June is Pride month. It marks the continuing importance of promoting the dignity, equality, and increased visibility of people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) community. Pride and self-affirmation are the focus, counteracting the ‘shame’ and ‘stigma’ that many individuals have previously felt or been made to feel.
Pride celebrations have taken many forms, including LGBT+ parades and marches, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and festivals. This year, due to the pandemic affecting us all, many traditional events have had to be cancelled or postponed, but the reasons behind it are still as important as ever.
Why is Pride important to Sense?
It’s important that LGBT+ individuals feel included, welcome and valued in the workplace. Through marking Pride Month, we have the opportunity to take positive action towards inclusion. There are many simple, easy steps that can be taken to drive inclusive cultures, and marking key dates can show a real commitment to making sure that everyone feels respected and included.
Sense is committed to embracing diversity in the workplace for LGBT+ people. Our Equality & Diversity Board (chaired by our CEO) meets to discuss approaches that can best enable every individual to have their diversity valued and respected. We also have an LGBT+ Network (chaired by Chris Fuggle). Please contact Chris if you would like to know more.
What does Pride mean to you?
Some members of the LGBT+ Network were asked to share their own personal take on what Pride means for them.
- “I think Pride means something different to everyone. Yes, I think it is a celebration for many people in the LGBT+ community but it is more than that – we can’t forget the importance of why it was necessary in the first place. Some of it is about celebrating for those who went before us and who didn’t have the opportunity to be safe and open at the time, and for those who still don’t feel safe even now.”
Chris Fuggle – Positive Behaviour Support Practice Advisor
- “I think working for a company where Pride is accepted and celebrated across the whole organisation is really something quite remarkable. While we can create an LBGT friendly environment in our personal life, it’s not always easy to do in the workplace. We spend so much time at work and to know that you’re in a space that supports who you are is really encouraging. Now more than ever recognising and celebrating diversity is so important!”
Barry Spicer – Operations Manager
- “For me, Pride is a celebration of diversity. It’s a time to remember the generations before us, who fought for the freedoms we have today. It’s a time to campaign for those LGBTQ people around the world who still don’t have equal rights. It’s a time to celebrate that “love is love.”
Joe Clayton – Sense Centre Manger
- “I think it’s mostly about rights and visibility for me. Feeling part of a community of LGBT+ people and allies is important, and Pride events are really good fun, but it’s also about political action: drawing attention to the huge inequality still faced by so many LGBT+ people across the world, and the work we need to do to create a more inclusive world.”
Helen Fleming – Head of High Value Relationships, Fundraising
- “Pride for me is a time where I celebrate the connections I’ve made being my whole authentic self. I’ve created a family and I’m lucky there’s also some of my relatives within this family I get to share pride with. We are aware of the struggles that have gone before to get to the point we are at and ensure we are open to the people who are still struggling – we attend the parades as a means to celebrate these groups such as Black Pride, Muslim Pride and the Trans groups and support where possible; it’s important that we do not stop with the whole movement until everyone is accepted; and the structures that stop this acceptance are dismantled. I’m lucky to have been present to every pride in my home city (Birmingham) and feel they really celebrate the journey we are on.”
Jay Harper – Registered Manager, Accommodation Services
Advice and Support for the LGBT+ community
GOV.UK: This guidance provides information and links to services and guidance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.