The 1st June marks the beginning of Pride month, and in keeping with the tradition of past years, brands across all sectors are kicking off their Pride campaigns to celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ+ community.
We’re supporting our clients’ Pride campaigns, of course, and are proud to do so. As an agency, we see this month as a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, but also to remind ourselves how far we still have to go.
We start by thinking about inclusion. The new Progress Pride flag (which you’ll see across our social channels) is an important symbol of inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community. It reflects the diversity within the community, to explicitly include people of colour and transgender people, and was designed in 2018 by designer Daniel Quasar. The design builds on a flag used in Philadelphia since 2017, which included brown and black stripes at the top of the traditional rainbow to represent people of colour.
Symbols are important. The new Progress flag is a good way to recognise the important part that transgender people and people of colour played in the history of Pride.
Marsha P Johnson, a Black transgender woman, is credited as throwing the first brick in the Stonewall riot in New York on 28 June 1969, the event that was the response by LGBTQ+ people to police brutality, and which is heralded as the start of the Pride movement.
Pride is important personally, to me. I often hear stories about people who’ve felt they have to hide who they are at work, particularly in very corporate jobs. It’s really important to me that no-one at The Social Element ever feels they have to hide who they are, and that everyone can be their authentic selves at work as well as at home. As a gay female CEO, I feel privileged that I’ve always been able to be out at work, without fear. I want us to be the kind of agency which attracts and keeps the best talent, with the widest and most diverse experience and where everyone feels that they have a voice.
Inclusion is a year-long commitment, of course, not just during Pride.
At The Social Element we are always striving to improve inclusion, and learning how to do better. But Pride month is a symbolic time to let all our teams know that we support them, no matter how they identify.
There’s a lot still to do. It’s horrifying that there is a rise in homophobic attacks, that violence against trans people is increasing, and discrimination at work is a reality that many trans and non-binary people face every day. We can all play our part in being more inclusive by educating ourselves about the things we don’t know, and committing to equality and inclusion every day.
So, whatever and however you’re celebrating this Pride month, I hope you all have a very happy and inclusive Pride.