Pride at Portico: Speaking with Andre Marques

Pride Month
24 June 2024

Continuing our celebrations of Pride month, we had the pleasure of speaking with wonderful Welcome Host, Andre Marques, about the significance of Pride month, how we can create a more inclusive environment and some final thoughts on identity and the future.

What does Pride mean to you?

Freedom! To feel that I am free to be who I am and to express it, but more then myself Pride is a celebration that reminds me that in the world there are human beings that are not being respected at all due to be who they are.

Can you tell us about your role in Bespire?

Let the happy days begin! At the Bespire project I am a “new joiner”, ready to share my knowledge and to help where I am the most need it.

Are there any other LGBTQIA+ organisations or groups that you are particularly involved with or support?

Presently none. Nonetheless in the past I was a volunteer for ILGA Lisbon. Among my tasks the one that used to give me more pleasure, was to create the decorations that would be used at the street Festival.

Can you tell us about your experience as part of the LGBTQIA+ community at Portico?

Strike a Pose! I am excited as this will be the 1st time that I am getting into the groove of the Pride Celebrations in my company.

What can companies do to make your workplace more inclusive?

Acknowledge that there are different people with different ways to be and respect it. And that people need to be acknowledged by their inner skills and not by their skin colour, sexual orientation and so on and on.

Who are some of your role models or inspirations within the LGBTQIA+ community?

Antonio Variacoes was an artist that nowadays is part of Portugal`s History of Arts & Culture. With his extravagant clothing, hairstyles, songs, and the fact that he was openly GAY and a Defensor of the Human Rights, he was able to transform mentalities and the artistic panorama of a very “grey” Portugal back in the 1980`s.

What does it mean to be a good ally?

R.E.S.P .E.C.T us, first of all, that accepts and cherish us for who we are and if at any point needs to express a critic, must do it.What message would you like to share with other LGBTQIA+ individuals who might be struggling? Always believe and respect yourselves but mainly and using Madonna`s lyrics; “Express Yourself, Don’t Repress Yourself”

How do you envision the future for the next generation of LGBTQIA+ individuals?

After every storm there is a Rainbow. I am positive that the Future for the next generation, it is colourful, nonetheless I am also realist, I envision a certain number of “storms” that will create challenges, but these challenges must be faced “all for one and one for all” and resolved with knowledge.