Reflecting on Pride Month in the Audiovisual Industry

pride month 2024

June was Pride Month, and many of our audiovisual companies and organizations showed support for the LGBTQ+ community during this month. Yet, since we are in such a polarized world, there is often a blowback to doing something as simple as flying a flag to show support for fellow human beings.

I flew the rainbow flag during June and I did so proudly. Although I am not a member of the LGTBQ+ community, I do have very close connections to people who are in the community. I flew the flag for several reasons. First and foremost, I want to show the people I know and love who are part of the community that I am proud of them for being who they are. Second, seeing the flag reminds me that there are people in the world who simply want to show kindness and care for other people.

This is where I am going to get a bit controversial and may (hopefully) even hear from people. I think for some people the rainbow flag is too “in their face.” You will hear things like “I don’t care if they are gay, but why do they have to put it in my face.”

Obviously, there is a lot to unpack in such a message. In response, I just try to point out that it is comparable to people showing their support for any other group of people. There are a lot of problems with police brutality in this country, but I don’t see a problem with flying the “thin blue line flag.” When I see it, I don’t think people are putting anything “in my face,” I simply think they support the majority of very good men and women who put their lives at risk every single day to keep the rest of us safe. They want you to see the flag and be thankful for a moment we have people willing to do that for us. This is similar to me flying the rainbow flag, hoping that people will see it and think for a moment about the LGBTQ+ community and be supportive and caring of them.

Companies can also get a bad rap for flying the flag simply as a show. What else are those companies doing to support the community? While I agree it is not really supportive to fly the flag simply because you believe it may drive business, I think any show of support (and stand against hate) is worthwhile.

Businesses should also take the next steps to further show support for the LGBTQ+ community. Continue to show the support your business has. For example, has your business taken fairly simple steps, such as posting bathrooms as gender-neutral? Do you have clear policies that are meant to stop harassment? Do you have resources for people in the community?

These questions are not simply about the LGBTQ+ community. Indeed, businesses should have these same policies for religious affiliations, veteran status and accessibility needs. I have argued previously and will again here that no one is asking for special rights or special treatment, rather they are asking for equitable treatment.

I have always been proud of how the majority of the AV industry is supportive and caring for one another, despite our differences. Now that Pride Month is over, I hope that we continue to remember how important it is to show support for marginalized communities.