You’re looking to make your workplace more inclusive for your LGBTQ+ teammates, but you may be unsure how to go about it. Why not start by celebrating Pride Month at work?
We have a few ideas here that you can implement with your team.
Why We Celebrate Pride Month
We celebrate Pride Month to amplify LGBTQ+ voices and support the community’s rights, filling the month of June with parades, peaceful protests, and performances all over the country. It’s not just a celebration of what the community has achieved, celebrating identity, gender, and sexuality. It’s also a fight for equal rights and acceptance.
Pride Month is celebrated in June after the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969. On that day, police raided The Stonewall Inn in New York City’s West Village where most of the customers were members of the gay and lesbian community. At the time, there was rampant discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, and raids on establishments catering to this crowd occurred frequently. The patrons of The Stonewall fought back, starting the riots that lasted for days.
In 2015, New York declared The Stonewall Inn a historical landmark. It was then named a national monument in 2016.¹
Ways to Celebrate Pride Month in the Workplace
Celebrating Pride Month can be done by your team in person or virtually. Agree on a comfortable setup and then gather your Pride Month ideas from our list here. Make sure to organize activities that all willing participants can enjoy and learn from.
1. Pride Posting on Social Media
Harness the power of social media and its community when celebrating Pride Month. Create Pride-themed social media templates for your posts to show that your company is in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
For content, share the stories of your LGBTQ+ employees or ask them about the stories of their loved ones who are part of the community. Ask them what makes them proud of themselves or their peers. Encourage your followers to share their stories in the comments as well.
Posting on SocMed is also a great way to share your efforts to create an inclusive community within your organization.
2. Handmade Greetings, Cards, and Letters
Sincerely written letters can make any person feel appreciated and encouraged. Be personal and meaningful in your efforts by sending out creative cards or notes to members of the LGBTQ+ community. For this letter-writing activity, let your colleagues identify a member of the community that they cherish or admire. The next step is to let them create their colorful postcards or letters and send them out to their chosen person.
Employees can choose their colleagues, friends, family members, or even an activist they look up to.
3. Creative Merchandise Contest
Encouraging your teammates to be more creative during Pride Month can help them be more familiar with the symbols and colors that represent the LGBTQ+ community. You can do this through a creative merchandise contest.
In your organized contest, you can have individuals or groups participate. You can create rainbow bracelets from colorful beads, paint abstract pieces with acrylic or watercolor, or hand-paint Pride t-shirts. You can also choose to decorate bowls or create wall hangings.
Go beyond using rainbow colors. Encourage the contest participants to use various Pride themes or symbols in creating their pieces.
4. Supporting LGBTQ+-owned Businesses
This Pride Month, another thing you can do is support LGBTQ+-owned businesses. This can help you make the business owners prouder of their achievements and broadens your team’s awareness of which businesses can be supported.
You can offer workers coupons that they can redeem at your chosen establishment. You can also order meals, drinks, or desserts that you can share with everyone else at work. If you know someone and have the budget, invite a well-known LGBTQ+ chef to prepare meals for the team. You can also buy art pieces from local LGBTQ+ artists and give them away to your colleagues.
5. Learning at Lunch
You can foster team bonding and raise awareness simply by gathering during lunchtime. Plan a day when all your teammates can attend the activity as an exercise for team building. It would be best to gather in a comfortable large space such as outdoors for a picnic, barbeque, or potluck. If you’re working remotely, you can also organize a video call instead and everyone can bring their food in front of their computers or devices.
While your team is sharing a good meal, have a dedicated speaker talk in front of everyone. They could be part of your workforce, orsomeone you invitedd from outside the company.
Your team can learn about the correct use of pronouns, understand the importance of gender-neutral language, unconscious biases they can avoid, and questions they shouldn’t ask the LGBTQ+ community.
6. Visiting LGBTQ+ Landmarks and Historic Sites
One of the best activities you can do for LGBTQ+ Pride Month is to visit the significant places that symbolized the community’s fight for equality. This out-of-the-office activity for your team can help them understand the community’s roots and history better. Make sure to plan the site visit on a workday so everyone can attend.
Some of the places you can visit, if you are anywhere near them, are the Stonewall National Monument, National AIDS Memorial Grove, the Women’s Liberation Center, or Earl Hall. You can also research what historic LGBTQ+ sites are near your workplace.
Encourage your colleagues to take photos and to have significant conversations with your tour guides to learn more about the history of the places you will visit.
7. Training in Diversity
To improve your company culture, diversity training is the best thing you can do. This training program can certainly educate workers about gender stereotypes and how to address them.
Since this will be a very important activity, make sure to organize the activity at a time when everyone is available. Hire an LGBTQ+ expert to lead the program and train the team about workplace inclusion. Educational transgender training can also help your teammates learn about using the right pronouns and about transgender rights in the workplace.
Make sure that the host is available for a Q&A at the end of the event to address any unanswered uncertainties from the team.
8. Donation to Charity
Choose an LGBTQ+ cause that you can donate to. Start by looking up which organizations are gathering donations for the community. An example is donating to groups that help out LGBTQ+ people who are homeless or diagnosed with mental health conditions.
You can also donate to organizations that help raise awareness against discrimination toward sexual orientation. This can help your company fulfill its objectives in diversity and inclusion. Supporting LGBTQ+ causes will also be significant in reminding your colleagues about the importance of corporate values.
Celebrate Pride and Progress
Pride Month is a celebration of the ongoing progress of fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. It also acknowledges the work that we still need to do as a society. This month and beyond it, let’s take every opportunity to show support, promote inclusivity, and raise awareness so that every individual will be accepted for who they are, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
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1 Wurzburger, Andrea. “Everything You Need to Know About Pride Month.” People, 1 Jun. 2022, people.com/human-interest/pride-month-explained-pride-month-facts/. Accessed Jun 1, 2023.