Living a Life of Pride
By Lucy Delgado, Senior Associate, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
June 30, 2022 · 3 min read
June honors Pride Month as a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) community. For me, Pride Month is a time to celebrate and to honor the fullness of my Queer identity and how it adds more color to who I already am. I show up every day to live a life of Pride knowing that I get to walk on a rainbow road paved for me by Queer and Trans ancestors that came before me, like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, Trans Women of Color activists who led the Stonewall Riots, which ignited the modern LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement (though there had been courageous work before). In Marsha’s words, “No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.” These words guide my life of Pride and my work in boldly pursuing a future that includes our community as part of the fabric, where all LGBTQIA+ people can live a life of pride—whatever that looks like for them.
Pride may seem dim this year, in light of the increasing murder of Trans Women, Anti-Trans legislation, the rolling back of abortion rights, and the Don’t Say Gay Bill, which erases LGBTQIA+ existence from curriculums. For me, it is a motivator to continue to push the work forward to counter the hate and discrimination. It is an opportunity to declare that despite all of this, we will not be diminished in working toward greater LGBTQIA+ equity and inclusion. Our work continues in ensuring that Pride is not just a month—but a feeling and action that can be lived out: from attending Pride parades to advocating for my community with legislators, and simply continuing to hold my partner’s hand publicly while walking our dog. It is a life of Pride centered in honoring my community and knowing I come from a rich legacy, that I tap into to drive my Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work.
As this month comes to a close, I wanted to share some ways to foster inclusive working environments for your colleagues, so they may feel comfortable living their life of Pride at work.
Consider using partner or loved one to refer to your significant other, since terms such as boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband reinforce heteronormative assumptions (that being straight is the norm).
Share pronouns as a practice to honor how employees self-identify and make space for others to share theirs. Making these and other shifts to communicate more inclusively signals you have thought about how to welcome people in your language use.
Ensure policies are created with the LGBTQIA+ community in mind and the expansive ways that families are constructed. For instance, offer parental and adoption leave in addition to maternity leave.
Implement dress code policies that are not gendered, so people can express themselves in ways that are true to themselves.
Other policies and practices that lead to greater inclusion include processes for name changes in company databases, insurance coverage for partners, and trans-affirming care.
Year-Round LGBTQIA+ Initiatives
Remember that while Pride is celebrated in June, LGBTQIA+ employees exist year-round and can be celebrated in intersectional ways, such as highlighting how various issues impact LGBTQIA+ communities. For example, if offering a financial literacy session, you could ensure it includes LGBTQIA+ financial planning perspectives, as well. It is intentional thought and action that will ultimately make LGBTQIA+ employees feel seen in the workplace.