Celebrate Pride Month.
First things first – what’s Pride Month? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. Nowadays, celebrations include parades, picnics, parties, workshops and more – unifying millions of participants around the world for a month of solidarity, recognizing the worldwide impact that LGBTQIA+ individuals have had and continue to have, as well as, reflecting on those impacted by hate crimes, suicide, or HIV/AIDS
In addition to raising the Pride flag this month, Taco Bell Corp.’s Live Más Pride BERG is collaborating in the OC Pride Festival and Parade on Saturday, June 24 along with our sister brand The Habit Burger Grill! Throughout this month, we will also be sharing information and ways to honor this month across our organization as well as sharing our very own Taco Bell team stories.
However, the celebration and work doesn’t stop there. Taco Bell allies are living the Pride Month celebration all year long through educating, activating and advocating. They strive to encourage inclusive perspectives, act as a proponent for Taco Bell’s LGBTQIA+ population, and allies and help serve as a cultural partner to amplify our community through education and open communication.
To honor this month and lead with action-oriented allyship, we’re amplifying the voices of those in the LBGTQIA+ community who are growing their careers at Taco Bell.
Andrew G. - Live Más Scholarship (LMS) Coordinator, Previous LMS Recipient & Restaurant Team Member
In 2019, Andrew’s Taco Bell journey began when he applied for a position at SD Bell Inc. Restaurant in California. “At the time, I couldn’t afford to go to college and had to drop out, so I needed another way to make my dreams a reality,” he said. Soon after being hired, Andrew formed a strong bond with his fellow Team Members, who encouraged him to not only be himself but also to pursue his educational passions.
Thanks to the support of those around him, Andrew applied for and received a $25,000 Live Más Scholarship from the Taco Bell Foundation that allowed him to return to college and obtain a bachelor’s degree in education and psychological science. ”I see the Live Más Scholarship as a major turning point in my life...it showed me that working in [Quick Service Restaurants] is so much more than what I imagined,” he said. Throughout college, Andrew continued to work at his local Taco Bell, but when he wasn’t in the restaurant, he was in the dance studio.
“Growing up, I was always taught that dance was for girls and that I could only do masculine style dancing.” Working through the discomfort of these stereotypes helped Andrew form a greater sense of self and acknowledge his queerness. He wanted to open a dance company that allows youth to explore how dance can allow them to be their authentic selves. And he did just that – he started ‘Family That Dances Together,’ a dance group that teaches over 300 youth for free!
Years later, Andrew expanded not only his personal career but his Taco Bell career by joining the Taco Bell Foundation as a Live Más Scholarship coordinator. “In my current role, I can use my love of Taco Bell and my passion for fostering young people’s passions and make it my full-time job,” he noted. “Moving into the corporate world was scary, but even in my interview, the comfort I felt knowing I was walking into a supportive and accepting environment made me so much more confident.”
Andrew has had a long-standing history with Taco Bell. From being a Team Member and Live Más Scholar, to performing at one of Taco Bell’s biggest internal events, to now becoming a member of the Taco Bell Foundation team, Andrew has left his mark on Taco Bell history.