Pride After Pride



At 9:00 am sharp on the 1st of July, companies worldwide scrambled to de-rainbow their logos. Pride month is over. We now return you to your regular programming.

In a way, the thought of marketing departments and branding teams rushing to convert logos across all comms channels to ensure the rainbows do not linger beyond their allotted time amuses me. Every year, I secretly hope some email signatures and web pages are missed in the purge, and a few rainbows sneak through for a bit longer. Is this not an aspect of the fabled “gay agenda”? Infiltrate non-queer spaces and *BAM* rainbows! I jest, but there is a harsh kernel of truth in this – for many, LGBT+ visibility only matters in June. But LGBT+ people and issues matter every day, and we cannot forget this. If June is where commitments are made and conversations begin, then July and beyond represent the opportunities to follow through.

How can we ensure that Pride isn’t relegated to a once-a-year parade and rainbow logos?

I can think of three good places to start.

1.  Develop a plan to sustain the momentum of Pride

Ignition points, catalysts, sparks, stimuli…all words that speak to a specific, dynamic moment of change. Pride has often been such a moment for the LGBT+ community, a platform to vocalise the fight for LGBT+ rights and equality. But the energy generated in these moments of change must be channelled effectively lest it fizzles and dissipates. Yet, this can so quickly happen in the hazy afterglow of Pride month. 

However, we do not have to look far or wide for incredible role models who embody this idea of consciously and proactively maintaining momentum. This year in the UK, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in London. By far, some of the loudest cheers along the streets of central London on July 2 were for a relatively small but vocal group holding signs that read, “PRIDE @50. I was there in 1972. Still fighting for global LGBT+ freedom.” Their voices rang loudly…and 1972 did not feel that long ago. We are having many of the same conversations today. In interviews, those attendees at that first Pride reflected on its clandestine planning meetings, the unexpected police presence, and the friends and loved ones lost in the decades that have followed throughout the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the COVID-19 one.

Let us reflect briefly on what has been achieved in those 50 years. There is much to be joyous about – the repeal of Section 28 in 2003, the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2014 and the increasing visibility of LGBT+ people across society. It is also a reminder, though, of what has not changed. HIV/AIDS is still a taboo subject, even within the LGBT+ community; despite the ground-breaking treatments now widely available in many countries; trans, non-binary, and gender diverse people are still disproportionately likely to take their own lives compared with their cisgender siblings.

Frankly, there is a steely determination at the heart of the LGBT+ movement – a core of immovable, unwavering belief in equality, justice, and celebration. These activists have kept the conversation going; they have spoken up and shown up consistently, steadfast, and unyielding even in the face of violence, hate speech and ostensible discrimination. There is much to be learned here about what we, as individuals, communities, and colleagues, can do to maintain momentum.

2. Create safe spaces to share stories and experiences  

Throughout June, LGBT Great presented to over 1,700 people across our corporate member network around the topic of “Why is Pride important?” The conversations with stakeholders at all levels took many unexpected turns, as many shared their personal stories. I left each session feeling inspired and energised by the fantastic work of LGBT+ people across the industry.

How do you overcome the barriers at work to build safer spaces for storytelling? The first thing is to address the elephant in the room – mental health and psychological safety. The state of play for mental health amongst the LGBT+ community has felt particularly strained over the past 18 months, as we have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the recent wave of transphobia in law-making policy decisions and media attention.

The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey found that 59% of trans boys/men and 53% of non-binary/genderqueer people had considered suicide in the past year. When looking at the overall community, this figure is still 45% of LGBT+ youth that have considered attempting suicide in the past year. Anxiety amongst trans youth is also eye-wateringly high, with 79% of trans boys/men and 71% of trans girls/women experiencing symptoms of anxiety in the past year. Structural healthcare issues also persist, with 60% of LGBT+ youth that wanted mental health care in the past year unable to access this.

What can we do in the financial services industry? Embedding better and more comprehensive policies for mental health support is one thing. The other, more human approach is to push proactively and relentlessly to build safer spaces for conversations at work. Empowering parents at work to support the LGBT+ youth in their lives is critical. ERGs, Pride Networks, and senior stakeholders all have the potential to educate parents of LGBT+ youth. The Trevor Project also found that only 1 in 3 trans and non-binary youth felt their home to be “gender-affirming”. Transphobia aside, the fear of the unknown and a desire to stick to what you know pervade these domestic and working spaces. We can change this.

3. Identify the ways that your organisation can develop authentic corporate allyship

Sustained and positive action is at the core of walking the walk around positive allyship and maintaining the momentum after pride. However, let us not underestimate the power of the talk here. In other words, there is power in communications both internally and externally. Companies that amplify LGBT+ voices externally raise awareness of ongoing LGBT+ issues and actively seek to genuinely engage in the broader conversation stand to benefit in the long term. Companies that talk about what they do to support the community generate interest, conversation, and spaces for growth. Selfishly, this also directly impacts how clients, customers, investors, and potential new hires view the business.  But, if the walk supports the talk, then organisations will resonate with a broader pool of LGBT+ talent. They will also reinforce their existing LGBT+ talent (and allies) that they genuinely care.

Pride is about showing up, talking, and being proud of who you are and what you are doing. This is no different for companies, either. Building a safe and inclusive culture for LGBT+ people is difficult, so all positive steps should be lauded, amplified, and copied. Do not fear the talk, but make sure that the walk supports the talk. Because when it is, your organisation will run.


Taking a step back and returning to the original question of how to maintain momentum after Pride, the answer is clear to me: simply keep on…keep on talking…keep on showing up…keep on investing and supporting LGBT+ causes…and keep on believing in the rights and equality of the community. Maintaining momentum requires energy and a concerted effort. Tokenistic actions lead to tokenistic results.


Alex Hoare (he/him) is the Global Insights and Content Manager at LGBT Great.
He is responsible for LGBT Great’s research, data, and training and is based in London. You can get in touch with Alex at or via LinkedIn.