It’s Pride Month, which for many companies means sharing an often hollow statement on their support for the LGBTQIA2+ community while changing their logos to include the rainbow flag. During June, you can’t overlook the flood of pride-themed materials in our inboxes, social media feeds, and all aspects of our lives. As we celebrate the continued visibility that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2+) people have this month, it’s important to remember that Pride began as a protest. It is and has always been political. Pride is a time to center those often left on the margins actively. Signals of allyship only mean something if active and intentional steps are taken on the individual and company level to support those in the LGBTQIA2+ community. If you are ready to move beyond the general lip service that Pride month can sometimes produce, here are some things that you and your organization can do better to show up for the LGBTQIA2+ community during June and year-round:
- If your organization is going to change its logo for Pride, use the Progress Pride flag, developed in 2018 by Daniel Quasar, a non-binary American artist and designer. The Progress Pride flag adds a five-colored chevron to the classic Rainbow Flag to emphasize inclusion and progression. Within the flag are black and brown stripes, which represent marginalized LGBTQIA2+ communities of color, and the Transgender Pride flag’s pink, light blue, and white colors.
- Many transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, and non-conforming people use pronouns that might not match your assumptions. If you are not sure of a person’s pronouns, share your pronouns with them first, then ask them for theirs. First, sharing your pronouns helps signal that you are being thoughtful about such things. If you misgender or use the wrong pronouns, apologize and correct yourself. People’s preferred pronouns are not optional. So practice.
- Do not deadname. What is a deadname, you ask? It is the birth name a trans person discards if they change their name as part of their gender transition. Many trans people have not had their legal name changed, so they have IDs, resumes, and other official records under their deadname. When addressing trans people, always use a person’s chosen name. When in doubt, ask.
- How can you make your workplace safer and more supportive for LGBTQIA2+ team members during and beyond Pride?
- Review your organization’s policies and benefits. Is there at least one healthcare plan that includes a comprehensive range of gender-affirming therapies, surgeries, and procedures (e.g., counseling, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), voice training, top surgery, bottom surgery, etc.)? If there isn’t, push your company to implement one.
- Review your organization’s leadership. Who is in the room when major decisions that affect LGBTQIA2+ team members are made? Whose voices would add valuable perspective to these discussions??
Pride month is a chance to celebrate and center LGBTQIA2+ people by taking the active initiative. Beyond the colors, the logos, the flags, and the statements let’s all continue to do better and be better to Change the Face of Talent.