By Claudia Carvell, Inclusion Manager
For those that don’t know me, I’m an Inclusion Manager at Co-op and the Chair of our LGBTQ+ Colleague Network: Respect. I’m also a lesbian, gender-fluid and my pronouns are she/they.
Pride Month is focused on celebrating LGBTQ+ communities in all that we share, our diversity, and for all we’ve been through and achieved – past, present and future. Pride is also about fighting back against the social stigma that still exists against lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, trans, non-binary, queer, questioning and others who identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.
The official Pride month is in June because it marks the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots – the protests, kicked off by Black and Brown Trans Women in New York City in resistance to the ongoing harassment by police.
From then, Stonewall became a symbol of resistance against anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, against shame and stigma, and in honour of those who have made themselves visible to fight for our human rights. That’s why Pride is often centred around LGBTQ+ communities and allies – showing up, colourful and loud, dancing through the streets and affirming our communities!
Over the years Pride events have also served as demonstrations for legal rights, such as same-gender marriage and to show solidarity with countries where being LGBTQ+ is still illegal, or where LGBTQ+ human rights are being reversed, such as the United States and Russia – and for trans people too, possibly in the UK.
Whilst Pride month is a celebration, not all LGBTQ+ people feel visible and represented there, so we all still have work to do to ensure that nobody is left behind.
Respect’s 2021 priorities:
- becoming more representative of our diverse LGBTQ+ communities, with a particular focus on trans and non-binary colleagues, disabled LGBTQ+ colleagues and LGBTQ+ Black, Asian and other colleagues from minoritised ethnic backgrounds
- updating our Co-op’s policies to ensure they are inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and relationships
- helping to ensure that trans and non-binary colleagues feel safe and affirmed at Co-op
- increasing visibility by celebrating key dates such as Pride, International Non-binary people’s day, Bi Visibility Day and Trans Visibility Week
You don’t have to identify as LGBTQ+ to celebrate Pride and if you want to learn more and get involved, we have resources, events and discussions you can take part in this month – find out more here in our Pride engagement pack.
If you want to learn more about inclusion at our co-op Sign-up to our inclusion mailing list here or email firstname.lastname@example.org You can also join our LGBTQ+ Respect colleague network by emailing RespectLGBT@coop.co.uk.