3 Ways to Show Up for Your LGBTQ+ Members
Pride Month, which is annually held in June worldwide, is a month devoted to the honor of the Stonewall Uprising and the support of the LGBTQ+ community. During the month many companies and organizations across the nation celebrate the importance of creating a welcoming environment for their LGBTQ+ customers through specialized products, events, fundraisers, and messages.
With Pride Month just around the corner, you may wonder how you can create a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community. While the celebration is held in June, the real commitment to creating a welcoming environment takes dedication year-round.
It takes dedication that extends past one month a year to create a lasting connection, but you can do it. Here’s how.
Financial support is one of the number one ways gyms, and other organizations can show their commitment. Charitable giving is one of the easiest places to start, especially if you are a business looking for a way to get started in building a brand that is inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community.
While you can always donate directly, the best way to make your efforts seen more widely is to create charity workouts that are donation based.
The easiest way to do this is to create a class in the Mindbody platform that your customers can sign up for. (Here’s how to set it up.)
Promote this class via email and social media, but you can also reach out to the organization you're supporting directly and form a longer partnership with them. Most of these organizations will provide marketing materials and help promote the charity event you are hosting.
Being LGBTQ+ individuals, we have the advantage of keeping the community front and center. But not being a part of the community doesn’t mean you can’t keep your commitment as an ally visible year-round.
Keeping your commitment visible throughout the year doesn’t mean you have to specifically or explicitly say you support the community, but you can feature LGBTQ+ members and facility staff to increase visibility into who calls your gym home.
Customer testimonials, staff promotions, and inclusive photos can go a long way. These are subtle ways to display inclusiveness. Another way is flying a flag. Many gyms feature flags in their decor, if you're a gym that hangs flags, consider including others like the intersectional social justice pride flag to help visibly show your commitment.
Set the tone
Sponsorships and promotional efforts are an awesome way to start, but ensuring that your fitness community is inclusive takes time. It’s really a culmination of tiny efforts that help build an environment where everyone feels welcome.
We love fitness and health, but sometimes gyms can be intimidating. When people walk in the door, they are looking for one thing, help. LGBTQ+ members of the community are searching for a place to work out and get healthy without fear that they may be judged or treated differently.
Your staff is instrumental in making members feel welcome, so be sure to set a tone of inclusivity with them.
When looking for fitness talent to help build your brand it’s important to teach them, from day one, that your facility is a place that is a welcoming environment. At KHF, it’s not just part of our values, it’s something that customers and peers rate our staff on.
Because we’ve built this into our evaluation system, we have been able to make it clear that it is an important part of our staff’s success and it serves as a constant reminder of inclusivity as one of our core values.
These three tips are just the start of your commitment to showing up for the LGBTQ+ community, and essential to supporting them in their wellness journeys.
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