Sometimes, you just have to be your own hero.”
For Ports Portento, “Ready, Set, Drag,” an all-site drag competition of Telus International Philippines to celebrate Pride Month and push for LGBTQIA+ rights, has become a venue to foster a community that cares for him and lifts him up.
“In our life, there will always be people who will bring you down. But always remember that there are more people who will lift you up – those are the ones you should focus on,” he said.
Telus has always supported the LGBTQIA+ community by providing safe avenues and vast opportunities for its team members to express their true selves.
“Ready, Set, Drag” is celebrated by TIP team members across all its seven location sites and has encouraged spontaneity, expression, and creativity of one’s true sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE).
Participating TIP team members are invited to join and perform in drag.
“There are many reasons to honor our LGBTQIA+ community, and one way we’ve chosen to celebrate together is with drag. Drag is where people come alive and stories are made. A person turns into a character without any fear of judgement. We foster a very inclusive, diverse, and caring culture at TELUS International Philippines, and we support our team members not only through Spectrum Philippines, but also through our wide array of Pride month activities to demonstrate our support and give our team members avenues to express themselves,” said Warren Tait, TELUS International Philippines Vice President of Facilities, Brand, and Culture, and Spectrum’s Executive Sponsor.
For Jamie Amorante, her chosen drag persona – Eva Prada – to represent TIP’s McKinley West site, is not an homage to the expensive brand, but rather to the humble, sweet, household staple evaporada milk.
For Amorante, Pride is not just a one-month-a-year celebration but something to be observed all-year round.
“Pride is a celebration of being your true and authentic self. It is an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate our differences. But we cannot also forget that it is a reminder that we’re still on our journey in fighting for the equality that we all genuinely deserve,” Amorante added.
Portento, whose drag name is The Portia, said the drag journey started a few years back when the famous RuPaul’s Drag Race show hit the screens in 2012.
“I have been following the show ever since it launched in 2012 and I was inspired by all these gorgeous men in wigs. I only then started to really hone my craft two years ago and began focusing on my makeup skills.”
“TELUS International Philippines has been very supportive when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community. Gender neutral restrooms, Pride parades and marches, and no discrimination policies are some of the examples of how the company is supporting us. We are treated as equals. And because of that, I am more than grateful for the company and what they have provided me and the rest of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Portento added.
TIP’s “Ready, Set, Drag” celebration included a lip sync battle complete with costumes, choreography, and even a submission of a video where TIP’s drag queens share about their style, persona, and advocacy. View the celebrations at TIP’s Youtube page.