Gearing Up For Pride – What it Means to Actually Be an Ally
Pride Month is a time for brands to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. Many companies are eager to engage with the community and show allyship during this important month. But brands must approach pride campaigns with sincerity and authenticity to avoid seeming performative or opportunistic and, most importantly, ensure they are acting as an ally and advocate all year long, not just
Understanding the history and meaning of LGBTQ+ Pride Month
Brands must understand the history and significance of Pride Month before launching any campaigns. June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, honoring the 1969 Stonewall riots that were crucial in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Sensitivity and respect for the community’s history and struggles should guide brands’ Pride Month campaigns, rather than only using it as a marketing opportunity.
Aligning with the brand values and mission
Brands must focus on authenticity in their LGBTQ+ History Month campaigns. Their support for the community should reflect their own core values and mission. A genuine commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and equality will result in a well-received Pride Month campaign. Jumping on the bandwagon without a true investment in LGBTQ+ rights or issues is performative and inauthentic.
Listening and learning from the LGBTQ+ community
Brands must listen and learn from the LGBTQ+ community. Engage in meaningful conversations with LGBTQ+ individuals, organizations, and activists. Gain insights into their perspectives and experiences. Understand the challenges they face and be open to feedback. This informs campaigns that are relevant and respectful of the community’s needs and expectations.
Avoiding tokenism and stereotyping
Companies should avoid tokenism and stereotypes in Pride Month campaigns. LGBTQ+ individuals and communities should not be used as mere props. Authentic and inclusive representation of the diversity within the community is key. This means including voices from different genders, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Multi-dimensional individuals with unique stories and experiences should be portrayed, not cliches or one-dimensional characters.
Provide Tangible Support
Brands need to offer tangible support to the LGBTQ+ community, beyond a Pride Month campaign. This includes creating an inclusive workplace, supporting LGBTQ+ employees, and contributing to LGBTQ+ causes. Donating to organizations and sponsoring events are options. Brands can also start programs that provide resources and support for LGBTQ+ individuals. Tangible support demonstrates genuine commitment to making a positive impact.
Being prepared for feedback and criticism
Finally, brands must expect feedback and criticism from the LGBTQ+ community and allies during Pride Month campaigns. Not everyone may agree with the brand’s approach or messaging, so companies should be open to feedback and listen to concerns. They should be willing to make changes or apologize if necessary and learn from the feedback they receive. This is an opportunity to improve and be better in future campaigns.