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June in the United States is informally acknowledged as Pride Month as a sign of support for members of the LGBTQ community. I support civil equality for LGBTQ community.

Two members of my team are out so I am thinking of sending an email wishing these 2 members happy Pride Month or at a minimum acknowledging Pride Month. Further, I am considering waiting until the 15th of this month as a remembrance to the 3rd anniversary of landmark SCOTUS case of Bostock that expanded federal civil rights protections in employment for the LGBTQ community. In my opinion, such protections were long overdue to minimize discrimination unrelated to merit of one's work.

Our company prides ourselves on an inclusive culture and I have seen rainbow flag on cubicles of colleagues. I am a manager and have been with my company for close to a decade.

  • Is making this acknowledgement advisable?

  • Would an email or verbal message be better / more sincere?

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    Just so we're clear: did you deliberately exclude the transgender part of the LBGTQ community by saying LGBQ instead of LGBTQ?
    – Nzall
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 7:59
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    @Nzall I was wondering this as well. In the past couple of years, transphobes have been making a point of claiming to support "LGB" while posting hashtags like "LGBDropTheT" and arguing that trans people's issues have nothing in common with those of cis queer people. The two uses of "LGBQ" are very suspicious here, in my opinion.
    – AJM
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 9:03
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    @AJM GIven the OP also writes it including the "T" later on in the post I'd suggest it's not a deliberate attempt to exclude
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 9:34
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    Do you already send similar acknowledgements for the many other official and unofficial dates/months celebrating different types of people?
    – sf02
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 14:11
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    What about Hispanic or Asian heritage? Or Veterans day? These also can be difficult to discern without being told. I am just saying, if you are going to go out of your way to acknowledge one group during their celebratory/awareness month/day it would probably look better overall to be consistent with others. The last thing you want is to give the impression that you only care about certain groups and not others.
    – sf02
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 17:59

8 Answers 8

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Two members of my team are out so I am thinking of sending an email wishing these 2 members happy Pride Month

It's not clear from this whether you mean:

  • an email to those two people only, wishing them Happy Pride
  • an email to the whole team, naming those people and wishing them Happy Pride
  • an email to the whole team, wishing a Happy Pride "to all under the umbrella" without singling out individuals.

Of these, the third option is preferable. "Out" is not always a black-and-white status. Somebody who's okay with bringing their partner to the Christmas party, and introducing them as their partner, might still not be comfortable with somebody else putting that in writing. You may also have staff who are queer but not out, in which case a "happy Pride" that excludes them might not feel good to them.

A broader issue, though, is that a lot of LGBTQ+ people are cynical about "Corporate Pride" and "Pride Month" for good reason. As noted in this answer, Pride is only one month of the year, and if that's the only time your organisation is showing up for LGBTQ+ staff, it's just going to feel like cheap gestures. It becomes particularly odious when organisations spend twelve months of the year making donations to anti-queer politicians, and one month of the year waving a rainbow banner, and expect these things to balance out.

If you want to do something for Pride Month that makes LGBTQ+ staff feel valued, look for ways to make that tangible. Find out whether your org is walking the walk. If they're doing good things, talk about what those things are; if they're not, go badger them to start doing good things and stop doing the bad things, and be honest with your team members about where there's room for improvement.

This obviously raises the question "what are good and bad things to be doing?", but that probably needs to be its own question, if it isn't already, rather than derailing this answer.

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  • What about the symbolism of the 15th be as I am not sure who heard of Bostock?
    – Anthony
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 3:38
  • @Anthony I'm not in the USA and wouldn't have recognised the name. Does your org have a LGBTQ+ staff network or similar? If so, they might be able to give some suggestions.
    – G_B
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 4:09
  • Thinking of first option as these two are already out and my message would not be presumptuous, assuming how people are when they may not identify themselves
    – Anthony
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 13:51
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I consider myself an open-minded person; I have LGBTQ+ friends, some of them very very close. I identify myself as male and heterosexual... in my country, June is also considered "pride month"...

However (and this surely is not a trivial topic and surely one with different opinions), I dislike a bit the idea of a "pride month", hear me out before assuming or judging... The real acknowledgment is made each day, every day, by including and accepting people as they are regardless of orientation. We are in a professional environment, and the only judgment we should have here is precisely that: the professional capabilities and skills of each person

It shouldn't matter how someone identifies sexually or in gender. It should matter if a person is capable of doing their job, and doing it well.

Besides, the whole idea of a "pride month" is quite honestly a bit of marketing move; what happens when June ends? Exactly, everyone forgets about that and the pride flags are removed and life goes on... to me, that seems phony and pretentious (like, "hey look, I'm LGBTQ+ friendly, say how great I am").

One should be proud of yourself each day every day, not only for a month.

Your post tells us that you don't identify as LGBTQ+, so technically it's not "your" month... it's best to avoid mixing personal/sexual/gender things with job/professional things... even more if you are a manager.

You keep supporting and being open-minded, and lead with example and inclusiveness; but I would avoid sending an email or similar "just" because it's pride month... what about the other months? Do you stop being open-minded or inclusive during those months?


P.D.: I think this logic can be extended to other dates like Women's Day, etc... should we only celebrate women and mothers one day each year? Nope... and that's exactly why I feel this is more of a marketing move rather than genuine interest in those groups.

Yes, it's important to remember and celebrate those groups. It's part of the struggle those groups have gone through, and having a date/month is a way of remembering the strife and that we should continue fighting for equality and inclusiveness...

But be aware not to take it lightly and forget about all this the moment that day/month ends, as that completely goes against the strife and the whole point of being inclusive.

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I'm a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community. That being said, I personally wouldn't send any kind of "Happy Pride Month!" communication to my colleagues who are members of the LGBTQ community. I think it would be a bit akin to sending an African-American colleague a "Happy Black History Month!" email, or a "Happy Cinco de Mayo!" email to a Latinx colleague. It just strikes me as out of place, possibly inappropriate, and potentially problematic.

You can show your support in innumerable other ways.

I have a colleague, who I've known for a decade, who recently came out as transgender. They changed their personal pronouns from he/him to she/her. I vigorously show my support outside of work. At work I show my support by treating her with the same professionalism and courtesy as I do everyone else. What I don't do at work is call attention to it.

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    At work I show my support by treating her with the same professionalism and courtesy as I do everyone else. Isn't that default behavior ? I like this sentance, but the I show my support is kind of too much. You just treat that person like the others, period, you should not expect recognition from doing so, should you ? Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 6:45
  • As an openly gay person at the office, this is the right answer. I might appreciate an off-hand "Happy Pride" from a coworker I know well and am friends with, but for most colleagues it would be weird.
    – David K
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 12:33
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    @Itération122442 The problem is that discrimination is common enough that being treated professionally can't always be assumed, especially for trans people. So treating people respectfully is showing support, though even better is sticking up for them when others are not.
    – David K
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 12:36
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    @Itération122442 What I mean is that I don't treat them differently. I don't patronize them or pander to them. I don't call attention to them. I don't stand up and wave a flag that says I support the LGBTQ community. I treat them as I do everyone, with courtesy, respect, and professionalism. That is how I "support" all of my colleagues.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 15:50
  • @Itération122442 If any colleague of mine gets worse treatment because of their irrelevant personal beliefs, preferences, or immutable characteristics, I will support them in righting this wrong. Whether it is for the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their nationality or their favorite football team. In this regard I treat everyone with the same courtesy, and I suspect this is the same for joeqwerty. As an aside; it's not out of an expectation of recognition, at least for me. It's out of the belief that we all deserve to be treated that way.
    – user140163
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 16:05
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I'm an LGBT person myself, and I can tell you my own perspective.

I would be very happy to see a manager send out an email to the team wishing everyone a happy Pride Month. Out of the several places I've worked, some of them have been supportive of LGBT+ people, some have been actively hostile, and some have been totally silent. If the people around me aren't saying anything one way or another, then that's better than outright hostility, but it still leaves me wondering if people are going to mistreat me if they find out I'm gay. A "happy Pride Month" email sent to a large group makes it clear that this is a safe environment.

I would have mixed feelings if I saw a manager send a private "happy Pride Month" email to just the openly LGBT+ people on the team. I would assume that the manager had good intentions, but I would also wonder why they felt the need to keep it private. Is it because the organization as a whole is hostile to LGBT+ people and this manager wants to avoid backlash? I wouldn't make negative assumptions, but I would wonder.


On another note, I see a lot of people saying that the most appropriate way to support LGBT+ people is to simply treat them the same as everyone else. I completely disagree, and I have a story to illustrate why.

Quite a while ago, I got hired at a new place. During my second week there, I went on a business trip with one of my coworkers, who was a manager at the company. He was very nice, and he treated me respectfully. He treated me the same way as everyone else, just as the other answers are recommending.

Then, during a business meeting with the customer, the topic somehow turned to a certain mass shooting. My coworker joked that the victims deserved to die since they were gay. Everyone in the room laughed (except me, obviously).

Do I need to explain how that made me feel? More importantly, do I need to explain the questions I now had about how safe I would be while working for this company?

So here's the problem. If you don't say that you support LGBT+ people, I have no idea whether or not you're somebody like my former coworker. I don't know whether or not you hate us.

So if you do support LGBT+ people, then please say so, unambiguously, and preferably in public.

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  • I am thinking privately because by being out, any presumptuousness in my message is removed. I am no longer assuming an identity that the email recipients may not hold. By being out, it's certain they support LGBTQ
    – Anthony
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:05
  • Would you feel the 15th symbolism is too obscure? Not sure how many follow SCOTUS or know Bostock law case
    – Anthony
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:06
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    @Anthony I don't understand how it would be presumptuous to send an email to the entire team. (I think it would be pretty obvious that you don't think the entire team is LGBT+.) As for the Bostock symbolism, I have heard about that case before (and I even read part of the justices' opinions), but I didn't remember the date that it was decided, so I wouldn't have noticed the allusion that you'd be making there. Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:12
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I believe it's worth to take time to assess the cultural situation, however excessive it might seem. I also personally support lesbian, gay, bisexual community and have come across situations where supporting it incorrectly has drawn criticism (specifically, not having the latest version of the flag with added arrow and also just now by using the acronym incorrectly). Mind you, this was not within a workplace environment, but a community event therefore maybe the expectations are different/higher. Point is, you really need to take a second to assess your specific situation.

Honestly, as someone who has dated a variety of people in my time, was threatened by my own mother to be shunned by the family (unfortunately - a bluff) for publicly supporting same sex relationships - even I don't know how to correctly discuss this anymore so good luck to you. At this point I think no one will blame you if you don't bring it up but you don't know what you'll get into if you do something wrong. So I'd say skip it.

But, again, this is due to my experience of "supporting incorrectly" and I just wanted add that that's another possibility to account for.

I also wanted to add since originally the question (to my understanding) didn't specify people who transition: at least in the past the etiquette was that if for whatever reason you know someone transitioned, you don't bring it up. But now I'm not sure if not bringing it up would mean you're excluding them and that could be seen as an issue.

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    The last edit to this post - made by its author - removed a statement that its author supported "LGBTQ+" and replaced it with "lesbian, gay, bisexual". This removes trans people, and any other queer person who does not feel the "LGBT" letters include their identity (for example, someone who was pansexual might feel this way.)
    – AJM
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:30
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    @AJM, we have communicated with Space Giraffe and it is meant very literally. They "personally support lesbian, gay, bisexual community". As in "they are currently doing it". You cannot blame a person for the fact that their community doesn't have any trans people around to support, nor should we force someone to lie about who they are factually supporting. The author does not have experience supporting trans people and would like to not falsely claim they do.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:47
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    That said, it is an excellent example of calling supporters out for "supporting wrongly" or accusing people that already do their best of wrongdoing. So I guess our comments here actually add a lot of credibility to the answer.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:50
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    For context: a prominent lobby group named LGB Alliance was founded a couple of years ago, ostensibly to support lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, but whose activities appear to be directed more at opposing trans rights than supporting LGB people. Unfortunately they've muddied the waters enough that describing oneself as a supporter of "lesbian, gay, bisexual" people (w/o "trans") risks being interpreted as aligning oneself with their position - I would strongly recommend clarifying if describing yourself this way.
    – G_B
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 16:46
  • @GeoffreyBrent Thanks - that group is the most infamous example of what I'm talking about. They're apparently part of a larger strategy by the religious right to try to drive a wedge between cis LGB people and trans people.
    – AJM
    Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 9:42
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If you value your job, don't. Just don't. If you feel the urgent need, maybe say something verbally, but do not under any circumstances put it in writing.

You can support people by actually doing it. Treat them the same as everyone else, if they have problems when they aren't treated equally, help them change it. Vote for the person that makes changes possible on a higher level, who writes labor laws and things like that.

But this is a topic where you personally can only fail. On the one side, you have conservatives, who will hate you and claim you bring politics into the workplace. On the other side, you will have supporters who claim that you aren't supporting them in the current, "woke of the month" only acceptable correct manner, and that that is almost as evil as their enemies. There is nothing more dangerous, then not being up to date on how to support woke people. Our company guidelines on how to ask for pronouns, whether to do it at all and when, have changed 3 times over the course of the last 2 years. That is professional staff working full time trying to keep up with developments. Using the old guidelines a year later would probably be considered insulting and would trigger a shitstorm, even if used in good faith.

Just imagine you put something in writing in best faith and according to all you know today about the topic and someone reads it half a year from now. Good luck. Thoughts and prayers, you are gonna need it.

So don't. If you are not on the forefront of this movement, stay out. It is toxic and there is a good chance it will cost you your job, even if you go in with best intentions. Because there is enough hate out there and it needs a lightning rod. Don't stick your head up and volunteer as one.


This is my workplace answer. Obviously, if this topic is more important than your job for you, you can disregard all of what I wrote.

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    I like this answer. In a healthy environment only people's competences should count and those letters aren't such.
    – red-shield
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 6:30
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Yes, of course.

Many modern US and international workplaces publicly celebrate Pride Month, and a note working folks Happy Pride will in general be welcome and reassuring to LGBTQ+ staff. As VP of a mid-size tech consultancy I was spending some time today planning a “Happy Pride Month” message for our company-wide announcement chat; usually our head of PeopleOps would do that but she’s on a well deserved vacation.

LGBTQ+ people experience both official and unofficial discrimination, so taking some positive action to remind them that you see and value them is important to them and instructional to the rest of your staff. “Keep that separate from work” is terrible advice because it is brought up, often in a negative way, in many workplaces. Positive messaging is therefore the balanced response (assuming your workplace is not anti-gay).

Just walking down the street here there are plenty of Pride messages in workplaces and retail shops. It’s not unusual.

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  • Would the 15th be too obscure of a date as I am not sure how many know what Bostock case is about?
    – Anthony
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 3:39
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    To be honest I have no idea what the "correct" way currently is, but in the interest of transparency and same rules for all, you seem to be missing letters or a plus in your abbreviations. Since other posts have been flagged and debated over this, whether it is a dogwhistle for something or just an oversight/typo I will edit them in in a second, I hope you don't mind.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 12:11
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    Yes, no one will have any idea why you’ve chosen that date, so it will go unremarked, but if it amuses you to send it on that date you do you. I’d recommend doing it at start of Pride month though so it doesn’t seem like an afterthought.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 12:21
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    And happy to use whichever abbreviation.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 12:23
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    @mxyzplk sadly the "correct abbreviation" seems to change on an almost daily basis, but most actual transgender and homosexual people couldn't care less about it. We just want to be accepted as we are and not demonised and penalised for the actions of a minority of extremists. And we'd like that every day, not just during "pride month" when it's what people are "supposed to do". I'll never go to a "pride" event because of that, these people there claim to represent me but don't and I don't want to be associated with them.
    – jwenting
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 7:41
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My thoughts:

Work should be about work. Not who you like to rub genitals with.

Now, to be perfectly clear - I don't care who, what or how you get up to in your private lives - I just don't want it shoved in my face for an entire month.

If you feel absolutely compelled - go buy them a beer after work or something - just don't make a big, cringe song and dance during work time.

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