Celebrating PRIDE all year round

Pride is a time to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community by increasing awareness of the challenges they face, and promoting equality and inclusion. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team at PHA is committed to advocating for their LGBTQ+ employees and the wider community throughout the year, aligning with PHA’s Open Conversation Report. Pride month offers a great opportunity to amplify our efforts. For this Pride, PHA aimed to host initiatives and events that were informative, thought-provoking, and enjoyable.

To kick off the month, we held a Pride focused Open Conversation forum. Every month, our ED&I team runs the Open Conversation forum, which is dedicated to a specific area of ED&I and provides a safe space for employees to explore different topics and discuss as a group. June’s Open Conversation forum had a dedicated Pride theme, where employees enjoyed a lively discussion about LGBTQ+ role models and debated current hot topics in media such as LGBTQ+ casting in television and film, and the future of LGBTQ+ media.

This year, we created a Pride playlist to be played in our offices throughout June. We asked employees to recommend songs from LGBTQ+ artists and well-known anthems that represent the community. These tunes playing around the office helped to get employees into the celebratory Pride spirit.

We were thrilled to welcome back charity, MindOut,. We have collaborated with MindOut before to provide educational presentations covering various aspects of the LGBTQ+ community. During one of the sessions, Dr. Jack Doyle gave an intriguing talk on LGBTQ+ representation in the UK media and suggested how the media should adapt its approach. This was the first in a series of sessions to be conducted by MindOut for the rest of the year.

What better way to round off Pride Month than by welcoming back the always hilarious drag artist Crayola? We were fortunate enough to have Crayola as a central part of PHA Pride last year, where she delivered an informative yet hilarious session. After the Open Conversations forum and MindOut presentation, the ED&I team felt it was important to focus on the fun and celebratory aspect of Pride. Crayola was definitely the best person to help with this, delivering a fun-filled drag bingo event filled with songs, dancing, games (including an impressive employee lip-sync battle), and a peppering of LGBTQ+ history and education. Crayola, as always, brought the party in her usual charming and slightly naughty way. It was great to see so many employees shed their inhibitions, let go, and have fun, which is exactly what Pride is about. There was no better way to round off Pride Month at PHA. Check out PHA’s TikTok page to see the hilarity of the Drag Bingo.

Pride month as always was a great opportunity for the ED&I team to shine a spotlight on the LGBTQ+ community and kick start initiatives that will carry forward during the remainder of the year.

Discussions are already taking place as to how we can go bigger and better for Pride next year so watch this space!

Written by Helen Salvin