People with various sexual orientations have faced multiple discrimination in society and workplaces. That is why it is more important than ever to support the LGBT community. It is high time we celebrate their rights unprejudiced this Pride Month.
LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. People, especially employees belonging to this umbrella term, have gone through discrimination and stigmas for decades. And, it is high time for leaders to acknowledge and appreciate LGBT folks with pride and honor.
We know it is difficult to celebrate pride with the ongoing pandemic and remote style of working.
But, in this article, we will drive you through the 25 best virtual pride month ideas to promote inclusion and appreciation for the LGBTQ+ community at the workplace during pride month.
Before we take a look at the ideas, let’s understand:
What is Pride Month?
The history of pride month or gay pride dates back to the protests of New York City. The protestors retaliated against the Stonewall uprising in the Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969.
Since then, every pride march is a dedication and a tribute to those who retaliated against the police brutality in pursuit of gay rights, what we commonly know as the Stonewall riots.
Pride is a celebration of identity, gender and race, sexuality, and every other minority. It is a fight towards equal human rights, tolerance, and acceptance. It also refers to the achievements of the members of the community towards equal rights.
LGBT Pride month is also known as LGBT History Month.
Brenda Howard is known as “The Mother of Pride, a key coordinator of the initial pride marches from 1970. She, along with other LGBT people, attracted millions of participants in this fight towards equality. Pride parades are now organized all over the world. However, they originated in the United States.
Because of these pride events, the oppression towards the community by the government and society has decreased. Before this, LGBT folks were criminalized and disregarded for being themselves or not falling under the heteronormative hegemony.
Yes, changes did take place. For example, federal laws protect and prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender employees in the US. Also, in the UK, the Equality Act of 2010 protects LGBT employees from discrimination, workplace harassment, and victimization at work.
- The global month-long celebration brings LGBT rights into the limelight.
- It shouts human rights.
- It depicts the fights and memories of the historical victims of a prejudiced system.
- It reflects their success in bringing recognition and ending their oppression.
25 Virtual Pride Month Ideas For Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
D&I is the key to an impeccable company culture attracting a diverse talent pool. Hence, the Pride celebration is the best opportunity to promote D&I.
So, with the help of this blog, you can celebrate Pride Month virtually and keep up the support towards equal rights. This list includes:
- Virtual pride event ideas
- Pride ideas for work
- Zoom pride ideas
- Pride month tips for work
From pride emojis, rainbow background to happy hours, here is a list of ways to celebrate pride month online while working from home.
Here we go!
1. Zoom Backgrounds
Virtual backgrounds are one the easiest and simplest Zoom pride month ideas. This June, you can replace your boring background with a colorful backdrop to tribute to the LGBT community.
You can incorporate ideas like:
- Pride parade
- Rainbow flag
- Icons of LGBTQIA+ figures
- Rainbow company logo
- Quotes about same-sex love and equality
These backgrounds are free, take no time, and convenient—a simple and free way to appreciate the LGBT folks.
2. Pride Bingo
Now we’re talking, isn’t it? If you’re looking to make this pride month celebration a fun affair, then Bingo is the game! Let me tell you how you can play this:
- First, send the bingo cards to the participants
- Later, separate the group into breakout rooms and encourage them to talk
- Make sure to randomize the cards so that not every player wins at once.
- There will be descriptions, and participants must name their coworkers accordingly.
- A player must mark five boxes in a row to win.
3. Pride Month Trivia
You can make this a one-hour affair and is an interactive virtual team-building activity. Here, a host runs the show with some knowledge quizzes and mini-games to celebrate LGBT history and pop culture.
Pride month trivia is challenging and fun at the same time. Apart from the question and answer session, employees can make puns and jokes to win this game. In addition, it creates a sense of bonding amongst remote workers.
4. Invite a Speaker
Inviting an expert like queer activist or human rights activist to speak about LGBT issues is an informative activity. Schedule an online session with these speakers to know about the struggles and discrimination the queer folks go through.
You can also ask them to speak about the myths related to gender diversity and sexuality. For example, people think being gay is an abomination, unnatural, and a modern influence. But, no, people are born gay, and your staff must know every detail about this awesome community.
5. Queer History Lessons
Pride is not about celebration, only, but also about education. LGBT folks stayed in the closet for years, and their existence was minimized. The pride parade celebration is also a protest remembering the past and present struggles of the community.
Educating your workforce with queer history lessons is a meaningful D&I practice promoting workplace equity. You can do this by inviting a guest speaker, making online presentations, photo essays, or watching a documentary on LGBT struggles.
To make it easier, we have mentioned some of the popular Gay History resources to start with:
- GLBT Historical Society
- Human Rights Watch
- History Channel
- Making Gay History
- Gay 50 States
- CNN LGBTQ Fast Facts
You can also ask your writers to include such history topics in social media posts, blog articles, and newsletters.
6. Pride Playlist
It’s the time to celebrate freedom and acceptance, and music is the best companion. From Whitney Houston to Beyonce and Lady Gaga is your go-to artist to compile a pride playlist.
Also, to make it more engaging, ask your employees to come up with song suggestions and create a team playlist to celebrate the LGBT folks in your office.
Want an example of such a playlist? Find it here on Spotify.
7. Online Meet with a Drag Queen
Educating employees about drag art is a fantastic way to celebrate pride month in the workplace. A virtual drag show, meet, or cooking class with a drag queen and king is fun.
Keep in mind, these services during pride month are a high-demand affair. If you can’t book a live appointment with a drag artist, consider watching a few episodes of Rupaul’s Drag Race online.
8. Recognize your LGBTQIA Employees
Appreciate your LGBT people in the workplace by recognizing them through virtual/online rewards and recognition platforms. Celebrate great work and their contributions with a customized thank you note or monetary rewards.
While you can’t appreciate your LGBT employees in person, you can do it online by implementing digital rewards and recognition platforms. This develops a sense of belonging amongst workers.
Want to Streamline Your Rewards and Recognition To Match Your Workforce Diversity? Schedule A Free Demo Today
9. Queer Lunch and Learn
Host a lunch and learn session to educate and engage your staff during Pride Month. This is a relaxing yet informative pride month idea.
Stream a webinar or a Zoom meeting over lunch and host this event. You can choose both practical and entertaining topics. All you need is a virtual speaker, a date and time, a Zoom link, and some delicious lunch.
Here are some possible topics to choose from:
- How to be a supportive ally at work
- How to confront an LGBT person with correct pronouns
- Gay rights across the world
- Mental health and queerness
10. Support an LGBTQIA Business
Another way to support the LGBT community during Pride Month is by keeping a business run by queer folks.
For instance, you can order pastries from a bakery owned by a famous gay chef or book a queer artist for an online performance. A small gesture of love and support uplifts queer entrepreneurs’ motivation and confidence. It also develops a sense of support towards the community amongst your staff.
11. Happy Hour
Virtual happy hours are one of the best Pride Month ideas. These events are like partying with colleagues, minus the wait at the bar counter and bathroom lines.
Ensure to include everyone in this activity. In this celebration, your staff can party from their couch wearing their favorite outfits.
Make sure to make this a rainbow-themed party with games and quizzes. Or, just catch up on Zoom and have a fun yet healthy discussion about LGBTQIA+ rights.
12. Watch Party
Art and literature know no boundaries, especially queer art. It is even better when it is a motion picture. There are plenty of movies and TV shows that depict the life of queer individuals.
All you need to do is, decide on a movie or a show to stream and send out Zoom invitations. Once you gather the team members, use a program like Watch2Gether to sync media.
Make sure your staff has streaming accounts because many streaming services have safeguards to prevent screen sharing. If you have the budget, consider covering or reimbursing the cost of renting the movie online.
Here are some fantastic queer movies to choose from:
- Priscilla Queen of the Desert
- Paris is Burning
- My Beautiful Laundrette
- Love, Simon
- The Birdcage
- Queer Eye
- The L Word
- Imagine Me and You
- Will and Grace
- A Secret Love
- Kinky Boots
13. Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool in this digital era. Thus, you can dedicate a social media post or a campaign for this Pride Month. The simplest option is to post a rainbow flag, carousel, or logo.
Posting relevant quotes from iconic LGBT figures like Tim Cook, Ellen DeGeneres, or your queer employees is a great option, too. With social media, you can spread awareness on allyship and offer your support to every LGBT person inside and outside your workplace.
14. Do some Charity
Well, charity begins at home, and practicing it in the workplace is a meaningful virtual pride month idea. All you need to do is make a company donation to an LGBTQIA philanthropy.
You can choose to make a large one-off donation to the organization of your choice or take individual employee contributions of a specified amount.
We have enlisted a few charities right below:
- Gay Men’s Health Crisis
- Los Angeles LGBT Center
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
- The Trevor Project
- Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network
- LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
- Transgender Law Center
- The New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
- Pride Foundation
- OutRight Action International
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation
You must also make donations to small or local LGBT philanthropy as well. Ask your employees to look for organizations to support them. You can also organize an online fundraiser event for this noble cause.
15. Rainbow Emojis
An easy and quick way to celebrate pride is to use rainbow emojis in Slack, Skype, or whichever internal communication tool you use in the office. Then, ask your design team to curate some rainbow graphics like pride flags, queer celebs, and rainbow hearts. Also, take suggestions from the staff and make it an engaging activity.
Next, add the emojis to Slack and encourage the team to use these emojis for the entire Pride Month and beyond.
16. Online Book Clubs
Literature is the key to knowledge. It is relaxing, informative, and handy. Introduce your staff to some of the popular queer literature and authors. Host an online book club and turn the solitary reading habit into a community event.
But first, you must pick the books. So, here are my favorite reads of all time, I guess you’ll like them too:
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Fun Home by Allison Bechdel
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- Juliet Takes a Breath By Gabby Rivera
- Boy Meets Boy David Levithan
- Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
- Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
If you have difficulty choosing the title, consider sending options to your staff and asking them to vote. Announce the reading activity at least two weeks before the discussion. This ensures equal participation and reading from all employees.
Make a list of questions for the book club discussion and let the opinions flow. Also, at the end, make it an open-ended session so that every employee can share their thoughts without hesitations.
If time is a constraint, then consider assigning a short story instead of a novel. Then, depending on the popularity of the event, you can practice this every week or so.
17. Send out those Pride Month Emails
Sending special emails for Pride Month is a simple and cost-effective initiative. The email can consist of good wishes to every employee who recognizes themselves under the umbrella term of LGBTQIA+. You can also mention quotes, profiles of queer figures, historical facts, reading suggestions, and gifs.
18. Blog Articles
Encourage your staff, especially LGBT staff, to write blogs on queer issues during this Pride Month. By doing so, you can show your support towards the community. It also helps enhance employee experience and company culture.
Here are some possible blog topics:
- Successful LGBT figures you must know about
- What is pride, and what it means to employees
- What is the importance of recognizing your LGBT employees
- Ways companies can support LGBT communities
- How to celebrate Pride Month in the workplace
Depending on your line of business, the exact nature of the content may differ. Blog posts are an opportunity to go deeper into a topic and get more attention than a social media post.
19. Burlesque Night
Online cabarets and burlesque night is a bold and unprejudiced virtual Pride Month idea. It is a form of expression and freedom celebrating various sexualities and gender identities—also a fantastic way to display employee talents.
How to host an online burlesque night? Here are the steps:
- Announce the talent show and call for performers
- Once they sign-up, create a show plan
- Fix an emcee to handle the event
- Everything set? Send out the creative invites.
- On the day of the event, connect on video conference and start the show as planned.
Make sure you encourage equal appreciation and cheering via video and audio both
Don’t forget to record the event. Once the event is over, edit the video and post it on social media and other platforms. It acts as a brand promotion and takes your company culture to the next level.
20. Online Pride Parade
Finally, the most exciting event is organizing an online pride parade. Perhaps, a Pride Month is incomplete without a pride march. So, you and your colleagues can host an online pride parade.
We know it is difficult to meet in person amidst the ongoing pandemic. However, you can recreate this colorful experience online.
To host an online pride, all you have to do is:
- Ask your employees to film or live stream their videos strutting down the street or outside their houses.
- Ensure everyone dresses colorful or something attractively queer
- Encourage the use of props, make-up, and glitters, of course!
- Invite family, friends, neighbors, and pets to be a part of the parade
- If making a video, please use a sequence to focus each employee
- Or else, just edit the video of all the clips and make it into a short film that goes in the repository of company culture
- Oh! Live streaming is an option too
Pride Month Tips for Workplaces to Keep in Mind
Celebrating and vocalizing LGBTQIA+ rights in the workplace is a recent trend. So, here are some etiquettes and Pride Month tips for a safe and comfortable experience for the whole team.
21. Don’t Force Anyone to Participate.
Many employees would not like to be a part of the Pride Month celebration. Some employees want to keep their sexuality and love life a private affair. Many employees are still in the closet due to the social stigmas and humiliation attached.
Some might come from various backgrounds and carry certain religious beliefs that don't resonate with the idea of pride. For some, it might be an illegal affair to be gay because they belong to an unsafe location. And some are just disinterested.
Pride is a matter of diversity and inclusion, but you must equally respect every team member’s feelings and beliefs. Forceful participation is counterintuitive as it might develop apprehension in employees’ minds. There is a thin line between not participating and stopping others from celebrating. As long as employees are interested, make the celebration an optional matter for them to choose.
22. Stereotyping is a Big NO!
Queer culture has tropes and cliches like any other culture. You must focus on the diversity of the LGBT community and not the stereotypes. Let us not make fun of effeminate men. Normalize men wearing make-up. And tink beyond gender binaries.
Even though people from the queer community share commonalities but they represent different feelings and personalities with varied gender identities. Do not make assumptions or generalize people based on appearances. It might offend your staff.
23. Focus on Inclusivity
The queer community looks forward to active participation from allies because the battle against homophobia and equality is a collective effort.
Virtual Pride Month celebration must focus on inclusion and should be open to all. Thus, emphasizing allyship and inclusivity serves the purpose. Doing so attracts more and more participation making the celebration comfortable and less personal. Employees who are still not out or don’t want to publicize their sexuality can also attend the festival freely.
24. Keep it PG-13
Pride is all about self-expression, but in a workplace, maintaining decorum is a necessity. Gender and sexual orientation or sexuality are two different things. And unwarranted references to sexuality in the workplace is a wrong approach.
Make ground rules for the staff to follow while celebrating Pride Month in the workplace. Focus on being PG while you shout out for equal human rights in full flamboyance.
25. No Hollow Gestures
Some companies genuinely celebrate and show their support towards the LGBTQIA+ community. In return, they receive love and accolades from all. But some companies do it for the sake of it. Do not be that company.
Pride celebration in the workplace is a significant gesture towards equal opportunity and recognition. Implement an encouraging company culture with robust policies supporting the LGBT community. For example, you can provide equal benefits for same-sex couples. Do not just support for the heck of it, but work towards equal and fair opportunities.
These virtual Pride Month ideas send a positive message that your company recognizes and values its employees irrespective of their gender and sexuality. It is also an opportunity to keep your remote workers engaged and happy.
By supporting Pride and LGBTQIA rights, you create a safe space for workers. You must focus on acceptance and tolerance. Pride is about unity. Pride is a protest. Pride is a celebration. Pride is equality.
On that note, Vantage Circle wishes you a Happy Pride Month!