“People cling to these firm ideas (about gender) because it makes people feel safe. But if we could just celebrate all the wonderful complexities of people, the world would be such a better place.” – Elliot Page
As June comes to an end, we would like to share the history behind Pride Month. At Spectrum, we are proud to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride and every day.
According to the Library of Congress, Pride Month recognizes the impact that the community has had on U.S. History. President Bill Clinton first proclaimed it as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month on June 11, 1999, with President Barack Obama declaring it Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month on June 1, 2009.
Pride Month is dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ+ voices, celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and the support of LGBTQ+ rights. The rainbow flag created by artist Gilbert Baker symbolizes LGBTQ+ pride, but did you know the six colors of the flag each have a meaning? (People)
- Red = Life
- Orange = Healing
- Yellow = Sunshine
- Green = Nature
- Blue = Harmony
- Purple = Spirit
In a new global survey, nearly 1 in 10 adults across 30 countries identify as LGBTQ+. In this NBC article, “Survey respondents in Generation Z (born after 1997) were two times as likely as millennials (born in 1981 to 1996) to identify as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, or asexual, and four times as likely as those in Generation X (1965 to 1980) or baby boomers (1948 to 1964). Like sexual identity, there are large — and growing — generation gaps. While 6% of Generation Z respondents identified as something other than exclusively male or only female, 3% of millennials reported the same, while only 1% of Generation X and boomers did.”
This article went on to discuss the transgender community further stating “Globally, 67% of respondents said transgender people confront a fair or great deal of discrimination, while 19% said they face little to no discrimination. And more than three quarters (76%) of those surveyed — representing a majority in each of the 30 countries surveyed — said transgender people should be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and businesses such as restaurants and stores.”
A 2018 survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation found that 46% of LGBTQ+ workers reported being closeted at work and 20% reported searching for a different job because their workplace was unwelcoming to LGBTQ+ individuals. These findings show that there’s still a long way to go before the standard American workplace is fully inclusive for LGBTQ+ employees. Until then, organizations risk losing talented people.
So, how can we support the LGBTQ+ community both inside and outside the work force? In this HBR article they detail three components to be a good ally.
- Be accepting: Acceptance and validation are key to being an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Take action: Educate yourself on the issues impacting LGBTQ+ individuals, whether in the workplace or in your broader community. Here are a few resources to consider:
- Have humility: Listen more, speak less. Keep the focus off yourself in LGBTQ+ discussions and truly understand the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.
Progress has been made since Pride Month was recognized in 1999, but there is still work to be done. Being inclusive isn’t something you can check off the list and move on. It’s an ongoing process learning and supporting those around you who experience exclusion in our world.
Here are resources we found helpful on the topic: