I know it’s still May, but if you haven’t begun thinking about Pride month, it’s time to get started.
How is your organization honoring and uplifting LGBTQ+ staff and members? How is your team ensuring that all families feel seen, heard and celebrated? How are you fighting back against the onslaught of attacks on the transgender and gender-nonconforming community? If you’re not sure, I’m here to help.
Before I dive deeper, I want to address the common pushback to identity-focused months. Shouldn’t we be celebrating LGBTQ+ history and culture all year long? Yes, of course, but for many LGBTQ+ individuals, Pride is a holiday, like any other, and deserves to be recognized. If you’re going to rainbow-fy your logo on social media, here are some ideas for how you can walk the walk, too.
Plan a training to help your staff understand key issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. Cultural sensitivity training should help staff understand the unique experiences LGBTQ+ people face – and not just the challenges! Across all industries, there is foundational knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community for staff to learn, including vocabulary, pronoun usage, pathways to building families, proper language for talking about gender affirming surgery and transitions, and more.
Offer your time or expertise to support the LGBTQ+ community
Being LGBTQ+ can affect people’s need for and access to a wide variety of essential services including healthcare, housing, employment, financial advising, legal services, and education. If your organization can offer expertise in any of these areas, go the extra mile and create programming and resources tailored to the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals.
What does this look like? Lawyers can offer free workshops on second parent adoptions. Medical providers can offer consultations on gender affirming care. Librarians can offer recommendations of LGBTQ+ friendly books. The opportunities are endless. If you really can’t think of a skill you have to offer, consider teaming up with an organization in your community, like your local LGBTQ center or GLSEN chapter and ask how you can help!
March in a local Pride parade or have a booth at the Pride Festival.
You might be surprised to see this one, and if you’re only going to take one action this Pride month, it shouldn’t be this one. That being said, if your participation in Pride celebrations are led by your LGBTQ+ staff and community members, it can be an effective way to demonstrate your support. Your presence at Pride festivities helps your audience know they can expect LGBTQ+ friendly content and services from you. Plus, the fees to participate typical go to the local LGBTQ+ organization hosting the Pride celebration.
Still not sure where to start? Reach out to me directly and I’m happy to help you brainstorm how your organization can meaningfully engage with the LGBTQ+ community this June and beyond!