LGBTQ+ Pride is a time for celebration, joy, introspection, and community. It’s a moment to reflect on the challenges we face, remember and elevate our triumphs, and look toward the future. It’s a time to stand united and, from Pride Festivals to workplace events, make our collective community visible in an undeniable way.

At a time when divisiveness is high and core tenants of equity, inclusion, and belonging are under attack, we must align, unite, speak up, speak out. Together, we must Radiate Pride.

How do we do that in a time when there are forces who aim to dim our light?

  • To those who identify as LGBTQ+, be sure to wrap yourself in community and never forget the power of Queer joy and resilience. We are more than the trauma we have encountered in our lives. There is deep joy, inspiration, and hope in being Queer, and we can never forget that. It may be easy to underestimate your own influence or ability to make meaningful change, but that could not be further from the truth. We all have our individual spheres of influence, which when informed by facts and lived experience and intention, can serve as a beacon of hope, joy, and change for ourselves and others. We can be allies to one another. Each of us can make more individual, intentional choices—elevating a voice that typically goes unheard, standing up for someone who is being othered, championing an individual who is not represented in a room or discussion—that role models inclusion for others and leads to movement-making impact.

  • To companies and organizations, while the current landscape may make it seem like the right choice is to pause or scale back on DEIB efforts, leaders would be wise to look past the moment and to the future. Being an employer of choice requires that you don’t forget or deprioritize the value of difference, inclusion, and belonging. These are principles that we must continue to embrace because they make each and every one of us, our organizations, our communities, and our societies healthier, stronger, and more capable of navigating a rapidly changing world. They represent the future and how the world will continue to evolve. If you’re not leading with inclusion and belonging, you will be left behind.

  • To allies, you have an integral role to play. All year round the LGBTQ+ community needs your authentic support to widen the path, open doors, and keep our movement moving forward—inside of our workplaces and beyond. So, what does that look like?

    • It’s wearing a Pride pin (during and beyond the month of June) AND reflecting on and unlearning your own unconscious biases.
    • It’s waving a Pride flag AND leveraging your individual sphere of influence to support and elevate the community.
    • It’s attending a Pride parade AND advocating for inclusionary workplace policies. It is talking to colleagues about that parade experience the next day that will continue to conversation.
    • It’s disrupting historically agreed upon “norms” by using your pronouns the next time you introduce yourself to a new team member or colleague. This may get them thinking or open up a conversation about your inclusion priorities that might otherwise not happen.

In addition to creating pathways for individuals, it is also important that leaders with influence uplift young and rising talent.

  • Speak up for/on behalf of historically overlooked and marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Coach, mentor, and sponsor folks who look like us and, importantly, those who do not.
  • Elevate and amplify marginalized voices.

Together, and in our own authentic ways, we can Radiate Pride, which is more than a concept, a hopeful sentiment, or philosophy. It’s an opportunity to shift behaviors that offer more equity and inclusion, and experiences of belonging, to others. It is awareness of the unique challenges our community faces in the workplace that others do not. It’s about action and intentionally addressing, interrupting, and mitigating those exclusionary and inequitable instances in ways both big and small.

Together, we can build a more equitable and inclusive world where all individuals can show up authentically and thrive. We can illuminate a path forward.

Erin Uritus (she/her), CEO of Out & Equal