LGBTQIA+ is a broad spectrum of people and achieving inclusion for everyone needs more work, writes Atomic 212’s Asier Carazo. This article is part of a series celebrating Pride Month, curated by the MFA DE&I Advisory Council.
A piece of art I saw on social media recently really hit home for me, showing gay white men as the tip of the LGBTQIA+ iceberg.
A reminder that Pride is for every body— cis male/White/muscular is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are in a position of privilege, use it as a weapon against oppression and erasure. Happy Pride, y’all. #pride #queerart #gayart #illustration #vectorart #editorialillustration pic.twitter.com/v4JW04GTEv— Moss Bastille (@bastillustrator) June 27, 2020
That’s me. The ‘visible’ tip of what is an enormous, diverse and yet still hugely under-represented group of people.
It was a great reminder – both of how fortunate I am and of how much work still needs to be done.
White gay men have achieved visibility and come so far, but for other members of the community, there remains a shameful level of inequality.
For me, Pride Month is a wonderful chance to celebrate and showcase our diversity – because we are such a diverse community – and by doing so we help bring an increased level of visibility and acceptance to the members of our community who remain ‘underwater’.
What we can do in our industry
As a senior leader, Pride Month is a reminder of the responsibility I have to be a role model for other LGBTQIA+ people in our industry.
I, and other people in a similar position, need to be ourselves, because this helps set a tone across the industry that everyone should feel comfortable and safe to be themselves – especially if you’re considered ‘different’.
We all also need to keep an open mind and look for opportunities to advance people who don’t look like ourselves. As a gay white man, if I just hire people who look like me, I’m not helping to advance diversity.
LGBTQIA+ is a broad spectrum of people and achieving inclusion for one letter means we’re still not inclusive – we need to have a celebration of everyone!
3 things I wish people understood better about Pride Month and the LGBTQIA+ community
- We might be the most visible aspect, but our community is so much more than just white gay men. Pride Month is our opportunity to showcase and celebrate the diversity of the whole LGBTQIA+ community!
- While I am so happy we have Pride Month, we don’t stop being LGBTQIA+ on 1 July. It’s great that we change our logos and fly the Pride flag throughout June, but for so many people in our community, the other 11 months of the year can be a daily battle.
- There is still a lot of work to be done. There’s often an attitude that we’re not Iran so everything is fine, but – even for the gay white man – the level of acceptance we have achieved is relatively new and far from being all-encompassing. As I read on social media recently, Pride Month exists because there is still someone who wishes they were dead instead of gay. There remains a long journey ahead.
Asier Carazo is National Head of Strategy at Atomic 212 and a member of the MFA DE&I Advisory Council.
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