• Ben Pechey

Pride - Here we go again


So here we are once more at the beginning of pride season. For many of you, it may be an exciting time, one of celebration and joy. For others it is a hard time, not being fully accepted as your full self, or feeling isolated in your current surroundings. But, whether we like it or not it comes round each year without fail.


For me, pride season really extends to the whole year. I work on LGBTQIA+ focused projects all year long. Pride is perhaps the most concentrated time of the year for me. However, the season is upon us, and I am ready to give it my all to try and create change and improve the world for the next generations of LGBTQIA+ people.





One thing I have noticed is the responsibility brands and organisations feel. Before, pride was an afterthought. Now I do think that organisations feel a need to speak to pride, and the community as a responsibility to their consumers, employees and clients. However, this responsibility has yet to turn into action.


We have created a climate where people, brands, and businesses know they need to talk about pride. However, this is all that is happening. The responsibility has created space for conversations.





I deliver the kind of corporate sessions that the responsibility feels it needs. I doubt there are any mid-size businesses that haven’t run some form of inclusion/diversity sessions. In theory, these sessions should act as education, and change systematic approaches from within. Yet of late, it has felt that I have been screaming into a void.


Simple changes and approaches have been picked apart, questioned and ignored. It is my job to try and fix a broken system - and if was perfect I would have talked myself out of a job. I know there is irony in my role, but it feels like I am trying to stop the tide from coming in with a sweeping brush. As soon as I halt one part, it surges forward just beside me.


Impossible.


I guess in a roundabout way, I am suggesting this pride season we should be asking for more than just responsibility - and instead ask for action!




Here is how we can do that;


Listen - the first place is to actually listen to the person who has given you so much.


Digest - don’t simply listen, but instead actually take on board suggestions.


Learn - if you didn’t know something, try to learn that fact or information and allow it to improve your understanding


Question - if some of the practices or examples spoken about in your session made you see flaws in your current systems and approaches, then question what you can do to change this.


Act - turn the questions you have into action, and fix some of the issues you have uncovered.


Responsibility - remember that this approach and responsibility is a daily thing - and not just for pride!


Understanding that more has to be done than just being responsible, will create more change and begin to halt the seismic backward changes being instigated by our current governing systems! So remember this when you are thinking about your action for pride.


Shot by Rachel Pechey