Find out why we celebrate Pride and how workplaces can use this time of the year as an opportunity to engage with and increase understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and promote inclusion.
Many of you will have plans in place to celebrate and take action on LGBTQ+ inclusion as part of Pride Month 2023.
At MySoulrenity, we want to ensure we’re encouraging organizations to take a practical, holistic approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion that goes beyond rainbow logos. Pride Month is a fantastic time to engage with the LGBTQ+ community and progress LGBTQ+ inclusion goals in your organization.
But, Pride Month isn’t just about the Pride Month flags, the LGBTQ+ Pride Month facts or Pride Month resources because LGBTQI+ inclusion takes place 365 days of the year.
Not only will we be explaining why Pride Month is an important time of year and sharing ways to celebrate pride at work, but we will also show you how your efforts during this time can make a positive impact for your LGBTQ+ colleagues every day in the workplace.
What is Pride month?
Pride Month is about acceptance, equality and celebrating the work of LGBTQ+ people. These celebrations usually take place in the form of an outdoor parade, where large crowds gather to march, often waving the rainbow pride flag as their banner.
These marches are not only an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community to show their pride in their sexual orientation or gender identity, but sometimes also serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage or as we have seen in the news recently, complete protection from conversion therapy.
Pride Month is also an opportunity to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ history and educate the general public about LGBTQIA2-S+ topics.
The history of Pride Month
Pride is not just a celebration. Although it is an important to time to celebrate the progress that has been made across legislation, attitudes and behaviors, it is also a continued protest.
The first Pride, in June 1970, marked the first anniversary since the uprising at New York’s Stonewall Inn.
Since then, the parades have also been a sign of fighting for liberation, visibility and equality. Pride has had a more protest feel than a parade. The Pride Month meaning remains the same and is a time for people within the community, and their allies, to celebrate successes in LGBTQ+ inclusion, but it is also a time for reflection.
Everyone will have different experiences to reflect on. For example, on personal journeys of self-discovery and acceptance or remembering friends and loved ones lost during the HIV/Aids pandemic of the 80s and 90s.
For the LGBTQ+ community, history plays a significant part in shaping the current story and reminds us: although lots of progress has been made, there is still lots more to do.
At first, the month was known as “gay Pride Month”, but has now progressed to include and reflect on all the LGBTQIA2-S+ community.
When is Pride Month?
Pride Month takes place every year in June because the event that started the gay rights movement in the United States of America began in June 1969 in New York City’s Greenwich Village, at the Stonewall Inn.
It was a popular gathering for the LGBTQIA2-S+ community and was the target of a police raid on 28 June 1969. The police arrested the bar’s employees for selling liquor without a license and physically assaulted many of the patrons as they forced them to leave the inn.
The LGBTQIA2-S+ community in Greenwich Village, witnessing this police harassment, decided to intervene, forcing the police to call for backup as 400 people rioted.
The police eventually dispersed the crowds, but the Stonewall Riots would continue to inspire the gay rights movement in the United States.
It’s useful for organizations to be aware that some Pride events may take place in July. You can find out when your local Pride parade is happening, by checking the website of your local LGBTQIA2-S+ organizations or view a worldwide Pride month calendar.
Why is Pride Month important?
A lot of progress has been made for LGBTQIA2-S+ rights regarding issues such as marriage equality, but there is more employers can do to support the LGBTQIA2-S+ community.
For the most marginalized groups in the LLGBTQIA2-S+ community, we are seeing backwards trends to progress. The trans community are facing laws being passed across the world to make inclusion and transition an even more difficult topic and process than it already is.
There are also rising numbers of trans murders and violence. Those who are part of the ‘silent letters’ groups within the community (including non-binary, agender, gender queer) also face discrimination, harassment, and erasure.
Employers can play a big part this Pride Month by stepping up and taking action to make sure everyone in the LGBTQIA2-S+ community feels safe and included at work every day of the year.
Ways to celebrate Pride Month at work
It is for all these reasons, that as employers and workplaces, we show solidarity and support to the LGBTQIA2-S+ community at this time of year (and always!).
The great news is everyone can do something, even if it’s something little to start your journey of LGBTQIA2-S+ inclusion today. Share the below LGBTQIA2-S+ Pride Month ideas with your teams to inspire them into action for Pride Month 2023:
Raise awareness and educate
Making assumptions on sexuality, gender and sex, based on heteronormative ideas is not acceptable. We shouldn’t make assumptions based on our own world view. Learning more about all groups of people and individuals can help to challenge this.
We have a new LGBTQIA2-S+ glossary that will help you become familiar with all the LGBTQIA2-S+ terms and give you the confidence to raise awareness and have important conversations at work.
Challenge exclusionary behavior
If your friends or colleagues aren’t using the right language, step in, don’t step by. It’s important we show solidarity and try to embed positive change even if we’re not the one impacted.
Stepping in before harmful behavior turns into bullying and harassment will also help avoid discrimination cases or losing LGBTQIA2-S+ talent. Recognize and challenge transphobic, biphobic, and homophobic bias and discrimination, including microaggressions in professional and personal environments.
There are lots of strategies to call out unacceptable behavior at work and managers can play a key role on how to tackle overt and obvious exclusionary behavior, in the moment and within policy. We can help share with you a quick guide for the framework that works best for your organization.
Everyone can benefit from learning more about LGBTQIA2-S+ topics. Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQIA2-S+ community who wants to learn more about how history was made when it came to gaining rights, or if you want to become an ally and support the community, webinars are an interactive and fun way to gain more knowledge.
Check out the webinars about various LGBTQIA2-S+ topics throughout Pride month to support the cause.
Share stories and realities
Pride is a celebration, but don’t get caught up in just doing the performative actions.
Invite colleagues to share their Pride Month stories in meetings, webinars and events. Make sure you take the time to hear the experiences of those who are a direct part of the community.
Showcase Pride Month with decoration
As we mentioned previously, rainbow logos and rainbow flags should not be your only way of showing allyship to the LGBTQIA2-S+ community.
But, in combination with other forms of allyship, decorating your workplace with Pride flags can be a way to communicate to your LGBTQIA2-S+ colleagues, clients and visitors that your organization is a safe space for them.
If you’re going to display a flag in your workplace in support of the LGBTQIA2-S+ community, we would recommend the new Pride flag. The new flag has been redesigned to incorporate elements from various LGBTQIA2-S+ subcultures. You can see this flag and learn about all the LGBTQIA2-S+ flags in this guide to LGBTQIA2-S+ flags.
Consider updating email signatures
Misgendering happens when we jump to the conclusion that someone is ‘male’ or ‘female’ based on characteristics such as name, gender presentation or even the sound of someone’s voice.
When we jump to these conclusions, we often use gendered pronouns, titles, etc. incorrectly. For example, trans or cis women may experience misgendering if they have short hair because many people associate short hair with masculinity.
Misgendering can have a negative impact on people’s emotional well-being, especially if the person is trans or non-binary. One way we can prevent misgendering is to encourage our colleagues to include their pronouns in their email signatures or social media profiles.
Adding our pronouns to our email signatures, social media profiles and stating them at the start of meetings is a simple step cisgender people can take to enable those from the non-binary and transgender communities to feel more seen and recognized.
Promote allyship and be ready to listen
Allyship in the workplace is crucial for inclusion and equality. Research shows that having just one strong ally can help reduce the possibility of suicidal thoughts of LGBTQIA2-S+ people by 40%. Having someone to actively listen and being able to signpost help is something we can all do.
If you want to be an LGBTQIA2-S+ ally but are unsure where to start, let us share a quick guide about the various types of allyship and what actions you can take.
Provide media for your team to explore
Interacting with LGBTQIA2-S+ media such as books, films and TV shows can be a fun and easy way of learning about LGBTQIA2-S+ history and other LGBTQIA2-S+ topics.
We have Pride Month media suggestions to share with your friends or colleagues to encourage them to learn and engage with these topics in a medium that suits their learning style.
Pride also serves as a collective reminder of the importance of safety, visibility, and inclusion of LGBTQIA2-S+ communities. Because of the stresses associated with societal discrimination, hostility, rejection, and stigma toward diverse sexualities and genders, LGBTQIA2-S+ people face significant disparities in health outcomes and social determinants of health. Transgender+ and bisexual+ community members, in particular, are often marginalized within LGBTQIA2-S+ spaces and healthcare environments. BIPOC transgender women and gender nonconforming people are disproportionately targeted in acts of anti-transgender hate and violence.
Making assumptions on sexuality, gender and sex, based on heteronormative ideas is not acceptable. We shouldn’t make assumptions based on our own world view. Learning more about all groups of people and individuals can help to challenge this. Pride is a celebration, but don’t get caught up in just doing the performative actions. Allyship isn’t all just rainbows and pride flags, and it will take a lot more work to cede the oppression faced by LGBTQIA2-S+ people every day
Here at MySoulrenity, we are driven to help employers recognize and understand the importance of celebrations such as Pride month. We are also committed to helping organizations when Pride month ends with our new DEI line of workshops, Diversity + Inclusion Workshop , ABCs of LGBTQ+ Workshop, or our Diverse + Inclusive Activities available for individuals or businesses.