Wednesday, October 06, 2021 Hannah Broam (she/her, they/them), Staff Pride Group Co-Lead

CHARLESTON, S.C. - How do you feel when you arrive at work? Do you feel invigorated and ready to accomplish all your tasks? Or do you feel worried for your safety, or resigned to hiding a part of yourself at work?

No matter your race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability status, you deserve to feel safe and supported in your workplace. There are many ways workplaces can become safer places for staff members of all backgrounds. Today, we will look at how workplaces can become more supportive and inclusive for LGBTQ+ staff members.

Training for everyone is a keyway to support LGBTQ+ staff members because it helps get everyone on the same page about what different terms mean for LGBTQ+ people – including what the acronym stands for! (It’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning, with the plus representing other identities like Pansexual, Two-Spirit, Nonbinary, and more!). It helps take the burden of educating others off LGBTQ+ staff members and can spark important conversations about changes needed in your workplace.

The Safe Zone Project is a great place to start. They offer free self-guided trainings online, as well as the materials to lead a workshop virtually or in-person. You can also partner with experts in your community to learn more about the needs of your staff members and any customers you may serve. In Charleston, the Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), Charleston Black Pride, and We Are Family are all great places to start.

Consulting with experts and listening to the needs of your staff will help you take the next steps. Changes to make your workplace more inclusive can be small, like adding pronouns to your name badge or displaying an inclusive pride flag. They can also be big, like offering transgender-inclusive healthcare plans or sponsoring your local LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations throughout the year.

When you have questions, never be afraid to do some research and ask local experts. Taking these important steps to support your LGBTQ+ staff members and your local LGBTQ+ community will help make your workplace a safe and productive place to be.

With a little bit of practice and self-patience, you will be ready to take on the next steps in your future career.  If you would like more information about how to apply for jobs online, assistance in finding resources, tips on how to get the job-hunting process started or more, please reach out to us at CCPL by email, chat, or text. Remember, you are not alone.