Five Intersections – LGBTQ Pride Month and Black Lives Matter

Every year since the Stonewall Rebellion in Greenwich Village, New York City in late June, 1969, June has been traditionally observed initially as Gay Pride Month, and now LGBTQ Pride Month. But this year, all in person June celebrations and parades have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now everything has been overshadowed (and rightfully so) by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. His murder combined with the additional recent unaddressed murders of Breonna Taylor (Louisville, Kentucky) and Ahmaud Arbery (South Georgia) has now led to ongoing mass demonstrations around the world against racism and police brutality.

So I do feel it is important for the LGBTQ+ communities to pause and recognize the intersections between racism and “The Black Lives” matter movement with LGBTQ Pride and ongoing battle for LGBTQ equality. Here are 5 intersections:

1) Built upon the base. Though June is LGBTQ Pride Month, we all must place the highest priority on the most recent events around the murder of George Floyd, and the need for community and national engagement with the never-ending work that must continue around addressing systemic racism (see my earlier blog on personal and systemic racism). LGBTQ+ people and allies must be involved and take action around racism, recognizing that much of LGBTQ+ equity progress has been built upon the foundations of racial equity work. Let us never forget and be always grateful of the path Black Americans and racial justice activists paved for LGBTQ+ equity.

Bayard Rustin was the main organizer of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington on leading gay rights advocate in the 1970s and 1980s.

2) Intersectionality. Everyone is comprised of a complex mix of their own unique diversity attributes, and we really cannot simply separate one attribute of our diversity and consider it in isolation of our full selves. We have to consider our own race, gender, abilities, etc. as we consider our queer identities.

3) Oppression and issues. Many of the same issues impacting communities of color also impact LGBTQ communities. These include issues of healthcare discrepancies, issues around education, economic development and employment, etc.

4) The importance of allies. Racism is an issue that the white majority must own and take strong action to fix. The issues around racism cannot be laid at the feet of black people to fix; it is the white majority in power that built and controls the mechanisms that perpetrate systemic racism. In the same way, the LGBTQ community must rely and value the work of our straight and cisgender allies who advocate for our equality. Furthermore, many Black organizations, like the NAACP, have been strong allies to the LGBTQ community and include our issues prominently in their work. Link to archive of the NAACP’s LGBTQ equality work.

5) Commons foes. Communities of color and LGBTQ communities must realize that we do face commons foes; whether it be well-intentioned people who may not know how to engage us in the best way, or mean-spirited bigots who want to hold on to their power and oppress others. Marginalized communities must unite to engage and build allies while building larger coalitions to fight discrimination and oppression.

May we all work together to build a stronger nation and stronger world where we all leverage our diversity for the common good of all.

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Blog author Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBT diversity strategy and training,  Unconscious Bias and Employee Resource Groups.  Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me for your diversity speaking or training needs, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]

A 2019 Pride in the Triangle Initiative – LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit

NOTE: Even though we are “Pride in the Triangle” in North Carolina, corporate sponsorship is welcomed for anywhere and you can still come to our area for the two-day “trainer of trainers.”

Consider starting off the New Year supporting a project coordinated by Pride in the Triangle, a collaboration of Triangle, NC area LGBTQ+ employees and allies from various corporations coming together to share best practices, work together on LGBTQ+ issues in our corporations and in North Carolina, and network with other out employees and allies.

Throughout 2018, the group met to agree on requirements and contents for a Workplace Equity Toolkit, which will be open source and available for any company to use for workforce training, and includes an inter-company training of trainers (TOT). I, along with consultant and trainer Katherine Turner of Global Citizen, LLC, have been brought on board as professional diversity training course developers and trainers to now professionally develop this comprehensive toolkit.

Pride in the Triangle is striving to raise the remaining funds (we already have our first confirmed 2-3 corporate contributors) in the next few months, so that Katherine and I can develop the toolkit and hold the training of trainers in the early Spring, enabling corporations to use the toolkit for LGBTQ Pride Month this upcoming June.

The goal of the training is to create a more equitable and inclusive work environment for LGBTQ+ colleagues by:
• Articulating the business rationale for equity and inclusion in the workplace
• Explaining LGBTQ+ related terminology, concepts, misconceptions and history
• Expressing empathy for LGBTQ+ colleagues and concerns
• Demonstrating their ability to comfortably initiate constructive conversations about LGBTQ+ colleagues and concerns
• Making a commitment to take action to promote equity and inclusion for LGBTQ+ colleagues.

Katherine Turner (left) of Global Citizen, LLC and myself from Total Engagement Consulting have been engaged to develop the toolkit.

These contents of the toolkit provide a totally turn key solution to organize and hold the sessions:
• Facilitator’s agenda that includes facilitation instructions and adaptation guidance for different sectors, timeframes and audience familiarity with the topic.
• PowerPoint slides with presentation notes.
• Participant booklet with handout, worksheets and other resource materials
• Two sample agendas for different time frames
• Sample evaluation form
• Certificate of participation template
• Leadership engagement tips
• Boilerplate email invitation to the training session

Various sponsorship levels ranging from $1,000 to over $10,000 include recognition benefits, with 1-3 guaranteed seats in the 2 day Training of Trainer sessions for the larger contributors.

Please contact me soon (email [email protected] or office number 919-787-7315) for more information and to discuss your organization’s possible participation.