VS&Co Celebrates Pride

Illustration by Josefina Schargorodsky 

We’re spotlighting and supporting vital LGBTQIA+ voices. This month and always, we stand with the community, and pledge to continue using our platform to do so. Additionally, we’re excited to further our relationship with the Phluid Phoundation, an organization that provides advocacy for the least represented, most vulnerable members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Get to Know Evolve 

Meet our IRG for LGBTQIA+ associates and their allies. Their mission is to create an open and inclusive environment for the VS&Co community to build relationships, develop their careers, and support each other within the company and beyond. The group organizes events and activations including Pride Month education and awareness, participates in Pride parades, AIDS Walk Ohio, lunch and learns, networking sessions, and opportunities to directly impact the business through focus groups.

Our Partnership with Get Phluid

This year, we’ve partnered with Get Phluid on some exciting programming. Get Phluid Founder Rob Smith is hosting a conversation at our NYC office, and he’ll be accompanied by influencers Olivia Ponton and Emira D’Spain. Additionally, the Phluid team is organizing allyship training for VS&Co associates. 

The financial donations to The Phluid Phoundation from VS&Co will impact the following organizations: 

Our Partnership with the Point Foundation 

United by a shared mission of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, we’re continuing to partner with the Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQIA+ students, to provide opportunities that benefit college students. Our partnership to date has funded 174 BIPOC scholarships. 

Spotlight on Hope Giselle, Phluid Director of Training 

The Miami native got her start in activism, facilitation, and inclusion while in college at Alabama State University. After helping to found and govern the conservative school’s first LGBT organization, Giselle graduated with a Master of Fine Arts, and was the first openly Trans woman to do so at the institution. From there, she hit the ground running with her modern take on Trans and Black bodies in both public and private spaces. 

After nearly 10 years of being an activist, master facilitator, and author, she’s now founded her own non-profit organization—AllowMe—while serving as a master-inclusion specialist and HR consultant. Additionally, she works with organizations like HRC, Freedom for All Americans, LGBT University, ITEquality, and TransTech Social to ensure that the voices of the communities she’s a part of are heard. 

“In this ongoing fight for justice, I have come to realize the importance of recentering joy and rest as acts of resistance. Joy is a testament to our resilience, a celebration of our identities in the face of oppression. It is the laughter shared among friends, the pride in being unapologetically ourselves. Similarly, rest is a radical act of self-care, a rejection of the notion that our worth is tied to our productivity.”

Hope Giselle

PINK with Purpose Awardee Spotlight: Jennifer Truitt

Truitt is currently pursuing her PhD in clinical psychology, primarily focusing on social relationships, intimacy, loneliness, and physical health. She is interested in working with marginalized populations, especially LGBTQ+ individuals, and those who have experienced minority stress related to their sex or gender identity.  

Q: How did you start working with the LGBTQ+ community? 

A: “My research advisor, Dr. Daniel Maitland, helped me arrive at the idea. We were talking about how there’s a lack of research on loneliness in LGBTQ+ people—even though it’s a ‘no-duh’ research question.” 

Q: What is the LGBTQ+ PEACE Project? 

A: “I’ll be working to provide free therapy to LGBTQ+ young adults who experience loneliness and depression. We’ll research how well our behavioral activation therapy works, and we’ll share what we know with local community organizations so that the project leaves a lasting legacy.” 

Q: What advice do you have for young adults struggling with their identity & Sexuality? 

A: “Give yourself time. It took until I graduated from college to even think about coming out—and everybody else in my life except for me already knew. But your identity doesn’t have to be static to be valid. It can change, and that doesn’t make it any less real.” 

Q: What does Pride mean to you? 

A: “I actually worked on setting up for Houston Pride one year—but I wasn’t out at the time, so I was just there with my nose pressed up against the glass. ‘I want to be where the people are.’ In 2023, I went to my first Pride—I cried. People had to fight hard for us to be able to do this, and I want to be part of that legacy.” 

Q: How will the PINK with Purpose grant further your work?

A: “With this money, I’ll be able to do community outreach. Even cooler, we’ll be able to collect physiological data, so we know how our therapy impacts physical health outcomes.” 

Learn About Jennifer’s Project 

The LGBTQ+ Psychotherapy Empowering Activation and Community Engagement (PEACE) Project will research how loneliness and social connection affect the well-being of young adults who are marginalized based on their sexuality or gender. As part of the project, free therapy and additional mental health resources will be provided to help them better understand loneliness, mental health, and the relationship between the two. This project will offer treatment to LGBTQ+ individuals who might otherwise not be able to afford it and aims to not only serve its participants but also enable future therapists to provide more effective treatment. 

Spotlight on Josefina Schargorodsky 

Schargorodsky is an enthusiastic illustrator, animator, and relentless optimist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

She creates beautiful images with a feminine point of view, and enjoys working with people who value beauty, humor, color, and curiosity when making projects. In her illustrations she aims to represent all kinds of bodies and identities. Diversity is an important feature in her characters, and she has made illustrations supporting Woman and LGTBQ+ rights. 

Her present body of work includes animations and illustrations for publishing projects, social media, packaging, stationery, and communication for some clients like Google, Disney, Facebook, Pepsi, Snapchat, Random House, and many more. 

When she is not working you can find her strolling with her kids, baking beautiful pastries or watching documentaries. 

Jenn is the Copy Director at Victoria’s Secret and has spent the past 10 years writing for brands like Club Monaco, Free People, SoulCycle, and more. She has a degree in English from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. When she’s not chipping away at Pulitzer Prize-winning copy (dream big, right?), you’ll find her living beyond her means by venturing to new restaurants, exploring local shops, and petting other people’s dogs.