3 Ways You and Your Brand can be a Better Ally During Pride

The fact that I am currently listening to Spotify’s Out Now playlist can only mean one thing: it’s officially Pride Month. Happy Pride, everyone! Pride is very important to me because it’s a time where the entire LGBTQ family takes a moment to celebrate not only our triumphs, but also examine the missteps that the year has brought us. For me, Pride is also a moment to reflect back on that 15-year-old boy who was terrified to come out to his friends and family. It is also a moment to be proud of every LGBTQ family member—the ones who came before and the ones who will come after—for being brave to come out and live their authentic lives.

My time working on the strategy team at Spredfast has yielded nothing but feelings of genuine inclusion and community. I’ve never felt an ounce of criticism or judgment for my sexual orientation, and that’s thanks to Spredfast being a melting pot of cultures and experiences—and thanks to the company’s intentional emphasis on valuing inclusion. But how exactly does a company put its values into concrete action, both during Pride and all year long?

How exactly does a company puts its values into concrete action during Pride?

 

Last Pride, a co-worker asked me how he could be a better ally and advocate for the LGBTQ community. Though my heart felt full that someone not in my inner-circle had reached out to ask how to get involved, I felt completely disappointed with myself for not having a thorough and precise answer. My response went something like, “Thanks for asking! Just you asking how to get involved makes you a great ally in my eyes.” Though my response still feels true, there are so many ways, big and small, internally and externally, that either an individual or a brand can help support the rights and members of the LGBTQ community. I thank each and every one of you for reading this and seeking ways to be a better LBGTQ ally, myself included.

We’re all learning every day how to represent and show our Pride in a meaningful and impactful way. Brands often want to participate in Pride, but are afraid their efforts might fall flat, or, even occasionally, make the mistake of leading with their own best interest rather than asking how their marketing might make a genuine difference in the community they seek to align themselves with. These lines are tricky, which we’ve written about before. But step one is always ensuring you have an authentic investment in the community, asking how your brand can help. So here are three specific ways you and your brand can get involved for Pride and become the ally we all deserve.

Way #1: Donate Dollars

It’s always a good start to put your monetary support behind causes that matter to you, and it’s now easier than ever to do so. Facebook now allows you to add a donate button to any post that you publish, which gives you and your business the opportunity to post and celebrate Pride while also donating to an LGBTQ cause. There are many LBGTQ organizations to donate to including:

  • It Gets Better Project: A nonprofit dedicated to supporting the LBGTQ Youth.
  • SAGE: An organization dedicated to LGBTQ older adults.
  • Immigration Equality: An organization dedicated to providing services to LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants.
  • Human Rights Campaign: A civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality.
  • OutRight Action International: A LGBTQ human rights organization that addresses human rights violations against the community.

For more information on how to utilize Facebook’s donate button, visit their help page on the topic.

Way #2: Get involved

Numerous Pride celebrations are held in cities all across America and beyond, and it’s important for you and your brand to keep an eye on events and celebrations happening in a city near you. Being present during these moments and celebrations is incredibly meaningful to the community, as it helps draw a human connection between the workplace and the LGBTQ social scene. Last year, I ran into a co-worker at a Pride in Business social event, and when she told me she was an ally and there to support me and the whole community, it was a memorable moment. It truly defined the Spredfast culture and validated that people care more than we know. Go out and support a friend, colleague, or family member. It would mean the world to them and the community! Click here for information on all Pride events happening in your area.

Being present at LGBTQ events draws a human connection between the workplace and the LGBTQ social scene.

 

Way #3: Ask questions

Part of acceptance and feeling like an equal counterpart is achieved by normalizing the conversation—be curious and ask people about their experiences. Nobody expects anyone to have all of the answers as we ourselves (the LGBTQ community) don’t have them, but we all have a human experience that makes us different from one another. A brand can encourage the conversation by integrating support groups and channels via Slack, Facebook and their internal website. By asking questions and facilitating these kinds of moments between individuals, brands—who are, after all, made up of individuals—have the potential to bring people closer together. The more a heterosexual can learn from Pride, socially and politically, the closer we will all achieve #Equality.

I conclude this blog with my sincerest gratitude to all of my friends, family and colleagues for giving me a reason to be proud this month and always—and that reason is acceptance. Thank you for accepting me with all of the love and lack of judgment. I can confidently say the 15-year-old me is dancing to a Britney Spears song, happy to know that it does get better.

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Jonathan Hoffman is a Social Media Coordinator at Spredfast, focusing on Brand Love Strategy. Jonathan is a Texas State alum who loves all things social, perfectly curated Instagram feeds and spin at Ride.