Recognizing Pride Month

June 28, 2022
Inside HR
Diversity and Inclusion
Read time: 2 mins

June is Pride Month. For the LGBTQ+ community, Pride Month promotes dignity, equal rights, and self-affirmation and is a way of increasing society’s awareness of the issues they face.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community come from all walks of life and include noted mathematicians, scientists, artists, authors, astronauts, politicians, leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs, designers, investors, executives, entertainers, athletes, and those perhaps not so famous, but nonetheless noted among their family and friends-the list is endless. Historians include Alexander the Great, Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron, Gertrude Stein, Walt Whitman, and Eleanor Roosevelt as individuals who would be part of the LGTBQ+ community if living in current times.

The fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. was initiated in 1924 by Henry Gerber. Gerber was a German immigrant, living in Chicago, who founded the Society for Human Rights, which is the first documented gay rights organization in the country. Police raids caused the group to disband in 1925, stagnating the gay rights movement for several decades. The event that is often thought to be the turning point for the gay right movement took place in New York in June 1969, when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. The raid and the police handling of bar patrons sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents, resulting in six days of protests and violence. Although the Stonewall Riots, as they are often referred to, didn’t start the movement, they did seem to serve as a catalyst for greater activism. One year later, on the anniversary of the riots, thousands of people marched in the streets of Manhattan from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park-the first Pride Parade. This event has grown from a one-day event to a month-long celebration for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, to recognize their accomplishments and their struggles in maintaining their equality in the world.

As companies engage in DEI planning and initiatives, it is key that all groups are represented. The acronym LGBTQ+ has been extended to encompass a more diverse group, most recently shown as LGBTQIA2s+, indicating the continued focus on inclusion for all. Ensuring a workplace that is welcoming, supportive, and safe for all people and recognizes the unique talents of each individual helps to create an environment that enables employees to do their best.

Has your company considered what the I in DEI means to employees? Most commonly, it means INCLUSION, but it could also help promote awareness of INDIVIDUALS, INEQUITY, and understanding the INTERSECTION of everyone’s experiences.