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June is Pride Month

Since 1970, cities worldwide have celebrated Pride Month every June to recognize the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more) community, its contributions, and the challenges they’re facing.

In the financial services industry, there are several ways to celebrate Pride Month and take steps toward true equality.

What is Pride Month?

The Stonewall Riots in Manhattan in 1969 led to the annual celebration of Pride Month. The Stonewall Inn — a gay bar in New York City — was one of the few locations that welcomed members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allowed dancing.

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn and arrested anyone violating New York’s gender-appropriate clothing statute. That night resulted in several days of protests with thousands of participants. Collectively the protests inspired the LGBTQIA+ community to fight for true equality.

The following June in 1970, thousands of supporters marched from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park, marking the first gay pride parade in the US.

In June 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. 2011 President Obama renamed it Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

Pride Month is celebrated year after year and serves as a time to send love to the LGBTQIA+ community, take note of society’s progress toward equality, and take steps for what’s left to do.

How can you celebrate Pride Month?

You can celebrate Pride Month as an organization or an individual in several ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Donate to a worthy cause that supports the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Read a book written by an LGBTQIA+ author.
  • Volunteer for an organization that addresses issues the LGBTQIA+ community faces. Don’t forget to invite friends or coworkers to join you!
  • At the office, see if you can hire an expert to host diversity training on gender stereotypes.
  • Host a lunch and learn led by a dedicated speaker that can educate the team on inclusivity, unconscious biases, and gender-neutral language.
  • Attend or participate in a pride parade near you.

See what local events are happening in your community and how you can support them. Talk to your teammates at work and see how they want to celebrate the month.

As a wealth management firm, you should always be creating an environment where employees can thrive as their authentic self. Take year round efforts to cultivate this company culture, but take extra measures during Pride Month to check in and ensure you’re actively supporting your LGBTQIA+ team members.

In order to serve your LGBTQIA+ clients, ensure your advisors are aware of how family dynamics can impact their financial decisions, and ensure your advisors are educated on how to serve these clients. Even with federal protections in place, members of the LGBTQIA+ community can face unique financial challenges. Take stock of what education you need to provide your employees so they can best serve this community today, and in the future.

LGBTQIA+ advisors and influencers making a difference

Over the years, the financial services industry has made significant efforts to create inclusive work environments for LGBTQIA+ employees. However, work is still left to ensure LGBTQIA+ advisors and financial professionals feel included in their workplace.

The more diverse the financial services industry is, the better it can serve all communities. Everyone can benefit from true equality.

Luckily, there are already wonderful people making strides in this arena that we want to celebrate. John Auten-Schneider and David Auten are the owners of The Debt Free Guys and producers of the Queer Money podcast. They do a lot of work in helping the LGBTQIA+ community with financial knowledge while also supporting financial advisors. Both attended and spoke at our early Diversitas Symposiums, as they are working to foster diversity and equality in financial services in order to better serve diverse communities.

To read more about the importance of getting involved, read our post on how to be an ally or why diversity matters. You should also check out our Pride Month Q&As with Daniel Martinez, Jessica Rorar, and Autumn Azar to gain industry insights from the perspective of LGBTQIA+ community members.