Pride 2019 – both the parade and the month of celebrations leading up to it – marks 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising which sowed the seeds of the Pride movement. While LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way in the last 50 years, equality and inclusion are far from universal. 2019 may have been the year that Botswana overturned its law criminalising gay sex, but it was also the year that Brunei introduced death by stoning as punishment for gay sex and, just a few weeks ago, a lesbian couple endured a vicious homophobic attack on a London bus.
This year, more than ever before, rainbow flags are being flown, Pride-themed products are being unveiled and corporate logos are being transformed with rainbow colours. From high street stalwarts like M&S and banking giants like Barclays to my local council, companies and organisations are showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
This is a huge achievement for the movement, because Pride should matter to everyone. Pride means standing up for the right to be yourself.
Truth be told the rainbow transformation of company logos really made me think – what’s it all worth? Do we practice what we preach, especially in the workplace?
I was reminded recently by a staff member about the open, inclusive and accepting environment we have created here at 90TEN. I still remember how terrified I was about telling colleagues in my first job that I was gay; the fear of how they might react. It turned out that 20 years ago, I had nothing to worry about and coming out meant I could bring the true me into work. Nowadays I take inclusivity for granted due to 90TEN’s long heritage of working with the community. And that’s why we need to let the rainbow flags fly to remind ourselves and celebrate the amazing achievements we have made!
Therefore, together with other staff members, I have championed Pride this year, because it is important to celebrate these achievements and keep reminding ourselves just how far we have come. For the first time the 90TEN logo is getting a makeover and we’re planning a gathering of 90TENers at the parade. We want everyone – our employees, our clients, our partners, our industry peers and the next generation of healthcare communicators – to know that 90TEN is a place where they can be themselves and where individuals are valued, respected and listened to. That’s true today and it will still be true when the rainbow flags have been packed away and the pixels on our website have lost their rainbow hues.
Will I see you at Pride this week to celebrate our achievements together? I hope so!