Chad works as a copywriter for our Northern California regional office. San Francisco’s Pride Parade was electrified by the news of New York’s historic legalization of gay marriage. Between the gorgeous weather and the good news from the East Coast, this was one of the most jubilant parades I can remember. If you’re unfamiliar, San Francisco’s Pride Celebration & Parade is a truly massive affair. It’s the largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation. Well over a million people come from all over the world just to watch the parade. The only parade that’s bigger in the U.S. is the Rose Bowl Parade. Dozens of team members from all over Northern California as well as their partners and spouses marched with us this year, pushing those famous “little shopping carts” behind a giant rainbow cupcake pulled by a beautifully restored vintage farm truck. Our theme this year was “Baked this Way,” which was written on the flags we waved, the shirts we wore and the bags we handed out to the crowd. We drove the theme home with plenty of Lady Gaga blasting from our mobile sound system. As a company, Whole Foods Market has been pretty ahead of the curve on LGBT rights. Way back in 1998 we offered full benefits to same sex partners and we’ve been an accepting work place since the beginning. You can probably tell that by our parade pictures. As big as Pride is, it’s just one element of how we stay involved with LGBT related causes. Through our 5% Days we recently raised $11,000 for the Utah Pride center, $2,190 for The Center (a non-profit LGBT community center in Colorado) and over $23,500 to Project Open Hand (a group that delivers meals to HIV/AIDS patients, seniors and homebound individuals living with serious illness). This was my first time celebrating Pride as a Whole Foods Market Team Member and my first time marching in the annual parade. It makes me proud to know that the company I work for takes such strong stances on issues that I hold dear. I’m looking forward to next year already.