05-31-2021 03:30 PM
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Pride Isn’t Limited by the Month of June
Every year on June 1, social media feeds turn into a concoction of rainbows, glitter, and “born this way” sentiments. Companies turn their logos into Pride flags, and advertisements feature a diverse, intersectional cast—proving that they, too, support the LGBT+ community.
Pride is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that started in the early hours of June 28, 1969, in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York. But what happens as soon as June is over? That Pride allyship that was so bold, honest, and—well—prideful a few weeks ago slowly fades away and hibernates for the next 11 months. Pride is about equal rights for people, and those equal rights shouldn’t get stored away on July 1, only to be recognized a year later.
While no one expects us to post about Pride every single day of the year, it’s vital that we hold up those promises for change with action—action that impacts the LGBT+ community every day. For Raz, this everyday practice and ideology is just like why “Coming out is not a singular event. We are coming out on a daily basis; therefore, we should be proud of who we are every day.”
How to be an ally yearlong
We had conversations with four Intel employees in the LGBT+ community from around the world—Raz, Marina, Ivanna, and Karla. These are some tips they gave on how to be an ally all year long.
Asking about pronouns
While it may not be as necessary to state your pronouns for every person you meet, it is key that we become comfortable with asking the question or being asked the question.
Ivanna says that we should, “normalize asking [these] questions respectfully [in order to] stop assuming sexual orientation, gender identity, and pronouns.” Just asking politely is already a big step forward in how we introduce ourselves or get more acquainted with new friends, coworkers, or clients. Asking someone’s pronouns lets them know that you want to be respectful and don’t want to assume their gender based on their appearance alone.
Putting your pronouns in an email signature is also a progressive way to avoid assumptions about gender. It normalizes the practice of asking by demonstrating your openness to other peoples’ identities by stating your own.
LGBT+ in film and media
Another great way to expose yourself to multiple narratives is to read books or watch films/movies that either feature or are produced by people in the LGBT+ community. While the community is still underrepresented in media, there are still so many books, films, and shows to learn from and explore. We can expand our minds and further understand the community when we take the time to engage in media that doesn’t predominantly feature cis/straight folks.
And that doesn’t mean you must read Marsha P. Johnson’s autobiography or watch a lengthy documentary—though we do encourage you anyway! Marina says, “every source of knowledge is valid! Even comedies can educate us while we laugh.” You can listen to a podcast, watch a YouTube video, read a magazine article—anything! While some may think it’s “political” or “niche,” simply engaging in LGBT+ content is important to attain a wider, more diverse perspective that you may not otherwise get to experience.
Say you have a friend or coworker who is a part of the LGBT+ community, and say you have a question about it. Instead of approaching that person with your question— “Why does stating my pronouns matter?”; “Why is Pride celebrated in June?”; “Is the governor that’s running for office an ally?”—please try to just research it yourself. While these questions are inherently harmless, it’s not your friend/coworker’s job to educate you. It can be mentally exhausting for someone in the LGBT+ community to answer every question you may have. Besides, they’re not a spokesperson for the entire community anyway.
Karla says, “We shouldn’t have the responsibility to educate everyone around us. There’s a lot of people who have access to the internet, and you can find the answers to your questions online.” Access to the internet means you have access to knowledge. If you have a question, there are so many resources—particularly for cis/straight allies—that can answer these questions for you. That way, you won’t have to bother your friend or coworker and ask them something that may be a sensitive topic for them.
How Intel supports the LGBT+ community
At Intel, we have proudly supported the LGBT+ community since the mid-’90s with IGLOBE, our resource group for employees and allies. After IGLOBE’s foundation, we began to step up and create initiatives that would create a beneficial and safe workplace for our employees—inside and outside of the office.
In 1997, we started to provide insurance and health benefits to domestic partners, and in 2002, we added gender expression and identity to our anti-harassment policies. In more recent news, we’re in full support of the Equality Act for equal protection under US law for LGBT+ Americans, and since 2016, we cover all gender reassignment or reaffirming procedures recognized as medically necessary. In April 2021, we signed a letter with 85 other companies opposing anti-LGBT+ laws in state legislatures across the US.
Hear from several employees on how Intel has made them feel included, respected, and safe.
Marina: From the first day I stepped in at Intel—in Brazil and in the US—I could feel the inclusion and the openness for everyone to bring their authentic selves to work. In fact, I feel empowered by the safe environment we have at Intel where we can talk openly about it, even in my conversations with customers and providers. It’s truly a privilege to work at a company where I can feel “defended.”
Raz: Although Pride month is where we get most of our exposure, I must say that IGLOBE Israel is working year-round. I remember one day my manager invited me to a department staff meeting where he recognized me for all the work I do in leading IGLOBE. It was such an amazing surprise, and it was so moving.
Karla: I appreciate how IGLOBE is a network of people just like me. It makes me feel like I’m not alone and that I’m respected in a safe space where our leaders are actively open about being allies. It’s so important to me that we see Intel executives—current and previous—wearing that “ally” badge.
Ivanna: Intel is a great supportive workplace where I am lucky enough to have a great manager who provided me with a safe space to come out at work, even before I came out to my family. This has helped me accelerate my career and collaborate with wonderful people to create programs that can help Intel be more inclusive.
More than a seat at the table
Pride is a time for celebration and reflection. While parades that burst with colors, glitter, and music are fun and energizing, it’s important to recognize all the work that still needs to be done both at an international and US level. While social change can’t happen overnight and not everyone can write an antidiscriminatory bill into law, we nonetheless have to make an effort every day.
It’s more than just giving people in the community a seat at the table. Not only do they need a seat, but they need a platform, equal representation, and respect. To consider ourselves allies, we need to listen, learn, and hold our friends and family accountable too.
Gay people are gay every day. Trans people are trans every day. Nonbinary people are nonbinary every day. That’s why they need allies every day. That’s why Pride isn’t just a June thing.
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We make the impossible possible and empower millions around the world through great technology, good corporate citizenship, and inclusive culture. We are Intel, and these are our stories.