Pride month is a reminder to focus on your relationship with the LGBTQ community. It also provides the opportunity to think bigger about what all of us can do to bring about acceptance.
Here is what I am thinking this year. Whether, L, G, B, T or Q, you are often the odd person out. In your personal or work life, you are relegated to the role of an educator as you answer innocuous questions for the curious or the ignorant. That’s okay and helps improve understanding, but this year let’s refocus our efforts to strengthening the LGBTQ community beyond sometimes inconsequential learning – seizing whatever the opportunity is to do it.
Each of us has a unique set of skills. Media relations is something I am good at and has become significant to my role at NATIONAL. As part of NATIONAL’s longstanding work with The 519 – a Toronto agency dedicated to the full participation of the LGBTQ community – I’ve been able to help tell stories of the agency’s impact through the media. This awareness is key to ensuring the lifesaving work of The 519 continues.
NATIONAL leads The 519’s public relations efforts for the kick-off of Green Space festival: Starry Night. The 519’s six-event, five-day signature fundraising event ensures they have resources for year-round programming. Torontonians are invited to Party for a Cause – positioning which allows us to not only promote the Festival, but also highlight the importance of the parties for the LGBTQ community.
Last year, The 519’s Newcomer Settlement programming needed more funding. NATIONAL worked with The 519 programming staff and participants to tell the unique story of escape and resettlement on CBC’s The National. This Toronto story was told to a Canada-wide audience, reaching key stakeholders and helping them understand The 519 a little bit better.
Pride offers the opportunity to reflect on your relationship with the LGBTQ community. This year, I challenge you to think bigger about what you can do to bring about acceptance. Let’s all be more purposeful about strengthening of the LGBTQ community, using whatever we have.
Join NATIONAL at this year’s Green Space Festival starting Wednesday, June 20. More details here: greenspaceto.org
——— Max Stern is a former Associate at NATIONAL Public Relations