This month we acknowledge several important causes and events. June is Pride Month, June 19th (Juneteenth), commemorates the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery in the U.S., and we acknowledge National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st.
As children, many of us are told we are special and that we can become whatever we dream of: an astronaut, a doctor, a teacher, a detective. When nervous, we’re told to just be ourselves. But what if the message we receive is that we cannot be who we are, that we must hide part of ourselves? How does this impact or affect who we can become?
In recognition of Pride month, Paper Label reviewed a number of leading organizations providing support, advocacy, crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth, adults, and their families. There are several excellent community groups like The Trevor Project, The It Gets Better Project, Egale, Pflag, Friends of Ruby, Rainbow Refugee, and Rainbow Railroad to name a few. As well, there are more and more people using their voices and their platforms to educate, bring awareness to, and celebrate the LGBTQ2S community.
With Covid restrictions limiting the many Pride festivals and the ability of organizations supporting LGBTQ2S youth to raise funds and awareness, we wanted to help elevate these messages and celebrate individuality and inclusiveness. Now more than ever, we need to show LGBTQ2S youth that their lives matter.
In honour of Pride month, Paper Label will be making a donation to The Trevor Project on behalf of our customers.
Decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, and demographers show that socially diverse groups (those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups. As we evolve as an organization and as individuals, we aspire to learn more, to do better, to be better. Society is changing, even if there are people who still refuse to acknowledge or accept gender diversity as scientific fact. We can all do better to make each other feel included, heard, and seen. Raising others up does not threaten who we are as individuals, we should all be proud of who we are regardless of our gender identity and orientation.
There are some wonderful lyrics from the 1967 musical Hair, written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado: “You know kids, I wish every mom and dad would make a speech to their teenagers and say kids, be free, be whatever you are, do whatever you want to do, just so long as you don’t hurt anybody. And remember kids, I am your friend.”
If only every child received that message.
We encourage others to discover additional resources and ways to give back or get involved within your own community.