Updated: Jun 5
New York, 28 June 1969.
Police raid the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village.
Six subsequent days of protests and violent clashes that engender (yes, that’s a deliberate choice of word) the gay rights movement around the world.
The first marches, in 1970, were protests. Happily, similar events now, in 2023, are held more in celebration.
Less positively, there’s an unfortunate whiff of the bandwagon about how some organisations now recognise Pride Month, with many transforming their images for 30 days while reverting to “type” for the rest of the year. More commercial cynicism than corporate conscience.
And even the temporary change is not always unanimously welcomed – if you care to search, there was a mildly middle England ruckus last year when some M&S customers bemoaned the use of the pride colours instead of something to recognise the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It’s not for me to suggest what was really in people’s minds, but you can fill your boots with your own inferences.
Here at ANHH we will also proudly (again, deliberate) be using a subtle twist on our logo this month. For us, though, it has nothing to do with rainbow-washing.
Our logo is the most central of our branding devices and, by changing it, we convey our values and brand meaning. We choose “doing good” and see this as another opportunity to reinforce that choice. We know that 30 days’ focus means nothing if we don’t use our platform, however small it may be, to advocate for more meaningful, sustainable change and to stimulate more action-oriented thinking.
So, this month, we will be challenging ourselves, our readers, and our clients to contemplate some issues that have 365 days’ resonance and relevance:
· Anti-discriminatory practice and policy making in healthcare to protect LGBTQ+ people
· Avoiding tokenism around Pride Month
· Respecting people’s gender identity and pronouns
· Avoiding making assumptions about sexuality and gender
With personal pride (yes, you got it) and professional pleasure I can also confirm that the principal blogger this month will be my son, Artie Ray, who constantly causes me to contemplate and ponder the best version of myself.
Watch this space throughout the month.
In the meantime, I leave you with something from the ever-brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda. On 12 June 2016 he accepted yet another Tony Award for Hamilton, the evening after yet another mass shooting perpetrated by Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old man, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 more. The location of that evil? Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
In a beautiful sonnet that was his acceptance speech, Lin-Manuel expressed his love for his wife (Vanessa), referenced Hamilton’s wife (Eliza), and addressed the tragedy that had just occurred. At the sonnet’s end lies this exemplary wordsmithing:
We rise and fall and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love;
Cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony; Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.