The Importance of Celebrating Pride
By Michael Gunther, Founder of Collaboration Business Consulting and GGBA Board President
Every June we have the opportunity to come together, as a community, to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride to commemorate our community, advocate for our rights and to gain recognition of our individualism. I feel though that over the years, we have lost the core roots of the Pride celebrations. Pride began as a form of advocacy but seems to have evolved over time to a corporate marketing and celebration. Now, don’t get me wrong, the events surrounding Pride are always fun and energetic, but we shouldn’t lose the core elements of how it started.
My belief is that advocacy needs to be the foundation of our pride events. Over the years we have had to fight for healthcare needs during the AIDS crisis. We have had to fight to serve openly in the military. We have had to fight for marrying the people we love. We are continuing to fight for equal protections in employment, housing, and equally important, trans rights.
As business leaders, we must ensure that we are advocating for our community beyond Pride. We can instill non-discrimination polices at our offices along with requiring the purchase of goods & services from diverse suppliers. We can be out and open about who we are at work and home as well support our community through organizations like the Golden Business Association along with a plethora of non-profits supporting our community. Lastly, we can become advocates on policy with our elected officials on a local, state and federal level.
We know from the statistics that even though we are living in 2021, discrimination against our community still is an ongoing concern. Therefore, I implore you to evaluate how you can celebrate Pride not just this month but every month throughout the year. Through your active intention to celebrate who you are and advocating for our community, you can impact those in our community who aren’t comfortable being their authentic self or feeling alone in unwelcoming home/work environments.
Our community is stronger today than it was 60 years ago when the Stonewall riots began the LGBTQ+ movement but we have an obligation as business leaders to carry the Pride torch forward through our influence and activism. The rights and privileges we have today were a gift to us from those who, for decades, stood up and died for our rights and fought to be heard while driving for equal rights. Our resilience and strength as a community will be elevated if we all come together to celebrate where we have come and where we want to go. Consequently, I ask you to assess how you can become a champion of our community through advocacy so that future generations of all color and creeds will be better off than we are today while attending their future Pride events.