ASP Celebrates Pride Month

June is nationally recognized as Pride Month in Canada, and in many other places around the world. Pride Month is a great time to shine a spotlight on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) issues, but we must also recognize the fact that the issues the LGBTQ+ community faces don’t go away after Pride Month is over.

Why was June chosen? Because it is when the Stonewall Riots took place in June 1969 in New York City following a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. This series of events was a turning point for the LGBTQ+ community and marks one of the most significant events leading to the modern gay rights movement. As well as being a month-long celebration, Pride month is also an opportunity to peacefully protest and raise political awareness of current issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2005 Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the Civil Marriage Act. In 2016 Justin Trudeau became the first sitting Prime Minister to march in the Toronto Pride Parade, and that same year June was officially declared Pride Month in Canada. Although Canada has come a long way, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure everyone is treated equally at work and in life. Pride Month gives our ASP family a reason to continue our focus on workplace diversity and improve our workplace for everyone, not just during Pride month, but all year round.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the cancellation and replacement of mass Pride celebrations with innovative virtual events that provide alternative ways for all to feel connected and be safe. Pride Month is a time when people come together to celebrate, honor, and show support for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Even though there will be no parades and concerts this year due to COVID-19, June is still a time to celebrate the lengths we’ve come as a country and to recognize the work that remains to be done for the LGBTQ+ community. In a year that has been marked by so much change, uncertainty, and devastation, it has never been more important to celebrate everything that Pride stands for: self-affirmation, dignity, and equality.

Here are some actions you can take to help create equality for LGBTQ in both the workplace and in your personal life:

ASP recognizes Pride Month for what it symbolizes in terms of freedom and equality. Pride can, and should, be celebrated by all, even if you identify as straight or aren’t sure how you identify at all! We encourage and urge all of our employees to recognize and celebrate the value of diversity and to use the occasion of Pride Month as yet another an opportunity to build greater solidarity in support of human rights for all.

It is important to celebrate Pride in the workplace and acknowledge and recognize the accomplishments of the gay rights movement and to celebrate our diverse voices. It is always the right time to focus on diversity and inclusion and make our workplace a more welcoming environment. For our LGBTQ+ employees, inclusion can mean the difference between feeling understood and feeling excluded.

Here are some actions you can take to help create equality for LGBTQ in both the workplace and in your personal life:

  • Avoid stereotypes and tokenism – don’t make assumptions or generalizations that may offend or alienate others.
  • Focus on support and inclusivity – Pride is about togetherness, tolerance, and acceptance.
  • Be sensitive and respectful to all gender orientations and identities.
  • Lead by example – demonstrate openness with your own sensitivities regarding inclusion and support for all people at work.
  • Speak out if a coworker uses offensive verbal comments, tells a disparaging joke about an LGBTQ person. It’s important to let the person know that such actions are inappropriate in a professional setting.
  • Stay informed – educate yourself about the LGBTQ community and work to uncover your own unconscious bias.

At ASP, we are committed to a culture of belonging where diverse individuals can form a genuine community. Pride Month is an opportunity for ASP and our people to demonstrate that purpose and inclusion. We have an opportunity to transform the places we work in. Through dialogue, education and thought leadership we can build a workplace that celebrates all employees regardless of gender expression, gender identify, and sexual orientation and create safe and inclusive workplace. Together we can role model kindness and inclusion in the workplace and in our everyday life. Will you make that commitment today?

Happy Pride Month!

  • Category: Human Resources