On 25 June last year, the unthinkable happened. Tragedy struck in what should have been a weekend of celebration. Two people were shot and killed at the heart of the Oslo Pride celebrations.

Some of my colleagues were moving in London pub circles, some of them know people who were directly affected, and some of them felt the pain and violation of this atrocity more intensely than others.

Over the following days, I felt a sorrow for all those who lost a loved one, were injured or otherwise had their lives turned upside down. And then I got angry. Angry at the brutal destruction of what should for some of us have been a highlight of the year, when we would celebrate and take joy in a freedom that feels intensely unique on this particular weekend. A weekend when the city is buzzing with life and colour, and for once you don’t have to consider whether it feels safe to hold your partner’s hand, simply because so many others are on the streets that weekend to celebrate the same freedom. A weekend when many may finally have found the courage to travel to the capital to be themselves and to meet others who feel like them.

I was also irked. Irked that I – of all people – may not have taken this seriously enough, thinking that Pride may have become a bit much. It’s so easy to keep a low profile and thereby avoid some of the bigotry that’s out there. After all, precisely those choices and that bigotry have made it clear to me that Pride is still needed. Last year may have served as a reality check for us all, bringing a renewed understanding that we are not there yet.

Besides, it verges on the surreal to recall that this celebration of LoveIsLove was so provocative to some that the national security services assessed the threat level to be extremely high in the days after the mass shooting – with all that entailed.

All this – and everything else that went through our heads in the days after 25 June – we found room to talk about at work, for everyone who wanted. For me, it felt good to get back into the office that Monday. Meeting and talking to colleagues who were also devastated by what had happened. Colleagues who asked how I was doing and who discussed how we as people and as a society can help to make things a little better. Because we care about each other, we are inclusive, and we let everyone be themselves. It’s safe to walk through the doors of Thommessen’s offices in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and London.

Finally: we were there for each other after last year’s shooting, we have been there for each other in the months since then and we will be there for each other going forward. That’s the real significance of naming one of our meeting rooms “Kim Friele”. Kim Friele was a Norwegian gay movement activist, and this meeting room is a reminder that for us at Thommessen, Pride is not just a parade, a party, a weekend or a month. Diversity and inclusion are part of our day-to-day agenda, and we are also united in showing that to everyone who comes to us.

June Snemyr is a partner at Thommessen.