By: Akshaya Sivakumar
As we celebrate Pride Month and honor the LGBTQIA+ community's history, achievements, and ongoing fight, it is crucial to also address the issue of workplace discrimination that continues to plague LGBTQIA+ individuals. The necessity of creating safe, inclusive environments that accept and encourage diversity – not just during Pride Month, but throughout the year – cannot be overstated. How might you better support and help members of LGBTQIA+ community in your daily life?
1. To start, stay informed. By doing so, you can better support efforts to address discrimination and create a culture of inclusivity; you lead by example. Educating yourself on the unfair treatment of your colleagues will help you to understand and therefore support them more effectively. But don't just stop there.
2. Spread the knowledge you obtain on the LGBTQIA+ experience to others through open dialogue and thoughtful discussion so that your colleagues can be treated with the respect and fairness they deserve, regardless of their identity or background.
3. When you witness discrimination in your own workplace or elsewhere, speak up against it. Report the issue to the appropriate officials in your work or in a public setting, and side with the individuals facing the challenge.
4. Let them know that they have an ally in you and offer empathy by actively listening when they need it the most. Convey your thoughts on, and validate the emotional distress they may express regarding, their situation. When applicable, provide them with a helping hand.
4. Additionally, the words we employ matter. It is important to be mindful and use inclusive language in your workplace. By doing so, you take a positive action to help members of the LGBTQIA+ community feel welcomed. Avoid offensive comments and don’t joke about someone's gender, race, or sexual orientation.
By taking these small steps, we can foster a workplace that celebrates diversity and respects individuals, not just during Pride Month but throughout the entirety of the year. At Kids Inspire Difference, we hope that you will join the masses working vigilantly to better themselves, their surroundings, and their societies to create an inclusive workplace and support the equal rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals.