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Pride Month Resources for Leaders 2021

June 21, 2021 Deana LaFauci

Last year, as the country dealt with a worsening health pandemic, most Pride Month celebrations were canceled or moved online. This year, many organizations and communities are reopening, and traditional Pride Month events and ceremonies are back on the schedule. (Google is celebrating—just Google “Pride Month 2021” for a fun surprise in your browser!)

Pride Month is celebrated each year to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising that took place in New York City. In June 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn staged an uprising to protest police harassment, which LGBTQ people were commonly subjected to. This marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ people in American laws and practices.

Inclusive leaders are confronting the systemic biases that continue to negatively impact communities and the professional advancement of underrepresented groups, and LGBTQ Pride Month represents an opportunity to do this important work.

How can leaders support cultures of inclusion at their organization and recognize Pride Month in 2021?

Consider these resources and ideas as a starting point:

1. Understanding the intersection of Pride + Black Lives Matter

As organizations sponsor webinars, trainings and conversations about systemic race and racism, how can we thoughtfully incorporate LGBTQ issues and Pride Month into this ongoing conversation? How can Pride Month celebrations be improved by including an emphasis on people of color? LGBTQ activists have given much thought to this question and have adapted their existing Pride events to speak to the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement. Read more on this topic.

It is more important than ever to acknowledge and celebrate the many leaders of color within the LGBTQ community, including those who were at the forefront of Stonewall like Marsha P. Johnson, who was Black, and Sylvia Rivera, who was Latinx.

An understanding of intersectionality—or how the intersection of race, gender, class and other identities combines to create unique modes of discrimination and privilege—is critical as we recognize the contributions of these leaders.

2. Remembering Stonewall

Dive into educational resources and firsthand accounts from the Stonewall Uprising, which marked the beginning of a movement for equality.

Art & Article: “Why We Remember Stonewall,” written and illustrated by LA Johnson for NPR, details the history of Stonewall, the site of a raid and series of riots outside the New York City bar, which helped launch a civil rights movement. Read the story.

Audio Story: In “The Activism That Came Before Stonewall and the Movement That Came Out of It,” NPR’s Ari Shapiro shares a conversation with leaders of the gay rights movement, as well as people who were at Stonewall when the riots broke out. Listen here.

3. Read up on the history of LGBTQ discrimination—and understand last year’s ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, which extends discrimination protections to LGBTQ people

Report: Catalyst’s “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Workplace Issues: Quick Take” report outlines important facts on discrimination and biases that exist within the workplace. One-fifth (20%) of LGBTQ Americans have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity when applying for jobs, and LGBTQ people of color (32%) are more likely to experience this type of discrimination than white LGBTQ people (13%). Read the full report.

Article: Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination on the basis of sex, a historic win for LGBTQ employees and their families. Read more here.

4. Shopping that makes a positive impact

Many brands offer Pride-themed merchandise in the month of June to celebrate Pride Month. But which brands are also dedicating resources and funding to LGBTQ nonprofit organizations? If you’re looking to make the biggest impact with your shopping in the month of June, review this list of organizations—including Apple, Fossil and Reebok—that are donating to nonprofits like The Trevor Project, GLSEN and additional groups. Check out the list from USA Today here.

5. Celebrate BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) leaders within the LGBTQ community

Articles: In “Five Trailblazers You Should Know: Pride Edition,” the National Museum of African American History & Culture highlights extraordinary leaders, activists and artists who should be celebrated, including James Baldwin and Audre Lorde. Read the story here. CNN also put together a list of Black LGBTQ leaders to honor this month. View their list here.

6. Be an active LGBTQ ally

Article: Rainbow stickers, buttons or other branded items can send powerful messages of allyship, but without tangible and meaningful support of LGBTQ employees and communities behind those items, the support can be performative and ineffectual. In “Here’s what a good LGBTQ ally looks like,” writer Ana Valens interviews members of the LGBTQ community to identify productive ways to support these communities. Read her findings here.

Article: In “10 Ways to Be an Ally & a Friend,” GLAAD identifies important practices you can adopt to be a better, more active ally to LGBTQ employees and communities. Read the list here.

PDF Guide: For deeper reading, check out “Guide to Being a Straight Ally” from PFLAG, the nation’s largest family and ally organization. Read the guide here.

7. Give to organizations that have a meaningful impact, both nationally and locally

If you can’t participate in Pride this month or are looking for another way to give back, consider exploring this list of nonprofit organizations focused on LGBTQ issues and communities. The Transgender Law Center (TLC) was founded in 2002 with a mission to “change law, policy and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.” Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality supports antidiscrimination initiatives for LGBT healthcare professionals and inclusive healthcare.

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