Welcome to Pride 2021, I am Carson Lopez, Research Associate for LBDL, and it is an honor to share in the love with you! Pride Month is not only about celebrating the diversity of gender and sexuality, it is also about reflecting on the history of LGBTQIA+ experiences and realities in America as well as what we have learned from that history.
A few things we have learned include the complexities of attraction and identity and the roles that both nature and nurture play in the development of both. For example, though gender roles and preferences—how we behave, speak, dress, groom ourselves, conduct ourselves in relationships—are largely determined by the surrounding culture that each of us is brought into, gender itself is generally a fixed element of who we are that is separate and distinguishable from our sexual anatomy.
Information like that would have been much harder to discover if it were not for the existence of transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people! Unfortunately, many average citizens are not privy to this information and traditionally have not been receptive or empathetic toward the LGBTQIA+ community, so the history of treatment in law, healthcare, and employment for the community has been rather bleak. That is why it is so important that we learn as much as we can now so that, together, we build a more inclusive, innovative, prospering society, and what better place to start than in our leadership journey?
Over the course of the week, we will be sharing more information about the LGBTQIA+ community at work and how this relates to leadership—for both current and future leaders alike—as part of our newest In the Lab Series! Did you know that 4.5%* of the US is LGBTQ+ (11 million people), 88%* are employed, compared to 92%* of non-LGBTQ+ people. 46%* of LGBTQ+ people hide who they are at work? Whether these concepts are new or familiar to you, it is always useful to have refreshers on hand about how to be a better leader, and we like to emphasize inclusivity.
So, first thing is first.
What does “LGBTQIA+” mean and why does the acronym seem to keep getting longer every time we turn around?
Most people may already be aware that “LGBT” stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. However, many may not be as sure about the “QIA+” which is an easy fix! The Q is for Queer, the I for Intersex, the A for Asexual, and the + is for any other sexualities or genders not mentioned there. If you are not sure what any of those words mean, do not worry one bit: in future segments, we briefly walk you through each of these terms, give you more information on the lived experiences of people in the community, and show you how to apply that information in your leadership roles. In the meantime, here’s a useful resource to support you in increasing your understanding.
Stay tuned for more from the Pride Series to learn about how you can be a better, more inclusive leader and role model for your LGBTQIA+ colleagues!
Sources: Human Rights Campaign Foundation (2019); HRC’s Degrees of Equality (2009);