Together with Pride: Stéphane shares his positive experience working in the sports industry and why representation matters
Throughout Pride Month, we’ll be spotlighting personal and inspiring stories from our 2SLGBTQ+ team members – Here’s Stéphane story.
As part of the Rogers Pride month celebration, we’re featuring stories from a few of our team members who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. Throughout this series you will read open and vulnerable personal stories about their lived experience and what Pride month means to them. Click here learn more about how Rogers celebrates Inclusion & Diversity during Pride month and beyond.
Stéphane Paré has worked at Rogers for 10 years and is a Producer in the Original Content department at Sportsnet. His journey at Rogers started back in high school, volunteering with the Rogers TV program. From a young age, Stéphane has been fascinated by the world of television and his volunteer years cemented his love for storytelling. Outside the office, Stéphane has a love for travelling, cottaging, is an active advocate for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and he is currently planning his wedding alongside his fiancé who he met at Rogers!
When you began working at Sportsnet in 2012, you mentioned that you were unsure about how you would be welcomed, especially given the sports industry had not always been accepting to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. What’s your experience been like working in this industry and what words of advice would you share to members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community interested in pursuing similar career paths?
When I first got the opportunity to work in broadcasting at Sportsnet in 2012, I didn’t really know what to expect. At the time, I knew there was little 2SLGBTQ+ representation in sports and I feared that a sports-focused workplace might not be the most welcoming for me. Thankfully, my experience was overly positive. I found a work environment that not only accepted me but celebrated me for who I am. Since joining the Sportsnet team 10 years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to lead our Pride Month coverage and join the All-In Content Advisory Panel. Rogers has allowed me to make a tangible difference in the way we represent my community through our brands. We still have a lot of work to do though. I’d encourage any 2SLGBTQ+ broadcasting professional to consider pursuing a career in sports. Being an out gay man has given me a different perspective that I can include in the content I produce, and we need more of that representation from all equity-seeking groups. It’s so rewarding to make a difference in that way.
Pride Month is an important opportunity to celebrate the diverse voices in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. How do you think we can continue to celebrate Pride Month year-long?
For me, Pride really does go beyond Pride Month. I always look forward to June for how colourful and fun the month is, but there are so many other ways to celebrate our Pride year-round. It could be supporting a 2SLGBTQ+ owned small business or making sure to know and use someone’s preferred pronouns. We need allies to support these initiatives beyond parades and parties, every single day of the year.
Looking back, what is one message you’d share with your younger self about accepting and celebrating yourself as you are.
Before I came out, I always thought being openly gay might hold me back. I thought I might not be able to have the career I wanted or even the life I was dreaming of. Accepting myself and being my true authentic self ended up being my biggest strength. I believe it gave me opportunities and opened doors. If I could tell my younger self one thing, it would be to embrace who you are and to never think your differences will stop you. Celebrate who you are and confidently go out in the world to do what you were meant to do.