- Posted Wednesday June 1, 2022
June has long been the month dedicated to elevating LGBTQ+ voices, celebrating the culture, and supporting LGBTQ+ rights for everyone all around the world.
Pride Month is about celebrating who you are and being proud. While it’s more accepted than before, history tells us stories of why this has not always been the case. Traditionally throughout the month of June, there are Pride events, ranging from parades all the way to live theatre performances and memorials in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
The importance of Pride Month
Pride promotes equality, dignity, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, opposing the social stigma there is surrounding the community and instead, supporting the LGBTQ+ rights movement. History shows that the LGBTQ+ community has long been repressed, even now our society is one where LGBT individuals face discrimination, and this is why Pride Month is so important to recognise and celebrate.
Aside from celebrating, Pride is also about reflecting on the progress that has been made toward LGBTQ+ equality while acknowledging those who have fought for these rights and the work that still needs to be done to allow the community to be truly equal.
LGBT individuals are still facing discrimination and stigma in the UK, figures from Stonewall show two-thirds (64%) of LGBTQ+ people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation or gender identity while one in seven LGBT people avoid healthcare treatment out of fear of being discriminated against, both are numbers which are rising each year.
LGBTQ+ in the Workplace
LGBTQ+ people shouldn’t feel the need to hide their sexuality or gender identity in the workplace, but many employees admit to feeling lesser than their heterosexual colleagues. In fact, members of the community are more likely to be bullied or harassed by fellow colleagues rather than clients or customers. In the NHS, 2-3% of employees identify as LGBT, and while this number may seem small, this equated to tens of thousands of employees. In 2020, the NHS Staff Survey found that 11.8% of lesbian and gay staff reported experiencing discrimination from their colleagues.
While the figures on discrimination can be staggering, we can create healthy workplaces for our LGBTQ+ colleagues, ones where they feel safe and valued by colleagues.
Creating an inclusive workplace for your practice staff
There are many benefits to creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace for your staff. When employees feel included and valued, they also feel a sense of belonging with increased positivity when they arrive at work each day, not only that, it also promotes wellbeing.
There are many ways you can create an inclusive workplace, some of these include:
Visibility and language – Challenging language which is hetero-normative and cis-normative. Assuming someone’s gender is the same as their biological sex or assuming that someone is heterosexual can do more harm than we realise. Using neutral language that doesn’t assume gender or sexual orientation allows individuals to be more open about how they identify.
Challenge homophobia and transphobia – Discrimination in any form should be challenged, and there should also be zero tolerance for this behaviour in the workplace.
Revise work policies and business values – Review workplace policies and values, ensuring they explicitly mention how you can help and support LGBT employees while also having a strong anti-discrimination stance where equality and diversity can thrive.
Support – Showing support to your LGBTQ+ employees can go a long way to allowing them to feel comfortable in the workplace. Providing support, no matter how small, creates an inclusive environment for everyone whilst also creating a happy workforce.
Further information and resources