Jamie Love gives us tips on celebrating Pride in these extraordinary circumstances.
Pre Covid-19, the month of June was a banner for companies to celebrate what makes people unique. From marching on a high street with colleagues or dancing on a branded float, Pride month allowed companies to truly celebrate their company’s diversity publicly.
It made it quite easy for companies to show their pride. When collaborating with a Pride charity, the day is fully organised and often companies are told what is required to be involved.
With the onset of Covid-19, Prides globally started postponing their events in late March after the lockdown announcements but remained hopeful. However, when lockdown was extended thus affecting rescheduled dates, all Prides were cancelled.
This, for many Pride organisers, was a tough pill to swallow. The team at Pride Edinburgh for example thought at length how to best address their community. A heartfelt letter to the city was the best way forward, providing justification in a compassionate way.
During this time of distance, people will be even more excited about being ‘together’ and sharing a community experience with colleagues.
In a non-business sense, Pride is an extremely important day for many across the globe. One must truly understand the meaning of Pride to fully understand the ramifications of the cancellation. Although on the outside it looks like a day of crazy celebrations (which it is!) it is also an extremely powerful event in terms of activism with the goal to drive real political and societal change.
For this reason, the question on everyone’s mind is “how do we celebrate Pride…without Pride?”
Bring it home
Pride is all about celebrating individuality, diversity and love. Businesses often see the month of June as a marketing exercise with very little internal effect. This year the challenge is to bring the spirit of Pride to your own community, because during this time of distance, people will be even more excited about being ‘together’ and sharing a community experience with colleagues.
There is some Netflix fatigue creeping up, the lockdown has made us all a bit passive so think of ways that can encourage your team to be proactive about their Pride celebrations. Whether it be creating content to share with the wider team or designing an LGBT style quiz – there’s lots of opportunities to bring your team together.
Pride is great at bringing LGBT topics, issues and culture into the spotlight. Thus allowing for non LGBT people to learn about what Pride stands for and what it means to be part of the community.
The lockdown presents a unique and rare opportunity where people have time to learn. Businesses can jump on this opportunity to educate their teams. Do this authentically; ask LGBT colleagues to share their story, write an article about a part of LGBT culture, share information about the Stonewall riots and how the uprising of black trans women fuelled a 50-year long fight for basic human rights.
Share the highlights and the positives but don’t ignore the reality of the situation and the harrowing history of LGBT rights.
If you don’t have the team inhouse that can help fuel this, speak to Pride organisers or even LGBT charities. All their websites are full of resources.
Lockdown has caused some young LGBT people to be confined in situations where they may not be accepted or celebrated. They may be forced to hide who they are because of who they are having to be locked in with. Charities supporting these individuals are needing support more than ever before.
Take the Pride opportunity to support charities who are making a difference for the LGBT community. Whether it’s a one-off donation from the company or whether it is a campaign to raise funds where employees can get involved to drive the initiative forward internally it will make a positive difference to the community.
This month is a key time for the LGBT community, take the opportunity to celebrate everything that makes your team unique. Educate the community around LGBT culture but also issues with discrimination. And finally support those that, because of the way they identified, are being marginalised or persecuted.
About the author
Jamie Love, CEO and founder of Monumental Marketing