Beyond Symbols: Crafting Authentic LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Branding Year-Round

Beyond Symbols: Crafting Authentic LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Branding Year-Round

Beyond Symbols: Crafting Authentic LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Branding Year-Round

As Seen On

As we celebrate groundbreaking progress made towards equal rights and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community, 2023 is an opportune time to re-evaluate how brands honor this diverse demographic not just in June, during Pride Month, but throughout the year. Despite the increasing number of brands aiming to show support by changing their logos to rainbow colors during Pride Month, it becomes apparent that true support extends beyond these superficial acts. Brands must strive for authentic, year-round engagement and inclusivity to make a real difference.

Moving beyond being LGBTQ+ Friendly

The first step towards genuine inclusivity starts with understanding the distinction between being LGBTQ+ friendly and truly LGBTQ+ inclusive. Hank Paul, a reputed non-binary Queer Inclusion Strategist, presents an insightful perspective on this matter, defining inclusivity as a proactive approach in creating entirely safe spaces and environments spanning all customer touchpoints.

For brands, being LGBTQ+ friendly can often just mean avoiding discrimination. In contrast, becoming LGBTQ+ inclusive involves a deliberate effort to acknowledge, value, and cater to the unique needs and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. This essentially calls for a full integration of the principle of inclusivity into their business models and strategies.

Embracing LGBTQ+ Inclusive Practices

Brands can signify inclusivity through several practices. These include simple steps such as encouraging employees to include their pronouns in their screen names or name tags, a gesture that both respects and acknowledges the diverse identities within the LGBTQ+ community.

Another strategy involves reflecting the community in marketing efforts and visual imagery – a practice that extends representation to diverse family structures, gender identities, and sexual orientations. Beyond this, brands can also actively participate in advocating for this marginalized group’s rights by supporting organizations dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community’s welfare. These activities denote a comprehensive and enduring commitment to inclusivity.

Championing the Importance of Allyship

Becoming an inclusive brand also means actively endorsing the role of allyship. It’s essential to comprehend that allyship is not merely a marketing strategy to increase product purchases from a specific group. Real allyship implies a deep understanding of the LGBTQ+ community’s struggles and empathy towards their experiences, combined with actionable steps that further their cause.

Pathways to Embracing Allyship

Awareness is the foundation of robust allyship. Brands must educate themselves and their teams about the diverse identities within the LGBTQ+ community. They must familiarize themselves with the essential terminology and foster a strong sense of empathy for the community’s experiences and challenges. Resources are readily available; organizations such as GLSEN and The Trevor Project provide comprehensive guides and resources.

It’s currently 2023 – no longer is it acceptable for allyship to be a marketing checkbox that only gets ticked once a year. The time is now for brands to amplify their inclusivity practices, championing allyship, and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community all year round.

We call upon organizations to take proactive steps in creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive environment. Let this be a starting point to a much-needed broader discourse – readers are encouraged to share this piece or express their thoughts on the topic. Let’s collectively contribute to a world where LGBTQ+ inclusivity is the norm, not the exception.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Casey Jones Avatar
Casey Jones
8 months ago

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