Pride Month 2024

As LGBTQ+ allies, it’s our responsibility to celebrate, acknowledge, create safe spaces for, and continue learning about the LGBTQ+ community and their diverse experiences. Communicators and marketers alike have the unique opportunity to advocate for equality within our own spaces. For this year’s Pride Month, we asked each Maven to share their own unique thoughts and perspectives on the topic to generate discussion and reflect on how we support and champion the LGBTQ+ community year-round. 

Rebecca Devine 

How can the workplace become more inclusive for all voices? 

Being inclusive is about creating an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. The goal is to encourage participation, and really listen to what peers and colleagues are saying so people feel safe and welcome. 

Jessica Sharp  

How do you celebrate Pride and what does it mean to you? 

Pride month is a time for me to celebrate friends, family and colleagues who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. As a straight ally, I’m inspired by the resilience and authenticity of so many I know and love. To me, Pride is about showing up with love, solidarity, and support. It’s amplifying LGBTQ+ voices and stories through public relations and community engagement. It’s advocating for inclusive policies and calling out discrimination. And it’s creating safe, affirmative spaces where everyone has an equal voice and feels welcome to use it. 

Veronica Mikitka Reed 

Tell us about an LGBTQ+ member that inspires you. 

In Greater Philadelphia, Adam Joseph, 6abc’s long time meteorologist, is a beloved newscaster. He is inspirational as he works to be the best at his job and you can see on each newscast just how much he loves being a trusted source for our region’s weather. While at the start of his career he kept his life private, his courage to come out and share his personal life story day in and day out with his partner and now his kids caused Philadelphia to love him even more. He also uses his local platform to be a role model and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Emily White 

How do you actively advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in your daily life? 

One of the ways I support and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in my every day life is being selective and contentious about the brands, organizations, restaurants and institutions I support. It’s a small step, but I only want to spend resources and time on products, goods, and services that are inclusive and align with my personal beliefs and values. 

Tom McParland 

Why do you think being an ally matters? 

An ally is someone who actively supports, educates themselves and advocates on behalf of a marginalized group or community. This work is particularly important when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community because so many young people, especially, still struggle with fears that they won’t be accepted in their families, schools or workplaces simply for being themselves. It’s incumbent on those of us who do not identify as LGBTQ+ to support our friends, neighbors and family members to create safe and places where everyone can thrive. 

Carly Bianco 

What does it mean to you to be an ally? 

To me, being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community means actively supporting and advocating for their rights, equality and acceptance. It involves listening, educating myself on current and past LGBTQ+ issues, using my voice to speak out against discrimination and creating inclusive spaces where everyone can feel safe. It’s about standing in solidarity, showing empathy and taking actions to uplift and empower my friends and family who identify as LGBTQ+ and the larger LGBTQ+ community. 

Abby Stryker 

What is your favorite LGBTQ+-owned brand? 

If we’re talking local brands to Philadelphia, my (and Maven’s) go to bakery is Cake Life Bake Shop. I always order from here for special occasions or to try a new latte flavor. Cake Life is not only woman-, immigrant-, and trans-owned, but they also exclusively use locally sourced ingredients. Fun fact: Beyonce has ordered two cakes from here.  

If you’re looking for a nice cozy Italian meal, Little Nonna’s in Midtown is exceptional.  If they’re serving the Branzino special, I’d highly recommend it!  

As for lifestyle brands, I adore JVN Hair. Created and owned by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, Jonathan launched his brand to blend his love of hair care with inclusive activism. JVN Hair uses all clean ingredients and sustainable packaging. What I love most about JVN Hair is that it emphasizes that hair has no gender or rules, and they make a darn good hair mask. 

Anne Joseph 

What is your favorite LGBTQ+ movie and why? 

My favorite LGBTQ+ movie would have to be “Love, Simon.” I really loved that at the end of the movie, Simon was embraced and supported by his friends and family for who he truly is and who he loves. This acceptance and support are things I believe we should strive to extend to everyone, regardless of how they identify. The movie always gives me a warm feeling; it’s such a cute and feel-good film that celebrates love and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in a heartwarming way. 

Jonah Proepper 

How can brands use their voice to celebrate and honor the significance of Pride Month? 

Gone are the days of brands simply adding rainbow colors to their logos on social media during Pride Month. Rather, consumers care about company practices when it comes to advocating for LGBTQ+ equality. To celebrate pride, brands could use their platforms to highlight LGBTQ+ creators and professionals or partner with charitable organizations advocating for equality. Most importantly, brands should maintain their advocacy efforts beyond June, as the push for equality remains after the month has ended. 

As allies and good humans, it’s our responsibility to foster an inclusive and accepting environment. This doesn’t mean you have to change your Instagram icon to a Pride flag; but it does means standing up for equality, speaking out against discrimination, and inviting diverse views and lived experiences to the table. 

Happy Pride,  

Your friends at Maven. 

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