MY POINT OF VIEW
Pride Month: How You Can Join the Conversation
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar where the gay community congregated in New York City. Police raids were common in those days, as being a part of the LGBTQ+ community was considered reason enough to be persecuted. After years of social discrimination, the officers were finally met with resistance. Today marks 50 years since that uprising, and we should all take the time to recognize this historic event that paved the way for LGBTQ+ activism and subsequent reforms.
As a gay man who grew up on a farm in a small town in upstate New York, I have experienced discrimination throughout my life. Although much has changed since the 1960s and 1970s when I was growing up, there is still a strong stigma in some segments of society surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. I have been a vocal advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) since the beginning of my career, pushing companies to focus on DEI both internally and externally. I believe diversity brings fresh perspectives and creates a more dynamic environment that can also be good for the bottom line. Although there has been great progress in this important area, there is still much work to be done.
How can you help? There are three key ways that you can become an ally:
Stay Informed. One of the best ways to do this is by following social media account from groups such as the Human Rights Campaign so you are aware of the current issues confronting the LGBTQ+ community.
Listen to the people affected. When you start following these advocacy groups and influencers, be open to hearing their experiences and struggles. Active listening promotes mindful thinking.
Speak up. Once you are informed and well-read on the issues happening within our community, start using your platform and voice to share resources, raise awareness and offer support.
The LGBTQ+ community has been vigilant in its quest for equal treatment in society and the workplace. We are grateful to our supporters who have helped us make great strides in obtaining the same rights as others. By joining forces, we can create a better world that accepts differences and embraces equality among all people. I urge you to join me in lending your voice to this ongoing conversation.
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Jeff Winton Associates