Hancock is one of the faces of Pride at Disney, serving as the event’s co-lead of its PRIDE employee resource group. He helped produce events like the “Out on the Lot” community partner fair in June and booked ABC talent for the Los Angeles and New York Pride Parades. There can be challenges being openly queer at a large corporation, but Hancock has always been excited about the opportunity to share his experiences in such a space. “At any company as large as Disney our voices can often feel unheard or misrepresented. To not only be a part of the mission to educate, advocate and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community but to also be part of the process to hold ourselves accountable and to the highest standard is a great privilege and honor,” he says.
How does your company encourage employees to bring their true selves to work? When I began working at Disney I was excited to be queer and work at a large corporation where I could share my experience and story with other cast-members. I found myself in a supportive and empathetic department where my point of view and voice felt heard and respected. And then I found out that I could volunteer for Disney PRIDE where I could have an even bigger impact outside of my department. As a queer member of the community, it’s always been important to me to speak up for myself and others who are marginalized. At any company as large as Disney our voices can often feel unheard or misrepresented. To not only be a part of the mission to educate, advocate and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community but to also be part of the process to hold ourselves accountable and to the highest standard is a great privilege and honor.
Advice for allies on how to show up for their LGBTQ+ colleagues? It’s important to listen but it’s just as important to ask questions. We talk a lot about listening, but I don’t think everybody is primed to hear the message. Having a genuine curiosity and desire to learn means to have thoughtful and respectful questions. It can be hard to be vulnerable and admit one’s ignorance on any particular topic. By asking each other authentic, respectful and empathetic questions we can change preconceived notions or misunderstandings about our community.
Favorite media milestone moment in LGBTQ+ history? Rickie Vasquez on “My So-Called Life” on ABC was a game changer for me. Seeing an authentic and flamboyant, Latinx teenager on TV was like looking in a mirror. As a young teen, watching him week to week, made me feel less alone and inspired me to be more confident in myself. Following Wilson Cruz’s activism through the years has also inspired me to speak up and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community whether I’m at work or marching in a Pride parade.