conversations about how I can support you.” It’s common to think “Oh yes, I have gay friends and I support gay rights,” and leave it at that, but taking a more purposeful approach goes a long way to help build trust and open up meaningful dialogue.