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Diversity and Inclusion Guest Blog: Why do we have a Pride Month? 

Diversity and Inclusion Guest Blog: Why do we have a Pride Month?

Geoffrey Williams, Global I&D Leader/Renaissance Man

Currently it is pride month. What does that mean, it means that we are recognising and celebrating the impact the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) community has had globally and recognising where laws have change and where we can do more to make sure that we all have the same rights to live and be happy. 

Last week I discussed why exploring Diversity and Inclusion is good for your business. This week I thought it would be good to give some insight into the movement of equality for the LGBT+ community.

Even though we have come along way in acceptance like the introduction of equal marriage, the right of LGBT+ people to adopt and protections within workplaces to make sure you cannot be fired for been LGBT.  It is still illegal to be LGBT+ in over 72 countries globally and punishable by death in 5. 

Global businesses have used their position to influence understanding and acceptance by advocacy, campaigning and partnerships. As of 2019 it was estimated that the LGBT+ community had a spending power of £3.7 trillion globally (entrepreneur 2019), so speaking to this audience honestly and authentically has never been more important. 
But what is the history behind all of these wins and changes in global attitudes?  
Stonewall Riots: Were a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBT community against a police raid that began in the early morning of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of NYC.  They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights. 

Pride parades: are events organised to celebrate the LGBTQ communities social and self acceptance, achievements legal rights and pride in themselves. Most events take place in June and commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, which is a key moment in modern LGBTQ social movements. In its modern form it is also where global brands take the opportunity to show support of the LGBT+ community .

The community: Just like the mainstream, the LGBT+ community is made up of people from all walks of life from different, Generations, Races/Ethnicity, Religions/faiths, Disabilities and socio-economic backgrounds. Just because you haven’t met someone from your community/background that is LGBT+ doesn’t meant they don’t exist. 

Some key points that might be useful for you to consider as you celebrate pride month: 
1.    Coming Out – happens consistently for someone from the LGBT community 
2.    We cannot tell someone is gay/ lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender from looking at them 
3.    You should ask people how they would like to be addressed regardless of what you assume about their gender identity
4.    We should all continue to educate ourselves about equality and access.  
5.    Remember that the LGBT community is intersectional

Hopefully, you learnt something new from the above, but most importantly we all play a part in shaping our world and society. 

Happy Pride 

Geoffrey Williams is an Inclusion & Diversity Professional, Owner of Geoffrey O. Williams Ltd, a consultancy that focus on I&D, Culture, Communication, and confident I&D narrative building. He is also the co-founder of Rocking Ur Teens a social enterprise that works with young people aged 13 – 16 across the UK to build strong self-esteem, good mental well being and career goals.  
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Global businesses have used their position to influence understanding and acceptance by advocacy, campaigning and partnerships.“