Pride Month 2021 was likely the most consequential celebration since Stonewall. 2020’s celebrations were largely muted due to Pandemic fears. This year, many Pride events coincided with eased lockdowns, pleasant weather, and overwhelming support for the LGBTQ community. Brands showed support by changing their social media profile pics (we did!) and activating products that acknowledge and support the community (we did that too!).
But flipping the calendar doesn’t mean the hard work of understanding and reaching out to LGBTQIA+ Americans stops until next summer. It should continue throughout the year. In a live event last month, we invited a panel with voices throughout the media industry to share their thoughts on how to best connect with LGBTQIA+ audiences in authentic, meaningful ways. Here are some of their suggestions:
Your company probably has LGBTQIA+ employees. A great first step in demonstrating authentic allyship is to prioritize supporting and amplifying them. Consider establishing a business resource group for employees who identify as LGBTQIA+ or as an ally of the community, like Horizon Out or the Mondelez Rainbow Council. These groups can build a sense of inclusive community among employees, but also steer organizational policies on more equitable directions.
Pride month is not the only celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community each year. It’s not even the first! Add these dates to your calendar to acknowledge and support the community year-round, and keep your feelers up for other touchstone dates:
Many of the same Americans who identify as LGBT or their allies also want to see that support echoed by the companies they patronize. 61% believe that “brands should support the LGBTQ community all year, not just during gay pride month.” It can be hard to measure the commercial impact of making this kind of good-faith commitment, especially one that is not pure theater, but there is undeniable spending power among this audience.