Pride Month 2024

As we reach the end of Pride Month 2024, it’s time to reflect on what it means to celebrate Pride Month as a business in 2024, and the values that drive us forward. We recognize that in the corporate world, the fine line between genuine support and performative allyship is increasingly blurred. As a small business, it is our job to navigate between “Rainbow Capitalism,” and showing our employees, clients, and anyone who may look to us as an example, that our values as a company include supporting and respecting the LGBTQ+ community unconditionally.

Pride Month is a relatively young commemoration month inspired by the Stonewall Riots, a series of gay liberation protests that began in New York in 1969, following a police raid at Stonewall Inn, a gay bar. The Stonewall Riots were unplanned, but they formed the basis of the more cohesive LGBT rights movement in the United States. Pride marches began in several U.S. cities in the years following the Stonewall Riots, both to commemorate the riots, and to push for further liberation. Pride Month was not officially recognized until 1999 and faced a brief hiatus from official recognition from 2017-2019, when it was reinstated.

The progress made since Stonewall seems undeniable – homosexuality is no longer considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, we have openly LGBTQ+ elected officials, same sex marriage is legal nationwide, and LGBTQ+ individuals have gained federal protection from discrimination. And yet, the current political atmosphere surrounding LGBTQ+, especially regarding transgender rights, has become increasingly charged. Individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are still at significant risk for experiencing discrimination and rejection in both their personal and professional lives, and LGTBQ+ youth, in particular, experience shockingly high rates of depression and suicide.

At Catalina, inclusion is a matter of principle. For us, that goes without saying. But the point of Pride Month is that you do need to say it. And, as a small business that can’t directly change laws or change minds, that is what we aim to do. We aim to add weight to the side of progress, saying without hesitation that we support the LGBTQ+ community. We feel joy for those who are able to live their full lives with pride, and we feel sorrow for those who are facing hate and discrimination from their families, communities, or employers. And, as we leave Pride Month, we encourage you to say these things not just in June, but throughout the year. Happy Pride, and here’s to a future where everyone can be their true selves, and inclusion is at the core of everything we do.

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