Happy Pride Month! This year marks more than 50 years of this truly amazing- and vitally important- awareness campaign, and so we thought we’d share a little about what it means to us here at Little Soap.
Why do we need Pride Month?
Don’t get us wrong, we’ve made great leaps when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights here in the UK, but in recent years the progress we’ve been making has started to falter. We’re at a point now where we seem to be losing our way, and we actually seem to be taking steps back, which is more than a little worrying.
According to Stonewall, there are currently more than 1.5 million LGBTQ+ people in the UK right now, but despite legal framework being in place to protect their rights, discrimination and hate crimes against them appear to be on the rise. Stonewall are campaigning for the government to step up and take action to protect LGBTQ+ communities, and we fully support this. Because the reality is that despite the fact that Pride Month has been around for more than 50 years, there is still so much more that we need to do to achieve true equity and harmony.
What is Pride Month all about?
Pride Month marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots that took place in New York back in 1969, and today it’s celebrated all over the world. Pride Month exists so that not only do we never forget those who were part of the most important gay rights protest in history, but so that we can celebrate and show the world that we’re proud to be who we are.
We acknowledge what the protesters fought for, but we remember that there are still challenges ahead, we still need to fight for our rights. We still need to raise awareness and talk about the challenges that exist, so that changes can be made.
What are the issues facing LGBTQ+ communities?
The stats are shocking- even today, where acceptance is greater than it was back in 1969. LGBTQ+ communities still face discrimination, lack of understanding and lack of equality in the workplace, in healthcare and in many other areas of life. This report by Stonewall highlights these issues, as 52% of LGBT people report depression, while 46% of trans people and 31% of LGB people who aren’t trans have admitted contemplating suicide.
So while things have improved, things still need to get better. A lot better.
What Does Pride Month mean for us here at Little Soap?
We make no secret of the fact that Pride Month is very important to us here at Little Soap. When we first began as a company, we admit to feeling a little ‘out there’ on our own for a while. There weren’t many other companies being run by females, let alone gay females- and we’ve always kind of felt it was our mission to prove that it is possible to be gay, and run a successful business at the same time!
Little Soap Company is an LGBTQ+ founded, owned and led brand. At a time when there still aren’t really many known LGBTQ+ business leaders, in a way we really are still out there on our own. But we’re determined to show that we can do business and we can be good at it too. We’re proud of who we are and what we’ve achieved. And yes, we want others in the LGBTQ+ community to know that they can do this too.
How can we all support Pride Month?
Even if you’re not part of the LGBTQ+ community, you can be an ally. You can support by listening, by caring and by supporting. You can make sure you’re mindful of the issues faced by the community all year round, and not just during the month of June.
As a business leader, you can raise awareness and educate, challenge exclusionary behaviour and make it your mission to learn more, do more and be more. Promote inclusivity, encourage allies and strive for equity in the workplace.
As a consumer, you can support LGBTQ+ businesses, (we shared some fab brands in our Pride Month post last year!) and do your research too. Does the brand with the rainbow logo during June truly support LGBTQ+ communities, or are they saying all the right things at the right time? So-called rainbow washing is a thing- so know who you’re buying from and why.
Most of all, educate yourself. Understand what the issues are that LGBTQ+ communities are facing, and be honest with yourself over whether or not you’re actually- perhaps unintentionally- part of the problem. And make steps to change that.
Listen. Be an ally. Accept. Love.