When is Pride Month? How did it begin?
Pride is a month-long celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community's history, culture, and achievements. Celebrated for over five decades, it is observed in June in many countries, including the United States, to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising from June 28, 1969.
A pivotal moment in American History, the uprising occurred at the Stonewall Inn in New York City's Greenwich Village, giving birth to a justice movement for LGBTQIA+ rights. Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender woman and gay rights activist, led this movement in Stonewall along with Sylvia Rivera.
Brenda Howard, the fearless bisexual rights activist widely regarded as the 'Mother of Pride,' made history in 1970 by organizing Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, known today as the New York City Pride March. This iconic event, held just one year after the historic Stonewall Uprising, has inspired countless similar marches across the globe.
The New York City Pride Month 2023 theme, 'Strength in Solidarity,' is a powerful reminder of the collective strength, resilience, and unity that underpins the global Pride movement. The celebration of Pride Month worldwide shows that the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights is universal, and there is still much work to be done to ensure equality and inclusion for all.
Why is it Important to Celebrate Pride Month?
Pride Month celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and the fundamental belief that their rights are human rights. It is an opportunity to showcase solidarity and demonstrate our commitment to equality, inclusion, and acceptance.
Pride is a reminder of the boundless nature of love, and everyone’s right to love and be loved, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It's a time to honor diversity, raise consciousness, and promote inclusivity in our communities.
At work, Pride involves championing the values of respect, acceptance, and belonging. As allies, we have the power to make a difference by engaging in advocacy and showing our support in countless ways.
How to acknowledge and support Pride Month at work
Acknowledging and recognizing Pride Month at work is crucial for creating a supportive work environment for all employees. It helps foster a sense of belonging and drives representation and diversity. Leverage these 3 recommendations this Pride Month to establish a supportive work culture for diverse talent:
- Use inclusive language: Encourage gender-inclusive language and pronoun usage such as "they/them." Ask employees to share their preferred names and pronouns and use them across communication channels.
- Encourage allyship: Provide mentorship and training to educate employees on the experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community. This can include discussions on unconscious bias, privilege, and how to be an effective ally.
- Promote LGBTQIA+ visibility: Showcase LGBTQIA+ representation and diversity in marketing collaterals, company events, and digital media communications.
Building an inclusive and equitable work culture for LGBTQIA+ employees is crucial for promoting a sense of belonging. This leads to a more engaged, satisfied, and committed workforce and better business outcomes.
How to celebrate Pride Month at work: 10 ways to engage employees virtually and in-person
Whether your organization is celebrating Pride Month virtually or in person, there are many ways to promote awareness and create a positive impact. Let’s explore ways to celebrate Pride Month at work and create an inclusive and supportive work environment.
- Attend a Pride Parade: Participate in a local Pride parade or event to show support and solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community. Organizations can also involve global employees by hosting a virtual pride parade, where employees, friends, and family dress up in vibrant colors and take to the streets to advocate and celebrate universal love. Organizations can live-stream the event to spotlight their campaign.
- In-office roundtable discussions: Host roundtable discussions where employees can share their experiences, insights, and knowledge of LGBTQ+ issues. These can be books everyone read, actionable insights to make products more inclusive, and more.
- Decorate your workspace: Add Pride-themed decor to your office or workspace, such as rainbow flags or posters, to create a positive and inclusive environment. Remember to explore beyond the typical banners and pins for Pride events. It's worth noting that there are flags representing a variety of identities beyond the rainbow flag, such as bisexuality, demisexuality, asexuality, transgender, intersex, and more.
- Host webinars and DEI workshops: Another effective way to celebrate Pride Month at work is by organizing informative webinars and workshops. Invite speakers from the LGBTQ+ community to discuss their experiences and increase employee awareness and sensitivity around the community’s challenges and explore ways in which employees can ally with the LGBTQ+ community.
- Support LGBTQIA+ professional development: Share insights and guidance for the professional development of the LGBTQ+ community this year. This can be done in person or employees can join virtually to participate. For more purposeful ideas, check out our Pride Month volunteering opportunities.
- Record audiobooks: Teams can celebrate Pride Month at work virtually by volunteering to record LGBTQ+ literature and other helpful materials in an audio format that can be easily accessed and enjoyed by those who experience difficulty reading printed materials. Additionally, organizations can consider partnering with a local library or other community organization to share these recordings with a wider audience.
- Pride art showcase: A fun and engaging employee activity, employees can unleash their inner creativity to create art that celebrates Pride Month. This could include paintings, poetry, songs, or even rainbow doodles. Organizations can host a virtual exhibition to showcase the work and foster belonging among employees.
- Pride-themed competitions: Host fun and inclusive competitions, such as costume contests, trivia games, or Pride-themed art contests, and bake sales where employees can bake cakes in Pride colors to create a positive and engaging workplace.
- Host a virtual fundraiser: Organizations can partner with LGBTQ+ charities across locations to enable global employees to give back to their local LGBTQ+ charity. To make the fundraiser a fun event, auction art created by employees or organize impactful volunteer events for participants.
- Switch your Zoom backgrounds: Encourage employees to switch their virtual backgrounds to Pride-themed ones to create a fun and inclusive environment.
These were some Pride Month activities and celebration ideas that will hopefully become a part of your campaign. However, it’s vital that these celebrations continue post-Pride to truly support and empower LGBTQIA+ employees and communities. Read on to find out how organizations can support employees and work with nonprofits to create a sustainable impact.
Supporting LGBTQIA+ communities when Pride Month ends
While celebrating Pride Month is crucial to building diverse, inclusive workplaces, organizations must continue these efforts to foster a safe and positive work environment for LGBTQIA+ employees and communities. Here are 5 ways organizations can promote and support Pride throughout the year:
- Encourage purposeful engagement through ERG events
By attending these events, employees can better understand the challenges LGBTQIA+ communities face and become advocates for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These events can also serve as a platform for meaningful relationship-building and improve collaboration and innovation in the workplace.
If your organization doesn’t have an employee resource group yet, this is the perfect time to start one. Read next: How to start an ERG.
- Recognize and celebrate other awareness days throughout the year
Leverage awareness days throughout the year like LGBTQIA+ History Month and Transgender Awareness Week to foster belonging. Organize employee volunteering activities, DEI workshops, and listening circles to help employees learn from diverse experiences.
Looking for a list of LGBTQIA+ campaigns that organizations can support throughout the year? Check out our LGBTQIA+ Pride & awareness calendar.
- Partner with LGBTQ+ organizations and charities
Organizations can partner with LGBTQ+ organizations and charities to show their support and make a positive impact in the community. This can include organizing volunteering events, fundraising, or creating donation programs. By actively supporting the LGBTQ+ community, companies can foster a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture.
- Equity in Hiring Practices
Revise job descriptions to remove gendered language and try to be inclusive of all gender identities. Train hiring managers and recruiters on implicit bias and inclusive hiring practices and offer gender-neutral pronouns and titles on job applications and in the workplace.
Inspiring Pride Campaign Ideas and Examples
Get inspired by unique and impactful examples of Pride campaigns around the world by organizations like Reebok, Play station, and more to power your own.
LGBTQIA+ nonprofits to partner with for Pride Month
These Goodera-vetted charities are working to achieve equality and justice for LGBTQIA+ communities through programs that advance the health and wellbeing, economic outcomes, and educational outcomes of the community. Some of them are the Association House of Chicago, HealthRight International, Switchboard, and the Society of True Light. Check out our blog on 21 LGBTQIA+ nonprofits to support in 2023 for the full list!
Celebrate Pride Month with Goodera
Explore our Pride Month volunteering opportunities to engage your employees purposefully this June and create inclusive workplaces.