Raising the Rainbow
AUTHOR: LUKE TREVASKIS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT MORECAMBE TOWN COUNCIL
Pride events are taking place across the country throughout June and local (parish and town) councils can make an impact by showing support for their LGBTQ+ communities.
Celebrating diversity is a key message this month. Everyone deserves to feel represented and councils should focus on activities that will help people to feel embraced for who they are.
During the last two years, Pride Month has been somewhat sidelined by Covid, and it is important over the next few weeks to acknowledge and raise awareness of the issues that continue to aﬀect LGBTQ+ people across the country and globally. There has been positive progress in the last two decades to tackle key issues faced by inequality. However, people continue to face social isolation, stigma and discrimination, with 72 countries continuing to criminalise partnerships that fall outside of the binary male-female dichotomy.
Pride month aﬀects us all, and with 2022 marking the 50th anniversary of the ﬁrst oﬃcial London Pride marches, local councils are encouraged to do what they can to ensure neighbourhoods are more welcoming and inclusive for all residents.
Here are 30 recommended activities (one for every day of the month) that your council can do to celebrate Pride Month:
- Learn about Pride!
- Raise the rainbow pride ﬂag.
- Utilise a meeting to educate councillors and record in the minutes what Pride means to your council in 2022.
- Voice support and become an ally of local LGBTQ+ organisations.
- Host an inclusion workshop and invite an LGBTQ+ speaker - perhaps somebody in your local community who would like to share their story.
- Fundraise for an LGBTQ+ charity.
- Organise a rainbow cupcake baking workshop for local children.
- Hold rainbow-themed meetings throughout June.
- Put up Pride posters in your community to raise awareness.
- Include a LGBTQ+ themed article in your next newsletter.
- Have a Pride movie night in your local park or village hall - think Broke Back Mountain, God’s Own Country, Boy Erased, Call Me by Your Name.
- Organise a pride parade or event - bingo with a drag queen would be one not to be missed!
- Hold a reading club with an LGBTQ+ book such as The Velvet Rage (Alan Downs).
- Host a ‘lunch and learn’ afternoon.
- Include a pride-themed entry in June to your parish/town calendar.
- Evaluate your equality and diversity policies, and remove all gendered language from job postings and policy documents.
- Commission an artist to create a community sculpture that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, or install something temporary such as a rainbow zebra crossing.
- Host a trivia night to learn about LGBTQ+ history.
- Make sure your community library is well stocked with LGBTQ+ books.
- Organise a painting competition for the best local landscape with a rainbow.
- Promote any vacancies on your council to the LGBTQ+ community to encourage a more diverse local council sector.
- Encourage any LGBTQ+ councillors to join NALCs LGBT+ network to connect with other colleagues, oﬀer support, and share good practices.
- Send an email to employees celebrating Pride Month and hold talks with staﬀ to ensure they feel their workplace is safe and inclusive.
- Add a rainbow to your council crest, website, social media icons, or Zoom background.
- Create a photography exhibition to celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community and invite residents to showcase their work.
- Contact your local MP to advocate for further advances in legislation, such as the elimination of conversion therapy.
- Invest in quality LGBTQ+ training to ensure all councillors are aware of bias-based bullying.
- Include directives in your council’s action plan that speciﬁcally address LGBTQ+ issues in your community.
- Adopt more inclusive language - using appropriate terminology which includes people’s chosen pronouns and names.
- Discuss what can be done all year round!
Playing a role in Pride Month is an opportunity to unapologetically stand up, stand out and stand together.