J

une brings us the Pride commemorations of many decades of struggle for civil rights and equality for the LGBTQIA+ community. In Portugal, it is the month for Arraial Pride, the "biggest communitarian and associative LGBTI+ event in Portugal that brings visibility to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex population in a political moment of Pride celebration in the biggest square in Lisbon" (ILGA).

But let's start with the basics!

What does LGBTQIA+ mean?

It stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. The plus sign is usually interpreted as a symbol representing self-identifying members of the community who are not included in the LGBTQIA acronym.

Why in June?

Because it was when the Stonewall Riots took place in 1969. The first Pride March was coordinated by Brenda Howard, aka "Mother of Pride.” Since then, this movement has tried to raise political awareness of current issues facing the community while also celebrating sexual diversity. For LGBTQIA+ people, it is a way of protesting discrimination and violence, it promotes their dignity, equal rights and self-affirmation, and it raises awareness in society.

Because it was when the Stonewall Riots took place in 1969. The first Pride March was coordinated by Brenda Howard, aka "Mother of Pride.” Since then, this movement has tried to raise political awareness of current issues facing the community while also celebrating sexual diversity. For LGBTQIA+ people, it is a way of protesting discrimination and violence, it promotes their dignity, equal rights and self-affirmation, and it raises awareness in society.

While some might think that society has evolved and we have progressed in these matters, we should look at some current stats that might help us have a better grasp on the status quo: there is a rise in official anti-LGBTI sentiment in Bulgaria and Romania; in Romania, authorities are obstructing freedom of assembly by banning and punishing Pride events; in Hungary, the parliament adopted several amendments which directly discriminate against LGBTI people, including a ban on the "portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality" for persons under 18.

These are only a few of the issues that still exist (and we're talking about the European Union here...).

Rainbow Europe, an institution that "brings together both the legal index of LGBTI equality based on our Rainbow Europe Map and an overview of the social climate for LGBTI people in each country based on our Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex People”, gives us a lot of data about Europe and about Portugal, who is ranked 9th on the Rainbow Map. This ranking is based on how the laws and policies of each country impact the lives of LGBTQIA+ people.

Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community (which means being an active and vocal ally) is part of our goals at Coverflex.

We want to go beyond rainbow washing and being a performative ally! And for that, we are developing a Diversity, Inclusion & Equity framework to promote a supportive culture. We need to educate ourselves and encourage others to do the same, to create safe spaces where people can bring their authentic selves to work. This means ensuring our hiring practices are inclusive, enacting any needed policy changes in favour of LGTBQIA+ folks, and offering online and offline resources that are accessible and welcoming to all employees.

We want to go beyond rainbow washing and being a performative ally! And for that, we are developing a Diversity, Inclusion & Equity framework to promote a supportive culture. We need to educate ourselves and encourage others to do the same, to create safe spaces where people can bring their authentic selves to work. This means ensuring our hiring practices are inclusive, enacting any needed policy changes in favour of LGTBQIA+ folks, and offering online and offline resources that are accessible and welcoming to all employees.

The long road to equality can be shorter and more manageable if we all decide to act. True solidarity means recognising, protecting, and honouring the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and through every bump on this long and winding road.

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