Pride Month is an annual celebration and advocacy period that is dedicated to honoring and raising awareness for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQIA+) community. The LGBTQIA+ acronym encompasses a diverse range of identities, and the addition of the '+' symbol signifies inclusivity for individuals who may not fit within traditional categorizations. Pride Month serves as a platform to embrace and accept oneself for who they are.
Taking place every June, Pride Month commemorates the historic Stonewall riots that occurred in New York in 1969. These riots were a series of demonstrations by the LGBTQIA+ community in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. The significance of the Stonewall riots lies in their pivotal role in advancing LGBTQIA+ rights, both in the United States and around the world. Each year, Pride Month serves as a reminder of the progress made since this time in history, whilst also acknowledging that there is still work to be done to achieve equality and diversity in all aspects of society, including the workplace.
Pride was born out of a struggle and certainly didn’t start out as a celebration. However, these days, Pride month symbolises the promotion of self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s an important time of year to recognise as it offers the opportunity to celebrate and accept our innate diversity both in society and the workplace. Embracing this diversity helps to create a supportive environment that promotes equality for all.
Wear the Rainbow - The rainbow flag, initially created by American artist Gilbert Baker, has become an iconic symbol of Pride. It represents the harmonious beauty that arises from the unity of diverse individuals, so wear it loud and proud! Whether it’s a subtle rainbow sock, or you come to work fully decked out in all the colours, now is your time to shine!
Office Decorations - No need to wait until Christmas time to hang decorations, the time is now! Grab the glitter, the rainbow streamers, and the sequins, and give your office its very own glow-up! You could run an office competition as to who can decorate their desk the best, and if you’re working in a remote/hybrid environment you could get everyone to use Pride-themed virtual backgrounds!
Host Pride-themed Team-Building Event
Drag and Draw - Hosted by your very own Superhero Wonder Mama, you’ll be taken through an art masterclass like never before! Come into the art studio, or she’ll come to you, to deliver 2 hours of creativity, with a cheeky drink or two in hand!
Drag King & Drag Queen - Hire a fabulous Drag King or Drag Queen to give you the most exciting of Drag shows to liven up your lunch room! You could also have your chosen King or Queen come to judge your office decoration or Rainbow workwear competition!
The Loud and Proud Game - Experience the exuberance of Pride through our exhilarating game show spectacular! This thrilling 60-minute virtual session puts your trivia skills and LGBTQIA+ awareness to the ultimate test as you dive into a dazzling array of questions and challenges.
Drag Trivia / Drag Bingo - Great for teams that are working from home or in a hybrid environment, as you can have your team come together virtually for a night of Bingo or Trivia, the choice is yours! The twist is that it’s hosted by an eccentric and elegant queen who will have you in stitches laughing all night! Plus, to top it off she’ll finish with an ever entertaining Drag Show.
Share the love on socials - Whatever you may be getting up to within your office, be sure to capture the moment and share the love on socials. This could be as simple as showing your support with a Pride-themed social media post or sharing your decorations, or movie night event online.
Attend a live or virtual Pride Parade - What better way to celebrate and unite together as one than by attending a Pride Parade! Dress in rainbow or add in some rainbow make-up and come together in unity whether it’s at a local community event or you tune in virtually!
Create a Pride Playlist - Create a Spotify playlist with all your team’s favourite Pride and LGBTQIA+ Anthems, and let it play out in your office for the month of June! If you’ve got a quieter work environment, maybe you choose a specific time of day you choose to put the tunes on, or you create a playlist for everyone to listen to on their commute to and from work. Send out a message to all your team to contribute their favourite tracks so it’s a real collaborative effort from the office.
Here are a few tunes to get you started!
Host a Book club - A great way to educate and expand your horizons within your team is to host a month-long book club. Choose a list of books that focus on and are written by the LGBTQIA+ community. Once everyone has read their chosen book, it’s time to come together and share your thoughts and learnings in a group discussion (either virtually or in person).
A few book suggestions are below:
Pride Movie Night - If reading isn’t up everyone’s alley, maybe hosting a Pride Movie Night could be a great idea! Take the opportunity to transform the boardroom into a movie theatre, then take a long lunch or pick a night after work for the special screening. On the flip side, you could always watch the movie from the comfort of your own home and then host a debrief session to discuss everyone’s thoughts.
Here are some of the most well-renowned LGBTQIA+ to choose from:
Volunteer or Donate to Charity - Anytime is a good time to support a good cause, and for the month of June why not find a local LGBTQIA+ charity. You could do this by raising money in the office with a dress-up competition, bake sale, or a fun run. Alternatively, you could have a team-building day out of the office and volunteer at a local LGBTQIA+ charity. Visit the Pride Foundation website to find out more information about LGBTQIA+ charities.
LGBTQIA+ Education - We touched on the book club and movies as a way of educating yourself on LGBTQIA+ themes, however hosting an internal education session is a purpose-driven way to upskill your knowledge further. Bringing in a guest speaker to discuss certain topics or themes, such as how you can be an inclusive ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, can be invaluable to the team.
Share Pronouns - If team members are comfortable, sharing individual preferred pronouns can highlight the diversity you have in the workplace, as well as show potential LGBTQIA+ employees and clients that you are a supportive and welcoming workplace. This could be as simple as updating your email signature, your Zoom handle, or your LinkedIn profile name.
Whilst Pride month looks like a month-long celebration these days, we cannot forget where it started and the progress that still needs to be made. Often these seemingly small things you and your team can do can have a big impact on the wider community. So find something that resonates with your team and ensure that you take some time in June to show your support for diversity and celebrate individuality inclusively.
Emily has a background in corporate sales and recruitment. Experience, that allows her to understand businesses and people, and to create compelling copy and content that showcases just that.
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