Pride Month and LGBTQ+ Freelancers
The inclusive nature of freelancing: for freelancers and businesses
For freelancers and businesses
Happy pride month to readers old and new! In recognition of this, we’ve prepared an article shedding light on what businesses can do to improve their inclusivity practices this pride month and beyond. We’ve also included some considerations for LGBTQ+ folk in regards to freelancing, touching on what to expect and why it is an inclusive and friendly economy.
Become an ally
Pride Month is a great time to begin if you haven’t looked into what you can do to make your business and service more LGBTQ+ friendly. With information, history and discourse circulating and more readily available this month. So, if you’re looking for a few ways to join the movement, keep on reading.
June is the month when many major businesses display rainbows in shop windows, on logos and on their social media feeds. Many look to queer celebrities for marketing and advertising opportunities. While this shows the public that there is a desire for inclusivity, many queer folks seek structural changes behind the scenes.
So, what can your business do? In recent years some businesses have been exposed for taking part in pride month, circulating rainbow merchandise, yet, behind the scenes actively donate, support and fund political movements that are notoriously anti-LGBTQ+. Evaluating how you conduct business, and who you conduct business with, is an effective and empathetic way to speak to LGBTQ+ workers and freelancers.
While we encourage all businesses to state their allyship in any small way – actions speak louder than words. We at Revolancer are committed to standing up for and protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ folk. This is why we are donating £300 to Stonewall. For many other small businesses like this, the money goes a long way for the charity and we would love for other small businesses and freelancers to see what they can do to be allies. You can find the link to donate here.
As a business, you can also encourage mandatory training or refresher training for yourself and your employees. This can be during pride month or year-round. Seek out unconscious bias training or a review of the Equality Act to find out what businesses and freelancers can do to accommodate LGBTQ+ folk.
With a rising number of freelancers, there is a growing, diverse pool of talent. Boosting your company’s diversity will boost the range of views, talents and creativity by accommodating LGBTQ+ freelancers. Diverse ways of thinking provide new sources of inspiration and speak to a wider consumer market. It doesn’t just stop at staff, but in your marketing, put the spotlight on LGBTQ+ folk and LGBTQ+ people of colour. Sharing their stories and experience can allow you and those within your company’s influence how these stories are part of a wider cultural context and moment. Using your company’s influence and resources shows a bigger commitment to the issues raised during pride month, and it is something that can be continued year-round.
Why freelancing is LGBTQ+ friendly
While society catches up, many LGBTQ+ workers find themselves leaning more towards freelancing as an inclusive and flexible alternative, providing a safe space to work and flexibility over who to work with and how you work. Read ahead to see why freelancing is a great option for queer folk.
As a freelancer, you are afforded flexibility in many aspects of your work. This pertains to how often you work, which clients you work with and where you work. This also means you can choose to work remotely. For some LGBTQ+ workers, workplace hostility is still unfortunately an experience. While HR departments should deal with it, these situations can be regrettably inescapable.
For those forced to take matters into their own hands, freelancing affords you the flexibility to work from home and engage with people remotely. Choosing who you work with and whether you work remotely or in person can allow queer folk a level of protection and overall keep you protected from these hostile moments.
In a similar way, freelancers often move around a lot, offering services to a diverse pool of workplaces. There’s a greater variety of work and more control over how you schedule your work. For example, choosing the days and hours to suit your lifestyle. This also means that you have greater control of your identity and privacy wherever you go. Being able to choose how you present yourself allows you to maintain workplace relationships on your terms. It can allow LGBTQ+ freelancers to avoid being subject to tokenism which can be quite taxing and upsetting for many workers.
A final positive of making these free and individual decisions as a freelancer is choosing your own clients. Choosing from a diverse pool of clients means you can choose to work with clients whose purpose aligns with yours. Working with an ethical client, or one who values diversity and inclusivity at the core of the business or service can allow you to feel safe, valued and happy while working with them. For more insight into the power of having a purpose, check out our article here.
Before you go
If you found this article insightful, be sure to check out Preparing for a Professional Event for more insight into how to enhance your experience as a freelancer, create useful networks and increase your income. Also, make sure you join Revolancer and sign up to Plus today!
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer