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Pride Month Resources for Leaders

June 15, 2020 Deana LaFauci

How can we courageously move beyond the past to create real change at our organizations and in our communities? This is a question many leaders have been asking themselves, and one another, as they strive to become truly inclusive leaders.

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.

Pride Month is commemorated each year to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. In 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.

This year, activists say that 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.

While in-person Pride Month celebrations have been curtailed due to the COVID-19 public health pandemic, we continue to recognize the spirit of awareness, education, and activism of this important month.

How can leaders support cultures of inclusion at their organization and recognize Pride Month in 2020?

Consider these resources and ideas as a starting point:

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.

Remembering Stonewall

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

Art & Article: “Why We Remember Stonewall,” a written and illustrated article from 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.

Read up on the history of LGBTQ discriminationand understand the recent 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: Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court rules 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.

 

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 and 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.

 

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.

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