See Why We Are Proud to Be

Jun 2, 2023 1:40 PM ET

Two years ago, for Pride Month, T‑Mobile helped spread the word of a small community photo project titled “Proud to Be” created by one of its frontline employees. With the need for inclusivity and understanding never more important, the project is once again being embraced by a company that truly believes we are all stronger together. Take a look!

In 2021, T-Mobile Stories introduced you to Joe Richards, the employee and artist behind a companywide community photo project entitled “Proud to Be,” which invited employees to visually showcase who they are and how they are embracing that identity during Pride Month.

In a video interview, Joe explained why he first created the participatory photo project six years ago at the Charleston Customer Experience Center where he was a Customer Resolution Expert, and served as the lead for the company’s Pride Employee Resource Group in the local Diversity, Equity & Inclusion chapter. While Pride season offers members of the LGBTQ+ community a moment to advocate and celebrate their identities together, Joe told us he was inspired by T-Mobile’s year-round “Be You” motto to search for a way to open up Pride — and the experience of being “seen” — to everyone. (The company is also embracing the motto “Stronger Together” for this Pride Month, a perfect accompaniment to Joe’s ongoing “Proud to Be” project.)

With the simple directive to employees to write down what they’re proud to be on a chalkboard, Joe captured dozens of inspiring photographs of smiling sign-bearers and built an art installation to display them in the call center. T-Mobile supported Joe’s vision and two years ago helped him bring the project to a companywide scale by offering an internal virtual platform for employees all around the country to upload their “Proud to Be” images. From humble beginnings, with 44 people participating that first year, the project saw more than 200 people participate by 2020. Now a Mobile Expert in Charleston, Joe says watching his art evolve and take space alongside T-Mobile’s own growth these last few years has been incredible.

Here we will share even more of what T-Mobile employees are saying this year as they participate in the 2023 installation of the art project, by showcasing new images and video of the many who are submitting their “Proud to Be” statements throughout the month.

P.S. If you watched the video above, you know the first day of Pride Month is also Joe’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Joe! 

Check back every week throughout June to see new and updated images and videos from those who have submitted their own “Proud to Be” moments. Any questions? Email us at: