My LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month 2017 Blog 1 of 2! Actually Nine!

In June 2016, President Obama declared the Stonewall Inn, where the late June 1969 riot against police brutality of LGBT people took place, the USA’s first LGBT National Historic Monument. (Photo from CNN)

New resource from added for 2022 “Ways to Support and Celebrate Pride Month.”

This year, I will kick off LGBT pride month by providing short summaries and links to nine blogs I wrote since last year’s Pride that have LGBT diversity content. LGBT Pride should be every month, all year!

And be watching for my 2017 LGBT Pride Month Blog 2 later in June when I will be reviewing a new book written by a leading LGBT consultant and writer being released within the next week or two!

1) June, 2016 – On the last day of LGBT Pride Month 2016, I published a blog about the great privilege of being able to attend the US Department of Labor’s LGBT Pride Month event with US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and US Senator Tammy Baldwin in Washington DC on June 28th!

2) September, 2016 – I published my third blog in a 3-part series of Muslim diversity in the US – “The Intersection of Islam and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.)” It includes lots of interesting links.

3) September, 2016 – “The Nightmare Continues – Five Impacts of North Carolina’s Infamous HB2.” As a diversity consultant working with many businesses and organizations across North Carolina, I share two broad economic / business impacts and three individual / personal focused impacts of this horrible state law. (since partially repealed)

4) October, 2016 – I was very pleased that our annual North Carolina Society of HR Management Conference scheduled young, dynamic transgender author and activist Janet Mock as this year’s kickoff keynote speaker. Such an important topic in today’s corporate world – “A superb transgender awareness keynote from Janet Mock.”

5) November, 2016 – I published a Transgender Day of Remembrance Guest Blog, a reflection on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, written by my new staff member transgender activist and speaker Elaine Martin. This very somber and thoughtful piece reflects on a segment of our population who disproportionately lose their lives to violence.

6) January, 2017 – “Yes! Virginia is for all lovers (and all employees and businesses)” is about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s first executive order as a new governor promoting LGBT equality.

The São Paulo, Brazil LGBT Pride Parade is now perhaps the largest in the entire world. (Photo from Wikipedia)

7) January, 2017 – In this time when many people in industry consider millennials as entitled, spoiled and unwilling to work hard, I published this interview with an outstanding millennial community leader. Out and proud gay man Jackson Cooper is believed to be the youngest executive director in the country leading a performing arts organization in the US.

8) February, 2017 – In my latest blog about North Carolina’s infamous anti-LGBT HB2 law, I share two recent business perspectives: from a season senior executive and from a recent college graduate.

9) April, 2017 – On April 6th, I attended a breakfast meeting of business leaders with the new North Carolina Governor as the speaker. In “Power Breakfast with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – Part 1 of 2” I summarize the general comments of Governor Cooper around diversity, education, health, economic development, and more. And in “Power Breakfast with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – Part 2 of 2” I provide the details of Governor Cooper’s comments about HB2, diversity, and support for LGBT citizens.

I wish all my readers a Happy LGBT Pride Month and hope you find these blogs useful and perhaps even inspirational.

The Intersection of Islam and LGBT

One of the largest gay pride parades in a predominantly Muslim country is in Turkey.         (Photo credit OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the largest gay pride parades in a predominantly Muslim country is in Turkey. (Photo credit OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

This blog is loaded with lots of links – please do explore them!

This is my third and final segment of my blog series on Muslim diversity. In June I published “Islamophobia – a growing US diversity issue,” where I provided some background and issues with Islam in America. Then in late July, I published “Workforce Diversity – Islam (Muslims) in the workplace,” where I discussed three particular items to consider about supporting Muslims in our workplaces. And since I am a diversity consultant conversant in all areas of diversity, but with a deep expertise in LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender), I always like to include a little more information about LGBT issues within various diversity discussions.

Three main points:

1) LGBT people exist within the Muslim religion and culture just as they do in every single country and race on the face of the earth. Though there are still some people who believe sexual orientation is a choice, most medical professionals and now a majority of US citizens believe it is an inherent characteristic that people are born with and that pervades all aspects of humanity.

2) There is a diversity of views within the Islam community about LGBT and how it relates to that religion. In fact, there are many parallels with the issue of LGBT within the Christian faith.

a. There are some Muslims who believe that being LGBT is a grave sin and against the tenets of Islam

b. There are some Muslim LGBT people and allies who believe that the original and pure teaching of Mohammad does not condemn LGBT people but instead welcomes and respects all. One such ally is Ani Zonneveld of Muslims for Progressive Values (link)

Nemat Sadat in his CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent, who's based in London and airs her nightly global affairs show that's broadcasted to 200 million households and hotel rooms around the world.

Nemat Sadat in his CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, who’s based in London and airs her nightly global affairs show that’s broadcasted to 200 million households and hotel rooms around the world.

c. And there are some Muslim LGBT people who believe that Islam at its core is a violent and anti-gay religion that needs to be rejected by LGBT Muslims. One example is self-described “Afghan American ex-Muslim LGBTI Rights activist” Nemat Sadat (photo to the left.) (Link to his Linked in profile). See also his Huffington Post article, “When Will LGBT Equality Reach the Muslim World?”

3) There is a variety of resources and organizations addressing the issue of LGBT tolerance and acceptance in the Muslim community. My own pastor in Kenya (see information on my community work in Africa) received a grant from the Arcus Foundation to hold workshops with Muslim clerics on being more LGBT tolerant. In my own state, the North Carolina based Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (link) includes acceptance of LGBT people in its work. Additional national and global resources and supportive organizations can be found in this short post from “Islam and Homosexuality.”

Bottom line, I feel strongly that all kinds of organizations: companies, governments and yes, even religions need to strongly promote acceptance and inclusion of all diverse people and eliminate all forms of hate and ostracism.