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Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Pride Month Virtually

Things your organization can do in order to make the most of Pride from home

by Nikhil Bendre

Happy Pride Month! June is a time to celebrate and appreciate the LGBTQIA+ community, both within and outside of our organizations. Obviously, this should be a year-long effort, but this month gives us dedicated time to learn about the history of Pride, and an excuse to really go the extra mile in showing our support for our peers and community. It is absolutely imperative that your organization avoids falling into the trap of rainbow washing. This is when an organization utilizes rainbow imagery and puts up a front that they support the queer community for the sole purpose of profiting off of them. When a company rainbow washes, they contribute no real value to the marginalized communities that they claim to support. They just take advantage of them. Remember that supporting the LGBTQIA+ community is so much more than a Pride avatar or a Facebook status. 

As the weeks go on, it can feel like we’re inching closer and closer to normalcy after over a year in isolation due to the pandemic. However, a lot of us are still working remotely in an effort to keep COVID cases down and to not backtrack on our progress. While this is great for that reason, it makes celebrating Pride a bit more difficult, as this is a time to rally behind our LGBTQIA+ friends and family, celebrate together, and rejoice in our individuality. Since circumstances are a little different this time around, here are some things your organization can do in order to make the most of Pride from home!

Support LGBTQIA+ Owned Businesses

A super simple way to support the Pride movement would be to research local queer businesses and feature them to your organization so that your team can go out and support them! Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country, so we definitely have no shortage of these businesses around us. Here are some to check out!

Lunch and Learn: Queer History and Importance

A great way to celebrate while spreading knowledge about what Pride is all about would be to buy your team lunch and host a session to educate about the history of the LGBTQIA+ community! Send everyone an UberEats voucher and set up a date and time. If you have any team members within the community who feel comfortable taking the lead with this endeavor, that would probably be the most impactful way to go. This doesn’t have to feel like a high school history class – it can be a great opportunity for open discussion and support! Too many queer people are judged, attacked, and even killed due to lack of education, understanding, and exposure. This suggestion is a step in the direction of fighting back while boosting those around us – knowledge is power.

Try on a Pride Zoom Background

Switch your Zoom background this month to show your Pride during the workday! Here at GoCo, we’ve created some awesome DEI backgrounds to showcase the diversity within our team, and we recommend that your organization gets some as well! See the full gallery here.

Donate to LGBTQIA+ Charities

As much as we talk about supporting Pride and how true our allyship is, it’s time to put our money where our mouths are. This Pride, go beyond just voicing your support for the community and donate to organizations that are in need of money, volunteers, and resources. Here are some Houston-based organizations to take a look at!

Virtual Drag Event

Drag is a well-known and highly celebrated part of queer culture. Exposure from things like the hit show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, have popularized Drag and assimilated it more into mainstream culture. The whole point of it is to celebrate individuality and expression, so consider bringing it into your company’s Pride celebration! Drag shows are a ton of fun, but in the age of COVID, a lot of them have moved online and taken on other forms, such as virtual Drag bingo!

Check out Drag Queen Entertainment for corporate events!

Hold an Online Karaoke Competition Featuring Songs By Queer Artists

Set up a Pride talent show! Hop on Zoom and take turns belting out your favorite songs from your favorite queer artists! Victoria Monét, Lil Nas X, Troy Sivan, Janelle Monàe, and so many more have put out quite the list of bangers to choose from. To make this online concert run as smoothly as possible, have the performer share their screen with the lyrics so that the rest of the team can follow along or join in!

Have a Watch Party

Spend the evening watching some of your favorite movies by and/or about LGBTQIA+ people! Hop on Zoom, Teleparty, or whatever your media of choice is and have some laughs and cries to the many incredible queer projects that are out there. Some of our personal favorites include Love Simon, Schitt’s Creek, and Call Me By Your Name! Supporting queer art is a great and simple way to have a good time while supporting the community!

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Just because we can’t gather the masses to celebrate Pride as we normally would, that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of the cards we’ve been dealt! In your organization’s celebration, remember to be sincere, educate, and grow. Avoid tokenism and shallow displays of support just to say you participated. This movement advocates for real people – people that you know and work with. The best thing you can do for the LGBTQIA+ community this pride is to educate yourself and those around you so that we can create a more inclusive, safe, and loving environment!

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