- 11. Aug. 2022
- Judith Schwarzer
To live in diversity, you need understanding on all sides and protected space to exchange ideas. And because the topic of Pride and LGBTQIA+ are too important to talk about only once a year, we met virtually for an internal panel event entitled: “Unapologetically Us!”.
The speakers, consisting of people who feel part of the LGBTQIA+ and Straight Ally communities, openly described their individual experiences. “It’s important for us to make it clear that what looks like a lot of fun and joy at events like Christopher Street Day is a political protest because queer identities are not accepted everywhere,” said one speaker. Yet the demonstrations, and the Pride movement in general, are also about a sense of belonging. Not everyone is free to be who they are. For that, a safe environment is needed. And how do we create this safe space? “Events like these promote the urgently needed exchange to create more tolerance. Language is an important tool to signal acceptance,” says one speaker.
For many people, hostility because of their gender identity is part of everyday life – and often, that is not the worst, as the assaults after the events around Christopher Street Day in Berlin and Cologne show. “These assaults are yet another wake-up call for us,” Maren Kroll, CHRO at Mister Spex, comments on what happened. And further: “We must actively support and promote tolerance. Because even if campaigns such as Pride Month or the Pride Parade put the community in the spotlight and create visibility for the issue, that’s not enough. Let’s actively work daily to promote equality of all identities and support the LGBTQIA+ community.”
What we’re taking to ourselves after the internal panel event?
To challenge ourselves and our assumptions and never stop talking to each other. “Today’s event had a lot of rainbow character – that is not only important but also good for the soul”, one of the speakers concludes the discussion. We thank all participants for their courage and openness.
reading tips from the team:
Note: LGBTQIA+ community includes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgender, Queer, Intersexual, Asexual, and any other identities not listed. Straight Ally are people who identify as heterosexual and cisgender, who support the LGBTQIA+ movement and additionally speak out against homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
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