Over the years, movements that aim to make the world a more inclusive place have fought tooth and nail to earn the rights and recognition that they deserve, including support for the LGBTQIA+ community, and their ongoing pursuit of equal rights and representation.. From women’s suffrage to the Civil Rights Movement, these game-changing moments in history have paved the way for many of the advances we enjoy today.
This June, we celebrate Pride Month – a time to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and the progress made for the LGBTQIA+ community since then. It’s the perfect opportunity for the members of the community and their allies to reflect on how far we’ve come and the work that still needs to be done.
To show their support and allyship, many brands and businesses roll out Pride-themed campaigns and product lines. And while these gestures are appreciated, they often lack the depth and meaning needed to truly show solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways businesses like yours can support the LGBTQIA+ community this pride month and beyond. Through your art and creativity, your business can definitely empower members of the community and be an ally.
Why Pride Month Exists
Before we get into the ways you can support the LGBTQIA+ community, let’s take a step back and understand why Pride Month exists in the first place.
As mentioned, the Pride Month is celebrated every June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. These riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in response to a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City on June 28, 1969.
Up to this day, the Stonewall Riots are considered to be one of the most important moments in the history of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. The riots marked a turning point in the fight for equality and served as a rallying cry for the community to stand up and demand to be seen and heard.
What Does LGBTQIA+ Stand For?
The terms and acronyms related to the community have evolved over the years. Back then, the acronym “LGBT” was used to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. But as the community has grown and become more inclusive, the acronym has expanded to “LGBTQIA+.”
So, what does LGBTQIA+ stand for?
L – Lesbian
G – Gay
B – Bisexual
T – Transgender
Q – Queer/Questioning
I – Intersex
A – Asexual
+ – Plus, representing the many other sexualities and gender identities not listed here
As you can see, the acronym has become more inclusive to reflect the diversity within the community. And this inclusivity is something that businesses should keep in mind when creating their Pride Month campaigns.
Some Things You Can Do to Show Your Support & Incorporate Inclusivity Into Your Brand
Apart from understanding the history and meaning of Pride Month, there are other ways you can show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Below are some things you can do to make your business more inclusive and to show your solidarity with the community.
Constantly Educate Yourself & Your Team
Just like the acronyms and terms related to the community, the conversation surrounding LGBTQIA+ rights is constantly evolving. What may have been considered acceptable a few years ago may no longer be the case today. That’s why it’s important for you and your team to constantly educate yourselves on the latest news and developments related to the community.
This way, you can avoid making any missteps that might offend or alienate members of the community. You can also ensure that your team is always up-to-date on the latest changes so that everyone is on the same page.
Use Inclusive Language
The language you use can either include or exclude certain groups of people. When creating your social media posts and campaigns, be mindful of the language you’re using.
For example, you can avoid using binary assumptive language like “ladies and gentlemen” or “boys and girls.” Instead, opt for gender-neutral terms like “folks” or “everyone.”
Don’t Just Do It For the ‘Gram
People smell BS or inauthenticity from a mile away. So, don’t just jump on the Pride Month bandwagon for the sake of it. If you’re going to show your support, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Your actions should be in line with your brand’s values. Otherwise, you risk coming across as inauthentic, which can do more harm than good.
Get Involved in the Community
Another way to show your support is by getting involved in the community. This can be done in a number of ways, such as donating a portion of your proceeds to LGBTQIA+-related causes or partnering with organizations that support the community.
You can also look into hosting events or creating content that raises awareness about the issues faced by the community.
Make It Meaningful
Whether it’s your line of products or a new campaign you’re launching, make sure it’s something that will resonate with members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Your goal should be to create something that will make a positive impact on the lives of those in the community. Otherwise, your efforts will fall flat and come across as tone-deaf.
Custom Merch to Show Your Pride & Support
As a print on demand business owner, one of the best ways you can show your support is by creating custom merch for Pride Month with your own amazing designs. Some examples of items you can create include:
When it comes to custom apparel, nothing makes a statement quite like a shirt. You can use your designs to create shirts with powerful and inspiring messages that show your solidarity with the community.
You can also partner with organizations and use your shirts to raise awareness about the issues they’re fighting for. Not to mention, a portion of the proceeds can be donated back to the cause.
Custom Hoodies & Sweatshirts
Another great option for custom apparel is a hoodie or sweatshirt. These are perfect for people who want to show their support in a more subtle way.
You can create small logos of the different flag colors or play around with different designs and color schemes. The possibilities are endless!
Pride Flags & Banners
Of course, the Pride Month celebration wouldn’t be complete without a pride parade. And what’s a parade without some amazing flags and banners?
As a print on demand business owner, you can create custom flags and banners for people to use during the parade. These can include the different flag colors, inspiring messages, and more. You can also create tapestries or smaller flags that people can wave around or use to decorate their homes, stores, and offices.
Pins & Buttons
Another great way to show your support is by creating pins and buttons. These can be worn by people of all ages and serve as a reminder that everyone is welcome and loved.
You can create designs with the classic rainbow colors or get creative and use your own unique designs along with quotes or phrases that represent the community.
People who are going to be attending pride festivals or parades will want to show their support while also staying safe. And what better way to do that than with a pride-themed facemask?
Similar to the other items on this list, you can use your own designs or go with the colors of the different LGBTQIA+ flags. You can also add empowering words or phrases like “love is love” or “ally”.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
When creating custom merch for Pride Month, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. First, make sure your designs are inclusive of all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. This includes people of all colors, gender identities, and sexual orientations.
Second, avoid using offensive language or images in your designs. This will only serve to alienate members of the community and make them feel unwelcome.
Finally, remember that Pride Month is about more than just parties and parades. It’s a time to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community and stand up for their rights. So, make sure your designs reflect that.
Design, Create, and Empower Today!
While they may seem small, your efforts to show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community this Pride Month can have a big impact. So, this Pride Month, don’t just sit on the sidelines. Get out there and design, create, and empower!
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