By Remy Ligeika, HR Manager, mthree
Recent events have highlighted the social injustice some people encounter because of ignorance and bigotry. Similarly, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people (LGBTQ) are facing challenges in securing equal treatment. Human Rights Watch exposes abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity worldwide, including torture, executions, arrests, unequal treatment, censorship, discrimination in health and jobs and housing, and denial of family rights and recognition. Therefore, Pride Month is a very important occasion to celebrate and promote the diversity and uniqueness of us all.
During the 1960s, being gay was classified as a mental illness in the US. Gay people were regularly threatened and beaten by police and were shunned by many in society. On 28th June 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in New York City, and threw around 200 people out and beat some of them. After multiple similar vicious encounters, the LGBTQ community felt it was the time to stand against police brutality.
This event triggered a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations. Protesters fought for establishments, like the Stonewall Inn, where gays and lesbians could go and be open about their sexual identity. Eventually, the Stonewall Riots led to the formation of LGBTQ movements not only in the US but across the world.
One of the leading activists during the Stonewall uprising was Marsha P. Johnson. Marsha was an African-American transgender woman from New Jersey, whose activism in the 1960-70s, had a huge impact on the LGBTQ community.
At the age of 23, she resisted arrest by the police at Stonewall Inn. Much like the recent Black Lives Matter marches in the US, news of these protests spread around the world, inspiring others to join protests and rights groups to fight for equality.
Marsha was a co-founder of STAR – Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries – an organisation to support gay and trans individuals who had been left homeless. She dedicated much of her life to helping others, despite suffering several mental health issues herself. More information can be found here.
In a nutshell, LGBTQ Pride is a way of protesting against discrimination and violence. It promotes LGBTQ people’s dignity, equal rights and self-affirmation and is a way of increasing society’s awareness of the issues and advertises the challenges they face every day.
Due to the pandemic, sadly, most Pride parades have been cancelled in 2020. However, a month-long celebration usually includes community events, poetry readings, public speaking, street festivals and educational sessions.
In addition, Scott Coleman-Allan, mthree’s Head of Talent in North America, says:
“Pride means that I can bring my whole self to work. I can be proud of who I am and use my full self to perform in my job. As a Talent Acquisition professional my personality is a core strength and tool to do my job to the best of my ability - Pride means that I don’t have to hide it.
Most of all, Pride means love - both for me and everyone around me! We are all unique which is what makes us all so special.”
At mthree, we are passionate about creating a positive and inclusive work environment that allows people to identify in a way they feel comfortable and not be subjected to prejudice.
Whether it's our head office staff or consultants on-site at global organisations, we want everyone to be treated equally so they can bring their whole selves to work.