FAQs about Pride Month, LGBTQIA+ & Co. for your business

by | 27. June 2022

The issues of Pride Month, LGBTQIA+ and co. still raise some questions in the business sector. Is it okay to just participate in Pride Month, or are you already Rainbow Washing? What about coloring the company logo? What do all the letters in the term LGBTQIA+ stand for? And why the plus at all? Exactly because of all these open questions, we have collected the most important Frequently Asked Questions and try to answer them for you as good as possible – because we understand it like this!

What does LGBTQIA+ mean?

LGBTQIA+ is an acronym for the English words Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgender, Queer, Intersexual and Asexual. And what does the plus stand for then? The plus at the end is to make clear that there are many more gender identities and orientations besides these. In this way, the breadth of this diverse group is made visible, so to speak, and a space is provided for all queer people to be able to identify if this is their need. So with the acronym LGBTQIA+, they are trying to be as inclusive as possible of all identities in the community.

And what does queer mean?

Queer refers to people who do not conform to the heterosexual gender norm, although the term is not easy to define. Once a swear word, it now mostly serves as a positive self-designation for people who are not heterosexual and/or cisgender.

Cisgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity matches the social sex assigned to them at birth based on their visible physical characteristics. Other terms are the adjective cisgender or cis for short.

What is Pride Month?

Pride Month is celebrated in June and literally means “pride month.” The month serves to celebrate diversity in our society. The message: queer people are part of our society and can be proud of themselves. However, Pride Month is also meant to be a sign of protest against injustices against the LGBTQIA+ community that unfortunately still exist today.

And how did Pride get started?

Pride Month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, which are largely considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement in the United States. The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between homosexuals as well as transsexuals and police officers in New York City. The first Pride march, to commemorate it, took place in New York City in 1970. Originally, the marches were held on the last Sunday in June, but were later spread throughout the month and continued as a tradition over the years.

Since when is Pride Month celebrated in Germany?

The first demonstration of queer identities took place in Germany on 29 April 1972 in Münster. The first Christopher Street Day was held on June 30, 1979 in Bremen, Berlin, Cologne and Stuttgart under the motto “Gay Pride” celebrated.

Queer women

What is the Christopher Street Day?

Christopher Street Day commemorates the first publicized uprising by homosexuals and other sexual minorities against police brutality on New York’s Christopher Street. We are talking about the riots at the Stonewall Inn. The name therefore describes nothing other than Pride Day. The term CSD is only established in Germany, parts of Austria and Switzerland. In English-speaking and Romance countries, it is usually referred to as Gay Pride and Pride Parades, while in Slavic-speaking countries, commemorative days for LGBTIQIA+ people are usually called Equality Parades.

Can I celebrate Pride without being “out”?

The answer is quite easy – Yes! Pride is in many ways especially important for people who are not yet “out of the closet”. Many of those who support Pride and stand up for it on the streets are eager to show you that there is a vibrant and diverse community here that loves you, accepts you, and fights for you. You do not have to disclose your sexuality or gender identity to anyone to participate in Pride. Just do what you feel most comfortable with!

What if I’m not queer but want to celebrate Pride?

Of course, if you don’t identify as LGBTQIA+, you can still attend Pride as Ally. But in any case, please be respectful of the space and its reason for existence.

Being an Ally means as much as feeling connected. So, within the LGBTQIA+ community, we are talking about people who identify as heterosexual and cisgender and support the LGBTQIA+ movement in addition to speaking out against homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

And how is the rainbow flag to be understood?

The rainbow flag is considered a symbol of the LGBTQIA+ community. The colors of the rainbow represent the diversity of life and love. However, besides this traditional rainbow flag, there are many other flags with different color combinations that represent different sexual and gender identities.

What is Rainbow Washing?

Rainbow Washing is virtually an image campaign, which unfortunately is not authentic. Indeed, the strategy of Rainbow Washing involves pretending to identify to a certain extent with the LGBTQIA+ movement and, above all, associates its own brand with it. Often, the motivation of companies that engage in this type of marketing is to appear modern, progressive, and tolerant. So Rainbow Washing is definitely a no-go!

And what is pinkwashing then?

Pinkwashing works similarly to Rainbow Washing and is actually synonymous with it as well. The term originated in the context of marketing campaigns by US cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies. The pink ribbon, designed to draw attention to the fight against breast cancer, is now widely used. However, what the companies forgot when printing the symbol on their products is that their company products are actually suspected of causing breast cancer. The term has since been used broadly to criticize the marketing strategies of companies that purport to advocate for minority rights.

Are you allowed to dip your logo in rainbow colors?

First of all: There is no law that forbids you to have a rainbow colored logo! Now comes the but – Numerous companies want to show supposed visibility and acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community in June. But the problem is that this is unfortunately only a marketing strategy – keyword: RAINBOW WASHING!!! If you really stand up for the queer community, you can of course show public solidarity with the help of a rainbow-colored logo. Otherwise, maybe work behind the scenes to create an inclusive culture and share your successes next year. Then you also avoid the big faux pas of the Rainbow Washing!

What can you do to support the community within the company?

As a business owner, it’s not always easy to show solidarity, yet your hands are not tied. You can educate yourself, for example – In our quiz you can find out: What do you know about Pride Month? You can also show the rainbow all year long by showing up as an LGBTQ+ friendly business on Google. Do you work in a hair salon? Then we have Pride Month ideas for your salon! Incorporating gender-appropriate language may seem like small stuff, but it can make quite a difference to some of your clientele. You see, sometimes you just have to start small to achieve something big!

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Leonie

Leonie

Leonie ist unsere Content Creatorin bei Shore und liefert dir einige unserer Blogartikel. Außerdem sagt sie in unseren Newslettern auch immer mal wieder “Servus!”, obwohl sie eigentlich aus der Stadt kommt, die gar nicht existiert (Für alle, die den Witz nicht kennen – wir reden hier von Bielefeld). Als Morgenmuffel spricht man sie lieber nicht vor der ersten Tasse Kaffee an, aber ansonsten ist sie für jeden Spaß zu haben. Wenn du noch mehr über sie erfahren willst, besuche sie doch gerne mal bei LinkedIn.