On Valentine’s Day, HSBC Bank in Taiwan released a heartwarming YouTube video that told the real-life story of how the bank’s country CEO, John Li, walked one of his employees down the aisle at her wedding. The bride’s father had apparently declined to do so because he will not acknowledge his daughter’s relationship with another woman.
“I didn’t think I would ever have a wedding,” the employee, identified only as Jennifer, explained in the clip, which can be viewed above. Although Jennifer has been in a relationship with her now-wife, Sam, for 11 years, she say her family won’t acknowledge it. Noting that she considered “faking” a heterosexual marriage for her father’s sake, Jennifer added, “My parents have stopped communicating with me and will not come to my wedding.”
While Jennifer said she was concerned about being open about her sexuality at work, she soon learned she had nothing to worry about. “My boss and colleagues have been very supportive of us and this wedding,” she said. When Li offered to give her away at the wedding, she said she and Sam cried, because “we never thought we would make it this far.”
The women don’t seem too vexed that, from a legal perspective, their union is purely symbolic. “This wedding is really for the [LGBTQ] community,” Jennifer said. “We hope our action will encourage people and create respect among different communities.”
Though the video was uploaded to YouTube Feb. 14, there’s been a wave of renewed interest after Mashable posted an article about it Tuesday. The clip has also made the rounds on Cosmopolitan, Gay Star News and Pink News, among other media outlets.
Previously, HSBC has gone to great lengths to show support for its LGBTQ employees and the queer community at large. In November 2016, the company installed two rainbow lions in front of its Hong Kong office for a “Celebrate Pride, Celebrate Unity” campaign.
“Having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our millions of customers in Hong Kong and which draws on a wide range of perspectives makes us better able to serve the whole community,” HSBC spokesman Adam Harper told AFP at the time.
Here’s to hoping more and more international companies take note and follow suit!
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