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Eight: Pride and Joy - creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive environment.

Updated: Jun 10, 2023

Enjoying a pint in our local pub garden, with our daughter in a highchair contently munching chips and playing with an array of plastic toys. We had survived the first eighteen months of parenthood.

Our lives were manageable. Work was going well, we had a routine, our daughter was sleeping through. She laughed a lot, gave amazing cuddles and rarely cried. Apart from an obsession with taking all tissues out of tissue boxes she was a dream child. We were doing a good job and feeling proud of ourselves.

Choosing the nursery had been the biggest decision my baby addled brain had had to cope with. We had shortlisted three. Top of the list was a homely nursery located in an idyllic park with its own outdoor adventure playground. Unfortunately, the manager couldn’t fathom that we were two mums and repeatably asked when the father would visit. The second, a modern town house where they had the children reading algebra and critiquing the work of Vincent Van Gogh. The conceited manager scoffed with disdain when our daughter spotted a box of tissues!

The third was a 1960’s office block, next to the M4 flyover that had seen better days. The peroxided, pierced and heavily tattooed manager showed us around the misshapen rooms, filled with worn well-loved toys. The walls awash with bright handprint paintings and unidentifiable blobs of paint. There amongst the artwork was the Pride flag. Rainbow bunting etched with inclusive words hung around the rooms and photos of same sex parents were visible on the ‘different types of family’ display. The manager spoke with such acceptance, warmth and gave assurances that the motorway pollution was downwind of the nursery. With that we made our choice.

Whilst sipping our pint in the sun we congratulated ourselves on the choice of nursery, how settled our daughter was and, at risk of sounding a little smug, revelled in how easy this stage of parenthood was. Cooing over our pride and joy my wife looked up and said, ‘I can’t believe we are going to do this all again’.

The littlest signs make the biggest difference!

The first Pride marches took place over 50 years ago to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising and demonstrate for equal rights. Today across the globe some of the smallest of towns and largest of cities celebrate Pride month. The LBGTQIA community and allies explode onto the streets covered in glitter and rainbows singing Cher hits and Gaga’s ‘Born this way’. It’s a wonderful celebration on how far we have come, and a stark reminder of the LGBTQIA inequality that still exists around the world.

During Pride month, workplace and schools may hold LGBTQ events, sponsor a parade float or rainbow up their company logo. This is wonderful, but for the community it’s also the littlest of signs that help create a safe, inclusive and nurturing environment. It’s the teacher or manager who wears the Pride badge all year around. The rainbow flag that’s a permanent fixture in the foyer, the gender-neutral toilet, the workplace policies inclusion of trans rights, photos of modern families on the displays and My Two Mums book on show in the library.

It is here I want to work, send my children to school, dine out and holiday. It is here my children are safe and I am free to be my authentic self. Happy Pride Month 🏳️‍🌈❤️

What littlest signs have you experienced? What have you seen in schools and workplaces that creates true inclusivity and is there more that can be done? Please comment below and let us steal with Pride what works within the workplace and schools!

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Jun 09, 2023
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