Celebrating Pride: How Advocacy and Inclusivity Efforts Go Beyond the Parade

Shangela+Erin+Ward+30th+Annual+GLAAD+Media+ELsDJW3qmHYlWasn’t June wonderful? Summer has officially begun, the weather is beautiful, and fun outdoor activities are in full swing. Another thing that made June so great was the vast array of Pride Month celebrations, seeing rainbow flags throughout our communities, knowing members of the LGBTQI+ community are empowered to showcase who they are, and feeling like we can all contribute to helping our LGBTQI+ friends, loved ones, and neighbors know they are cherished and supported. We’ve come a long way since Stonewall, but that doesn’t mean the challenges that LGBTQI+ folks face are over. To truly make progress toward LGBTQI+ inclusion and equality, our efforts must go beyond June.

In a 2022 study, the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that “LGBTQI+ individuals continue to experience significantly higher rates of discrimination than non-LGBTQI+ individuals.” In fact, more than 1 in 3 LGBTQI+ adults reported facing some kind of discrimination in the prior year.

The LGBTQI+ community needs our help to carry the momentum of Pride Month through the year. So, what can you do to show your support? At Star Benefit Auctions, we believe in the power of mission-driven organizations and the positive change they can create – it’s the reason we work in this space. Amplifying the voices of these organizations is essential to create lasting change.

Support LGBTQI+ Organizations

LGBTQI+ organizations play a vital role in supporting and empowering the LGBTQI+ community. They provide essential services, resources, and advocacy to address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQI+ individuals. Through their tireless efforts, LGBTQI+ organizations work towards equality, acceptance, and the well-being of the community, fostering a sense of belonging and creating positive change.

I have had the extreme honor of working with some truly incredible organizations doing amazing things for the LGBTQI+ community. Here are a few that I’d like to highlight…

  • The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center is a nonprofit providing services for the LGBTQI+ community in Westchester County and the Lower Hudson Valley Region of New York. They offer in-person, virtual, and hybrid services, support groups, social activities, and special events to support the LGBTQI+ community.
  • Turtle Creek Chorale (TCC) is the most recorded male chorus in the world, boasting more than 250 members. While TCC is primarily a gay men’s chorus, the group welcomes all those who identify as male, regardless of sexual orientation.
  • GLAAD is a nonprofit focused on LGBTQI+ advocacy and cultural change, working to ensure fair, accurate, and inclusive representation and create national and local programs that advance LGBTQI+ acceptance.

These organizations, and so many more, need your support, so please consider following their social media and check out their websites to see how you can help.

Create Safe Spaces at Your Events

You can also support the LGBTQI+ community by creating and cultivating inclusive spaces. And that is our specialty. We pride (pun intended) ourselves in our ability to pay attention to all the details that can make a big impact on your donors and your efforts. Being more inclusive doesn’t just benefit the LGBTQI+ community, it also expands your potential donor base at the same time. It’s a win-win for all.

We have implemented several techniques to help all audiences feel included. We use paddles to ensure everyone can participate in our auctions. We use gender neutral language when we speak to our audiences. It sounds so simple, but unfortunately it is too often neglected. In fact, in a recent survey of LGBTQI+ donors, 21% shared that nonprofits have incorrectly listed or referred to them with the wrong name, salutation, or gender. We also offer inclusion sensitivity training for our entire auction team, and work to ensure all our marketing efforts represent the rich diversity of the groups we support.

Partner with Star Benefit Auctions

Our team knows LGBTQI+ advocacy is not a one-night, or one-month, deal, and that’s why we are with you every step of the way in the months of preparations and planning, offering pre- and post-event guidance and strategy. We do what we do because we are advocates too. When you work with us, your cause is our cause.

One of the greatest professional compliments I ever received was from the executive director of The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center when she not only complimented my auctioneering skills, but also my ability to understand and connect with the LGBTQI+ community when she said, “She believes in our mission and speaks our language.”

Pride Month is a really big deal – we know it is. It’s all about love! But our Pride Month efforts will be far more fruitful if we spread that love throughout the other months as well. And we would love to help you do it. Show us some love by reaching out so we can get started.