Have you ever wondered why June always heralds a slew of rainbow-themed products and ads? Big companies release limited edition products in rainbow-themed packaging or will put out ads that are in support of Pride. What do all of these things mean?
June is recognized globally as International Pride Month – a month-long celebration of the LGBT+ community, and a commemoration of the community’s struggles and fight for equality. Pride Month has a bloody and complicated history that began in 1969 in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
The Manhattan riots in Greenwich became known as the Stonewall Riots. This was back in 1969 – a time when New York’s local government was heavy on the crackdown of unlicensed liquor and any “disorderly” gatherings. The constant arrests of gay patrons in bars and clubs highlighted the rampant discrimination against the community at the time, and the resulting riots that occurred after the severe crackdowns on Stonewall Inn became symbolic of the struggles of the LGBT+ folk ever since.
Today, every June, the LGBT+ community celebrates the progress they’ve achieved while continuing to strive for equal rights. Many corporations, organizations, and nonprofits have come to support the community in the recent years, announcing their support through awareness campaigns under the rainbow banner – the community’s de facto umbrella flag.
Cazoomi is also on a mission to do what it can to help with spreading awareness in the hopes of encouraging equality. Instead of putting out rainbow-themed institutional messages, we’ve opted instead to learn more about the community and share what we’ve found.
To get some insight, we asked LJ Dolores, a member of our Customer Success team, about his thoughts. (LJ is in his own words “out and proud”, and identifies as a gay man.)
Is he comfortable with his orientation?
LJ answered with this: “Yes, and I have nothing to be ashamed of since we are all created equal and fairly by God.”
He has this to say about being LGBT+ and working for Cazoomi: “I don’t have any problems with my work in Cazoomi because I know and I feel that our company respects and also supports the LGBT Community.”
He adds, “For those people who belong to the LGBT Community let us not be afraid of showing ourselves for we are all created equal and fairly in this world by God as we are also created as a beautiful masterpiece and is destined to bring love, peace and harmony in the world.”
LJ also helped us with some of the details that every LGBT ally should be familiar with.
Did you know the LGBT+ community has its own terminology? For example, the terms “out” and “closeted” – in the community, an “out” person is someone who acknowledges their sexual orientation publicly. Meanwhile, a person who is “closeted” isn’t as open about their orientation, though in some circles the term “closeted” has negative connotations (“not out” is the preferred alternative instead).
What does LGBT+ stand for? The origin of the acronym varies, but the meaning remains the same. It stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and More”. We wondered what “more” means, and discovered other versions of the acronym. The less common version is LGBTQIA+, with QIA standing for “Queer, Intersex, Asexual” – these are recently coined terms to address growing orientation distinctions within the community.
What’s the proper way to address members of the LGBT+ community? Definitely, slurs aren’t acceptable at all. “Gay” is a compromise, because while some members are perfectly fine with being called gay despite not being a male-identifying person who is attracted to fellow men, some are not.
There are also members in the community who identify as “non-binary” and prefer to be referred by gender-neutral pronouns. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask what an LGBT+ person prefers or is comfortable with. Everyone has their preference.
The important thing to remember is that sexual orientation is not a preference – and that it’s perfectly fine to love who one love, regardless of their sex or gender.
Cazoomi supports love in all healthy and consensual forms. We are here for Pride Month, and we are here to support the LGBT+ community.