There’s no denying that Pride is a fun month. There are tons of parades, parties, and other exciting events filled with every color of the rainbow geared towards people young, old and every age in-between. While it’s a time for celebration and merry-making, it’s also kind of an extracurricular activity if you think about it. And that’s oftentimes where the party seems to come to a screeching halt. After all, it’s not often that you hear of an amazing affair celebrating the LGBTQ+ community at the office. That doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate Pride month at work, though.
Showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t have to start once you punch out at work. In fact, there are many ways in which you can be an ally during office hours. That said, some companies might naturally be more open to being inclusive than others. You might work for a company comprised of hundreds of people — or it just might be you, a couple of coworkers, and Bertha, the bookkeeper. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many employees work at your company; what matters is raising awareness at your workplace that makes sense for everyone. These tips can bridge a seamless transition between work and play and help you celebrate Pride month no matter what job you have.
1. Decorate Your Space
To make your office environs a little more celebratory, you can joosh them up with some Pride-related décor. But before you whip out the acrylics and paintbrushes (which would probably be frowned upon by your boss), think of other creative ways to make your space more inviting. For example, you can use a rainbow flag screen saver, a photo that reads “Love Wins”, or framed photo of you at an event. Not only can it make your cubicle cuter (because let’s face it, grey cubes with fluorescent lighting just aren't all that festive), but it also conveys your support for the community. Need some ideas and/or supplies? Check out the Coterie x Winky Lux Pride Party Set, pictured above (CoterieParty.com, $49)
2. Send Out The Swag
No one can resist some freebies, so make your space the office destination for swag — and colorful conversation, too. You might hand out mini flags or temporary tats that coworkers will covet. While having rainbow-colored candy on your desk can certainly freshen your coworkers’ breath, it can also open the door to meaningful discussions about what’s currently happening in the LGBTQ+ community.
3. Have A Dress Up Day
4. Adopt A Cause
Fundraisers can be a great way to celebrate Pride month at work. When it comes to fundraising, the sky’s the limit because you can really do anything (think having a carnival-themed party complete with a dunk tank), to encouraging coworkers to run a 5K. You might even convince the bosses to compensate employees for their charitable acts for the LGBTQ+ community. At the end of the day, it’s not so much how much money you’ve raised, but the sense of camaraderie that you’ve built amongst your colleagues along with their increased awareness of the issues that truly matters.
5. Plan A Party
There’s no reason why the celebrations have to stop just because you’re in work mode. Grab some colleagues and head out to a fun LGBTQ+-friendly restaurant for lunch, or even have some after-hours drinks with coworkers at that cute little place that opened on the corner and has a rainbow flag above its door. You can wear some sassy Pride clothing to show your support.
6. Talk About The Issues
On the whole, most people are supportive and want to help their fellow colleagues in their causes (like buying overpriced chocolates from coworkers who are hawking catalogs for their kids). But they might not really understand what’s going on in the LGBTQ+ community well enough to support the issues. That’s why it’s important to be well-versed on those topics yourself, so that you can accurately relay information to the people you work with. Try attending workshops in your neighborhood to get schooled on current events, and you’ll become an office expert.
7. Practice Pride Year-Round
Pride is celebrated throughout the month of June, but that doesn’t mean that your support has to be reserved for only 30 days. If you think that it might be challenging to keep the momentum going come July, why not try setting some goals? They might be monthly or even quarterly objectives that you’d like to accomplish. It can range from anything from raising a certain amount of money to getting coworkers to attend a LGBTQ+ meeting after work. You might even send out text alerts of some upcoming events to keep the interest up.
8. Be A Shoulder Of Support
Recently, a dad offered free hugs at a Pride parade to kids who needed them, and his small show of support had a viral effect felt around the world. You can be the office therapist for coworkers who might be struggling to understand a child who’s coming out, are uninformed on some issues that the community faces, or simply just a safe space to vent. And if the issues presented to you are bigger than you can handle, have a list of support groups and other counseling services that you can recommend.
9. Offer Chaperoning Services
Let’s say that you have a coworker who has heard tell of the fabulosity of Pride events and wants to take part, but doesn’t know where to go or how to start. That’s where you can come in! Offer to be a plus one if one of your coworkers wants to go to a parade or other events but doesn’t want to walk go solo.
10. Host A Lively Lunch
Here's where you can let your culinary creativity soar. Gather a gaggle of your coworkers for a lunch that celebrates diversity and honors inclusion. Obviously, anything that's red/orange/yellow/green/blue/violet will do, so look for exciting new ways to incorporate the colors into the foods you'll serve, like cute fruit kabobs or a seven-layer cake. You can even serve a non-alcoholic rainbow cocktail that will be sure to please.
11. Bring In A Fun *Expert*
Yes, office meetings can be mindless, but ensure that yours won’t be by focusing on fun. You can get a local LGBTQ+ author to come in and do a reading from his book. Or you might have an artist agree to paint portraits with flair. The point is, make the event fun-filled (and groan-free) so that your colleagues have a great time, come away armed with new information so that they, too, are filled with Pride.
Pride doesn’t have to be relegated to after work hours and weekends only. Look for ways to weave it into your workday so that you increase awareness and make your company more inclusive for everyone.