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Pride Month Resources for Leaders 2022

June 7, 2022 Deana LaFauci

This June, leaders, organizations and communities come together to recognize Pride Month, which celebrates the LGBTQ community’s freedom to be who they are and their progress in the fight for equality. The month commemorates the Stonewall Uprising that took place in New York City in June 1969. Patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village staged an uprising to protest the police harassment and discrimination that LGBTQ people were commonly subjected to. Stonewall marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ people in American laws and practices—a movement that continues to this day.

As we recognize and celebrate Pride Month, we reflect on the progress that has been made in the fight for equality, but it is also clear how much more remains to be done. Since the start of this year, over 200 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, most of them targeting transgender and nonbinary people and youth. These bills seek to limit rights, including healthcare access and the ability for trans youth to participate in school sports. Alarmingly, the Human Rights Campaign found that 2021 was the most anti-LGBTQ legislative session ever in their history of tracking.

To support the fight for equality, inclusive leaders must confront the systemic biases that continue to negatively impact communities and the professional advancement of underrepresented groups—and LGBTQ Pride Month presents an opportunity to promote this important work.

How can leaders support cultures of inclusion at their organization and recognize Pride Month in 2022?

Consider these resources and ideas as a starting point:

1. Understand the history of Pride Month and the important dates within it.

First, dive into educational resources and personal 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.

Consider the historical importance of the following recognition days and how they intersect with Pride Month. As you develop and bring programming and content to your organization, are you speaking to these important topics?

  • June 5: HIV Long-Term Survivors Day honors and increases visibility around HIV survivor issues and needs
  • June 12: Pulse Remembrance Day, a remembrance of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting victims
  • June 19: Juneteenth, a commemoration of African American culture and the emancipation of African American slaves
  • June 27: National HIV Testing Day encourages individuals to be tested for HIV
  • June 28: The Stonewall Riots Anniversary commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising
  • June 30: Queer Youth of Faith Day celebrates and empowers LGBTQ youth of different faiths
2. Refresh your knowledge of gender terms through this helpful glossary.

Leaders should be intentional about the language they use because words matter. With the help of GLAAD, NPR compiled a glossary of terms relating to gender identity, with the goal of helping people communicate accurately and respectfully with one another. In this glossary, they remind us that language changes over time, and individuals may choose language or terms that work for them. What’s most important, they write, is “recognizing and respecting people as individuals.”

Check out a few key terms from their glossary, then read the full guide:

  • Sex refers to a person’s biological status and is typically assigned at birth, usually based on external anatomy. Sex is typically categorized as male, female or intersex.
  • Gender is often defined as a social construct of norms, behaviors and roles that varies between societies and over time. Gender is often categorized as male, female or nonbinary.
  • Cisgender, or simply cis, is an adjective that describes a person whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Transgender, or simply trans, is an adjective used to describe someone whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth.
  • Nonbinary is a term that can be used by people who do not describe themselves or their genders as fitting into the categories of man or woman.
3. Read up on the history of LGBTQ discrimination—and understand how the intersection of gender and identity and race impacts communities.

Catalyst’s “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Workplace Issues: Quick Take” report, published on May 31, 2022, outlines important facts on discrimination and biases that exist within the workplace. In the United States, almost half (45.5%) of LGBT workers have experienced, at some point in their careers, some form of unfair treatment at work.

And, it is important to consider this topic through an intersectional lens: When applying for jobs, nearly one-quarter (23.7%) of LGBT Americans have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but experiences vary by race and ethnicity, with a higher percentage of LGBT people of color (29%) experiencing discrimination.

Transgender workers are more likely to face discrimination when applying for jobs (43.9%) and experience verbal harassment at work (43.8%) compared to cisgender LGB employees (21.5% and 29.3%, respectively). Read the full report.

4. Shop brands that help make a positive impact.

Many brands offer Pride-themed merchandise 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 dollars, 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. Seek out and read personal stories from the LGBTQ community.

Pride Month is about recognizing the uniqueness of everyone’s story, and it is the perfect time to seek out diverse narratives and firsthand accounts from those in the LGBTQ community. Check out this helpful collection spanning films, books and personal narratives:

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

Many of the defining moments celebrated during Pride were made possible through the activism of Black and brown LGBTQ activists. “As Black and brown people, their marginalization was furthered by their sexual orientation, causing violence, discrimination, and oppression toward them with respect to income, employment, housing, education, political representation, access to health care, and other public and private services,” write Kristen Broady and Carl Romer for the Brookings Institution.

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.

7. Be an active LGBTQ ally.

It’s time to move beyond passive support to active allyship because the stakes have never been higher.

“The epidemic of violence targeting predominantly transgender women of color continues escalating, building on a year-over-year pattern of violence that made last year the deadliest on record,” reports GLAAD. “At this very critical moment in the fight for acceptance and equality, we must continue to stand in support of trans people and speak out against the fatal violence and discrimination facing the community.”

Article: How to support the trans community this Pride

Article: Here’s what a good LGBTQ ally looks like

Article: 10 Ways to Be an Ally & a Friend

PDF Guide: “Guide to Being a Straight Ally” from PFLAG, the nation’s largest family and ally organization.

8. 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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