What the LGBTQ Community Actually Wants From Corporate America: Words and Actions

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Although many of the Pride parades are canceled due to COVID-19, the powerful LGBTQ community continues to push ahead, according to a study by global strategy and management consultancy Kearney.
"Unstoppable for 50 years: LGBTQ + Pride is marching forward," said a report released today, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the original March 11 Liberation Day march in New York City, noting that this year's Pride Month takes place at an intersection of two major events - the COVID-19 pandemic and the pattern of violence against blacks, in which several murders by police offerings recently escalated, leading to protests across the country. While the LGBTQ community cannot celebrate with a parade due to COVID-19 Pride, they are committed to Black Lives Matter.
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Marches and music on June 19 in Brooklyn
For his study, Kearney surveyed 250 members of the LGBTQ community to understand how they plan to celebrate Pride Month this year, given that their most visible public expression is suddenly no longer available.
"Even with COVID-19, nearly nine out of ten LGBTQ + people intend to celebrate pride this year - which underscores the community's solidarity and commitment to celebrating its history and diverse identity," said Corey Chafin, director of Kearney's consumer practice and lead author of the report. “Although the celebration will be different than in previous years, 83 percent of our LGBTQ + panel said they would connect with other members of the community. 65 percent will exhibit pride merchandise and 50 percent will practice lawyer for LGBTQ +, ”he said. In particular, the study found that 33 percent will donate to LGBTQ purposes, 19 percent through political advocacy and 19 percent through volunteering with LGBTQ organizations.
Advocacy and advertisement are the two main drivers of how businesses should interact with the LGBTQ community. 65 percent of LGBTQ people wanted them to sponsor Pride through a lawyer. Of these, 25 percent supported a donation for LGBTQ purposes, 15 percent wanted companies to set up a COVID-19 support fund for LGBTQ people, 14 percent suggested sponsoring virtual Pride events, and 11 percent wanted LGBTQ people to be celebrated in corporate advertising. Around 35 percent want companies to sponsor Pride through display, including media that celebrate Pride Month (24 percent) and release Pride products for purchase (11 percent).
When asked how they want to celebrate Pride Month this year, LGBTQ people living in the 20 largest US cities compared to less populated areas decorate their homes 1.7 times more often, 1.6 times more often through advocacy and 1.3 times more often virtually organized events. And in response to the words that most describe what Pride Month meant to them as LGBTQ individuals, came 69 times “freedom”, 61 times “love”, 51 times “acceptance” and 50 times “pride”. Other words they frequently mentioned included happy, amazing, celebration, equality, and individual.
Kearney found that one of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the superficial "check-off-the-box" reactions are not readily available and, for many in the community, these simple outs were never the first Place. The LGBTQ community has made further and faster progress than comparable human rights and civil rights organizations by never confusing triumph in some struggles with winning real, unfiltered equality, Chafin said. The tripartite approach - connect, advertise, and advocate - gives companies in America the opportunity to engage with the LGBTQ community at a deeper and more tangible level.
"Issuing a sponsor check for a local parade is not an option this year. Companies should focus on real, authentic efforts to support LGBTQ + advocacy," said Chafin.
He told WWD: "What LBGTQ consumers expect from businesses, especially this year, is more emphasis on advocacy, and financial support is one of the best ways to do it. It's not just about making a check, and you're done. What do you do in the other eleven months of the year and how do you support your employees, the health benefits and what infrastructural measures can you take to live these values ​​and celebrate pride? This consumer population will see through everything that feels fake, and it will take some time to build trust in this consumer group. "
“Twelve months a year is very important. Increased support is certainly expected in June, ”added Chafin.
"The bottom line is that companies have to think beyond the bottom line," he said. “Authentic responses require real action inside and outside of corporate headquarters - good recruitment, retention and promotion of LGBTQ + employees, not just rainbow flags in the break room in June; Get in touch with the community 12 months a year and especially recognize members of the LGTBQ + community as unique individuals who together have enormous economic and social power. "
When asked which companies he thought would make Pride's efforts good, Chafin said: “Target is always a good example of consumer companies. It's not just about what you do during Pride Month, it's also about what you do in the other eleven months of the year. "For example, he said, a few years ago they eliminated the boys and girls departments of the toy department and made them into a department." It is such things that they do. During Pride Month, people see that there is an authentic intention behind it, "he said. He set another good example as Nike.
However, he believes that certain companies that develop capsules for just a month could be considered fake: "It is very clear what companies mean, what they say, and which they don't," said Chafin. He said if companies mean what they say it can work well, like Target, Levi and Nike. He said companies lower in the rankings and developing pride apparel see this as an attempt to increase sales.
Chafin believes pride should be combined with Black Lives Matter events. "Absolutely, if you look across the country, many of the Pride marches are Black Lives Matter / Pride marches," said Chafin. He noted that the history of LGBTQ is rooted in racist injustice. In the Stonewall riots, a black trans woman threw the first stone. There is a lot of connectivity and common causes between these two communities, he said. He quoted Micah Bazant, a transvisual artist who said, "No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us."

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