Happy Pride Month! Since the 1970s, members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies have designated June as a time to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of the important issues still facing this community today.
Along with a number of regular Winnipeg summer celebrations, unfortunately Pride 2020 has been affected by the current state of affairs related to the pandemic - but that doesn't mean it still can't be acknowledged and celebrated in other ways!
Firstly, we were thrilled to see RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos kicking off Pride Month with President, CEO, and Founder of NAGLREP - no, not a new Doctor Who villain, but the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals - Jeff Berger, guesting on his podcast.
On this episode of Start With a Win, Jeff discusses the main purpose of the organization, and how it can help create a safe space for real estate professionals and homebuyers in the LGBT community that allows them and their needs to be understood and accepted. He also talks about growth trends in the LGBT community, providing crucial facts and figures to educate real estate professionals about the needs and wants of these individuals and families.
"While it is impossible to duplicate the emotional experience of hearing millions cheer along Pride parade routes, our events will empower NAGLREP members to interact with friends in the real estate industry, have some fun and share their Pride in a unique way,” said Berger in a blog post on the organization’s website. “We will continue to showcase why the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Federal Fair Housing Law, promotes equality and fairness for the housing market."
Check out the episode here.
In honour of this month-long celebration, here are also a few ways to you can be an inclusive neighbour, and help build an inclusive culture in your community:
1. Use inclusive language and terms
Would you describe someone as "a person who uses a wheelchair," or "a wheelchair-bound person"? Small shifts can make a big difference.
2. Don't assume pronouns
Pronouns are used in everyday communication to take the place of people's names, and we frequently use them without even thinking about it. Often, when speaking of someone in the third person, these pronouns have a gender implied. These associations are not always accurate, and when mistaken or assumed, can send a harmful message. Using someone's correct gender pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity. If you feel it's appropriate, you may want to ask your neighbours their preferred gender pronouns. Try asking: "What pronouns do you use?" or "Can you remind me what pronouns you use?" It can feel awkward at first, but it's nowhere near as awkward as making a hurtful assumption. Making an effort is a sign you recognize and respect everyone has a unique identity.
3. Be a host
If you are interested in getting to know your neighbours on a personal level, see if there is a meetup group geared toward connecting LGBTQ+ in your community, or start one of your own!
4. Attend Pride Week Winnipeg: September 4-13, 2020
Pride Week will now be taking place the week of September 4-13; a postponement that will help ensure the utmost safety of our community members. It's a great community event and a fantastic way to connect with neighbours! Round everyone up and scout out a spot along the parade route. Check the local schedule to see what's offered in terms of family-friendly events too!
5. Show your pride at home and at work
From June 22-28, decorate your windows, balconies, office windows and front yards! Fly your rainbow flags and get creative to show your pride at home or work. While we may be celebrating the month apart, we can still show we're never alone.
RE/MAX agents serve as leaders and members of a variety of organizations that celebrate diversity, including the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.