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At TextNow, we pride ourselves on many things, including the eagerness to learn new things. So when the opportunity came to join a learning session with Matthew French (he/they) from Awesomely Authentic  to kick off Pride Month, we couldn’t resist. The session was “Allyship in the Workplace,” where we learned about how we can support our co-workers, however they may identify. Over 70 employees joined this kick-off session 🌈 . Thank you to Matthew and the TextNow EDI committee for planning the informative event.  

Check-out the Top 5 Learnings we took away from the session:  

“Being here today at this event is showing support to the community, we are learning from each other” — Matthew French (he/they)  

LGBTQ+ US Moments in History:  

  • 1948 – Alfred Kinsey publishes Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Identifying as gay is moved from a sickness into something that is acceptable.  
  • 1966 – Compton Cafeteria Riots, preceding Stonewall Inn. Trans people were being denied service and brought issue to forefront. These moments have such an impact — this was a building block of other queer people standing up for themselves.  
  • 1969 – Stonewall Inn Riots, NYC: Was illegal to dance with the same sex; the mob owned these establishments but the clients could be themselves for a while. Police would come in and do raids, people were being outing and policing was happening.  
  • 1970 – First Gay Pride Parade 

Respecting Pronouns and Gender Identity:  

Sex vs Gender vs Sexual Attraction 

  • Sex vs Gender: sex refers to hormones, chromosomes, genital, and reproductive anatomy, a biological classification.  
  • Gender refers to concepts of femininity and masculinity, a socially constructed system of classifications.

These may not be the same for any particular individual, ie: a person with male anatomy may dress, speak and behave in a feminine manner.  

Sexual Attraction (Orientation)  

  • Is Who You Love 
  • Refers to primary romantic or sexual attraction towards other people- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Asexual/Gray Asexuality.  
  • Gender Identity: includes and not limited to: transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender fluid, agender, two-spirit, bigender  
  • There are many different Pronouns: she/her, he/him, they/them, ze/hir, and more!  

How to support!  

  • Ask what someone prefers to be called and use those pronouns    
  • Avoid invasive unnecessary questions 
  • Make a pronoun mistake? Apologize for your mistake and move on 

Being an Ally

  • Use your voice, use your passion, look behind you and extend a hand, be an activist, I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility)  
  • Use inclusive language on internal and external communication, remove gender binaries on forms (use spouse) on: job postings, eeo statements on postings, hiring documents. Add your pronouns to your email signature
  • Celebrate pride month, provide employee resource groups, leadership buy-in, and visual representations.  
  • Support others, through adding little rainbows to your office space – just to share you are an ally.  

 

We are so thankful for Matthew and the session he led. We are excited to continue Pride Month 2021 with more events and happenings!  

 

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