What being an LGBTQ+ ally really means & how it can help your business’ long-term growth
One of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur is to ensure you are running an inclusive business. Not only is it the right thing to do as a human, but it can also help your business’ long-term growth.
This has been a big initiative of mine over the past several years, and something that I’ve committed to daily.
But here’s the thing. Many of the conversations about LGBTQ+ inclusion didn’t start happening until pretty recently, so you still might have a lot of questions about the whole topic in general.
Heck, you might even feel intimidated about what it actually means to become an ally, and what an inclusive business looks like in real life – and guess what? That’s OK!
The fact that you’re interested in learning how to create a world where everyone is valued and respected is a great place to start -- and here to answer all of your questions on how to run an inclusive business is my student, Hank Paul.
Hank is an award-winning wedding photographer, writer, Queer inclusion strategist, and creator of Authentic Allyship Academy, where they teach students how to inclusify their businesses and become confident and knowledgeable allies.
In this episode, they share:
- Specific ways you can be more LGBTQ+ inclusive in your business
- How being LGBTQ+ inclusive help facilitate long-term business growth
- The biggest misconceptions that businesses have about LGBTQ+ allyship
- How to avoid being a performative ally, and become an authentic ally
Plus much, much more! I promise, sweet friend, if you’ve wanted to become more inclusive in your business but have been unsure of where to start, then this episode is for you.
So pop in your earpods, grab a tasty beverage, and give this episode your full attention.
Here’s a glance at this episode...
- [02:35] Today is all about LGBTQ+ inclusion and keeping it top of mind.
- [05:49] People are often afraid of saying the wrong thing. Hank says not to worry, mistakes are normal.
- [07:03] Hank is a non-binary human living in Sydney, Australia. Their first business was wedding photography. In 2017, Hank came out and came out as a queer-owned business.
- [11:14] Hank now helps and empowers people to connect with LGBTQ+ businesses in an authentic way.
- [12:15] Supporting their community was a journey. Hank began supporting the wedding industry and has branched out in helping different markets connect.
- [15:33] Think about your ideal community. What role does gender or sexuality play in the assumptions that you make? Have you missed out on people, because you haven't gone out of your way to be inclusive?
- [17:01] What's more important than describing the ideal avatar is finding the problems that they're dealing with and what they’re afraid of. Focus Less on gender and assumptions, because that's not inclusive.
- [19:06] How can you broaden the scope of your avatar definition to go out of your way and communicate that you're inclusive?
- [20:13] Review the gendered language in your messaging and find alternative ways that are inclusive of all people.
- [22:20] Take the time to ask the question of whether is anyone being forgotten when you're speaking.
- [24:26] The opposite of authentic is performative. Pretending we're an ally is performative. Authentic allyship means actual impactful powerful allyship.
- [27:13] 20% of people 18 to 25 identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. You want your language and business model to include this 20% of the community.
- [29:53] Showing allyship is the right thing to do, and if you don't, you'll be left behind. It's important to keep your business healthy and growing for the next 10 years.
- [30:53] Misconceptions about allyship include: 1. Only queer people are qualified to talk about queer issues. 2. Having a queer friend or employee isn't enough. There's still a responsibility to do the work. 3. There's a misconception that allies always say the right thing. This just isn't the case.
- [35:44] Hank shares an example of misgendering and making assumptions. Use gender-neutral language like pronouns of they/them.
- [45:53] What can you do to make your business more LGBTQ+ inclusive?
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