6 min read
Pride at EVORA – the importance of inclusivity
Across the world, June is celebrated as Pride month, giving support and a platform for the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s a month of visibility, having a voice, and being heard by the world. It brings the issues that those in the LGBTQIA+ community face to the forefront of the news and incites positive change. Emma feels like
“Pride is about having the freedom to be who you want to be – openly and without judgement. It’s about love in what can often be an unloving world.”
With all the parades and parties happening, it’s easy to forget that Pride started as a protest for equal rights, and with everything happening in the US and across the world at the moment, the reasons for Pride are just as important and necessary now as they were then.
At it’s core, Pride means inclusion and respect of all people, regardless of who they love or how they identify. It’s felt on a personal scale and seen on a global one. It also asks companies what they can do to support the LGBTQIA+ community they have within their own company, and what they can do to have a consistent effect and impact throughout the year.
We are currently having a very important conversation in EVORA, looking if there is more that we can be doing to be inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our amazing HR team are going through all our policies to make sure the language being used is gender neutral and inclusive. They will also start asking new starters their pronouns before they start, rather than once they arrive, along with the name they want to go by. This all helps to make the environment from the get-go more welcoming and show allyship, especially if people have a dead-name they no longer go by.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of dead-naming before, it’s when people transitioning no longer go by the name assigned to them at birth. It’s both polite and affirming to call them by their new name
Before writing this blog post, we asked everyone at EVORA for quotes on inclusiveness and why it’s important, especially for the LGBTQIA+ community we have here. One person wrote
“I grew up in the 90s feeling like I was different and with society (media, etc) telling me that an important part of who I am was a bad thing. Being gay is not everything that I am, but it’s an important part of me. Working in an environment where I can be myself means that I can be authentic and not have to hide parts of what makes me the person I am.”
It’s vital that every person feels like they can be their authentic self. For most people in the LGBTQIA+ community, their coming out story is the hardest part of their journey, with the worry of the repercussions clouding their minds beforehand, and then unfortunately having to deal with the closed mindedness of some of those nearest and dearest them afterwards. One person wrote
“One thing you learn being gay is that you’re never done coming out. I came out to friends and family between the ages of 16-19, and thought I was done when I told my mother. Nope. At 24 you’re still coming out- to people you’ve just met at a party, to colleagues you’ve just met at work. I’ve even come out a couple of different times at EVORA. Inclusion is the relief that you don’t have to be afraid of that conversation anymore.”
This quote is a wonderful example of how this person felt safe enough to come out to their colleagues, and this reflects the culture we have at EVORA. There is always more we can do, but we can proudly say we have fostered an environment of safety and trust.
Another EVORian wrote,
“The fear of how my dad would react has prevented me from coming out and sharing that side of myself with my family. Pride is important to me as it offers a natural environment to talk to my dad about the rights and equality of the LGBTQIA+ community – and maybe one year he will be open enough that I can tell him my truth”.
Matt came out decades ago and feels that Pride is about
“standing up for all those who haven’t or can’t come out to their friends and family, and saying you don’t have to feel ashamed to be different, it’s ok, and showing them that publicly”
Pride isn’t just for those that are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. One person at EVORA wrote
“Pride is important to me as I have family members who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and it’s a great way to show my support.”
I love that people are supporting their family members and taking this month to do so with more gusto! Being an ally and empathizing with the community, listening to what is said, and learning when needed, creates a fantastic and safe space.
For Kris, Pride is about
“making our places feel safe and inclusive so our people can be comfortable and confident as their true, authentic selves wherever they are. As an ally, I feel very passionate about listening to and learning from my LGBTQIA+ peers so I can support them the best I can. I’m also very passionate about LGBTQIA+ art and artists. Pride is about celebrating the amazing LGBTQIA+ community and all the amazing things and love they bring to the world.”
seeing strong allyship is amazing and the recognition of the love and vibrancy that the community brings. This allyship is needed now more than ever.
Whether you are an ally or part of the community, Pride is important. To be inclusive makes such a difference and can have the biggest impact on someone’s mental health and happiness. Sara wrote that
“Pride for me is about freedom and inclusivity. Freedom to be myself, to express my ideas, to celebrate my beliefs while feeling like I belong in an inclusive society and I contribute to its success”
which is a great way of looking at allyship and the impact we can all have.
As Verna Myers famously once said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” So, let’s all come together and dance!