How you can better support the LGBTQIA+ people on your team 

Sometimes we get lost in the abstract of what it means to have Pride, especially at work…but for me Pride is about eternally fighting to have very basic requirements met. 

This includes the things that are tables stakes for non-marginalized groups: the ability to get food, water, housing, employment, without discrimination. No one has the agency “to bring their authentic self to work “if they’re hungry, or scared, or don’t have somewhere safe to sleep.

Pride is also extremely intersectional. Bricks were thrown at Stonewall because queer and trans people, especially of trans women of color, were being systematically stripped of their rights. We have rights and freedoms today because the most marginalized among us fought for them tooth and nail. Pride Month is first and foremost a recognition of that struggle.

If you are a leader wondering how you can better support the LGBTQIA+ people on your team, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Ensure pay and promotion equity: 
    Don’t allow marginalized groups to be low-balled during hiring or passed over for promotions due to bias.
  2. Offer leadership opportunities other than DEI:
    Not every person from a marginalized group wants to lead DEI efforts. Creating opportunities outside of that space is a great way to combat tokenization through representation.
  3. Put your money where your mouth is: 
    Sponsoring Pride events and printing rainbow merchandise is great, but the best way to support is to make donations to charitable organizations that are actively doing the life-saving policy and intervention work in the LGBTQIA+ community.
  4. Show solidarity at times other than Pride: 
    If LGBTQIA+ initiatives only happen in June, they are performative. Support efforts throughout the year and use June as a time to celebrate progress and recognize the work yet to be done.
  5. Reflect on your own privilege: 
    Take time to think about what it would be like to be denied basic freedoms, and how that would impact you and your family. Listen to the lived experiences of the people you’re trying to empathize with so you can learn how to be a better ally.
About the author(s)
Tyler Mullins

creates better employee experiences by putting people at the center of product and service strategy with collaborative research and design. From hire to retire, he’s led teams and initiatives to define outcomes and deliver solutions across journeys in the employee lifecycle that empower businesses to strategically achieve their objectives in an increasingly digital and distributed future of work.

In the past, he’s used his skills across industries, including social media and global communications at Twitter, healthcare at Humana, and regional and national nonprofits in affordable housing, as well as served two terms in AmeriCorps. Born and raised in rural Appalachia, Tyler attended Morehead State University, an affordable regional college surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest, where he studied multimedia communications and social and political philosophy.

He now lives in Louisville with his partner, Zach, and their two corgis, Dino and Astro. Outside of work, you’ll usually find him gardening, baking, painting, or gaming with friends.

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