In 1994, a Missouri high school teacher believed there should be a month dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history and October was selected because public schools are in session.
The LGBTQ community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. LGBTQ History Month provides role models, builds community, and makes the civil rights statement about their national and international contributions.
Despite the progress made, LGBT employees weren't a protected class until June 15, 2020. Many LGBT people often downplay aspects of their authentic selves in order to avoid discrimination. In fact, it wasn't until 2018 when the first openly gay woman became CEO of Land O'Lakes, a Fortune 500 company.
Inclusivity Committee Member
5 Strategies to Fostering an Environment of Inclusion:
Learn the language: Lesbian, gay and bisexual refer to sexualities, while transgender refers to gender. Gender is not the same as sexual orientation. One’s identity is not the same as gender expression, which is not the same as anatomical sex. The terms are not interchangeable.
Watch the language you use:For example, instead of saying “ladies and gentlemen,” consider instead saying “everyone” or “folks.” This approach is more inclusive of people of all genders and moves away from using binary language, which may not be perceived as applying to everyone.
Ask for preferred pronouns:Most commonly, individuals refer to themselves as she/her/hers or he/him/his. However, there are other preferences out there. They/them/theirs are common gender neutral pronouns that can be used in the singular.
No tolerance for bullying!
It is okay to apologize if you slip up: Everyone makes a mistake on occasion. The best approach when you realize you may have made a mistake is to correct yourself right away.
The more an organization can create and maintain an open culture accepting of diversity, the better its people will perform. Diversity and inclusion allows for an open exchange of ideas and different perspectives.