It’s not only Pride month when we should be proud…
Pride month shines a spotlight on LGBTQ+ culture and honours the history of the community. But it’s not just June when we can come together to celebrate – and you don’t have to identify as LGBTQ+ yourself to become an ally and get involved.
Here are five great ways you can show your support for your colleagues and the community this month – and beyond.
1. Attend community events
There are hundreds of LGBTQ+ events taking place throughout the year. Eventbrite and Pride in London are a good place to start for what’s on in your area – from drag brunch to Instagram Live Q&As – there’s something for everyone.
It’s not only in-person events; there are important dates in the calendar designed to increase visibility. Show your support on social media during International Transgender Day of Visibility, Bi Visibility Day and National Coming Out Day. Increasing visibility in the LGBTQ+ community helps to create a sense of belonging and openness, which can be a welcome sight for people to see – especially if they’ve ever faced discrimination.
2. Support a LGBTQ+ charity
Giving back is a great way to get involved. That could be through making a donation, if you’re able to. But you don’t necessarily need to give cash; why not volunteer your time instead?
London Friend – a charity supporting the health and wellbeing of the capital’s LGBTQ+ community – is on the lookout for volunteers who can help with fundraising, provide counselling, and run their social and support groups.
During Pride, Reed.co.uk hosted a ‘Lunch & Learn’ with their Chief Executive Monty Moncrieff to learn more about the life-changing work they deliver and how we can help. We also hosted a bake-off to raise funds for the charity – showcasing rainbow desserts worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake. We ate all the cake, but you can still donate and have your money DOUBLED courtesy of the Big Give (no baking necessary).
Think you can lend a sympathetic ear? Switchboard runs a hotline support service for LGBTQ+ people – and they’re always on the lookout for listening volunteers.
3. Learn about the community
Did you know ‘coming out’ doesn’t just happen once? It’s something that some LGBTQ+ people may choose to do when they start a new job, or meet new people. We’ve been myth-busting common misconceptions all month at Reed.co.uk. As well as asking our staff to tell us about their community icons and allies.
If you’d like to hear about some of the challenges LGBTQ+ people face, or simply become a better ally – there’s a whole host of resources out there to help. Brush up on terminology to have better-informed conversations, or discover the Top 100 employers for LGBTQ+ people.
4. Become an ally
Research by Deloitte revealed 82% of LGBTQ+ people believe that allyship helps them to be out at work. So becoming an ally is probably one of the most impactful ways to support individuals in the workplace.
Diversity and inclusion groups are a great way to provide people with a safe space to support each other and raise issues that may affect them at work. Most of our activities at Reed.co.uk are proposed through our LGBTQ+ inclusion group – consisting of community members and allies – who meet throughout the year to ensure all LGBTQ+ co-members are included, heard and valued when it comes to issues in the workplace.
If you don’t have inclusion groups at work you could suggest starting one, or networking groups that allow people a chance to connect and discuss the issues impacting them.
5. Show your support at work
Besides bearing the rainbow flag, many companies are running LGBTQ+ workplace initiatives during pride – or as part of their diversity and inclusion offerings. The sorts of things on offer range from team-building events to talks from influential people in the community.
Get in touch with your HR team to find out what your organisation has planned. Or, if there’s nothing on the calendar, suggest something yourself (party, anyone?)
Struggling for ideas? Lunch & Learns, Pride bingo, and bake-offs have been a big hit with our co-members in recent years.
At Reed.co.uk, we want everyone to Love Mondays. And that means being able to come to work as your true self. Every. Single. Day.
If you have any suggestions to add to this article, please comment below, or message us on Twitter @reedcouk.
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