The roots of Pride Month trace back to the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. This historic event, which laid the foundation for future activism and the modern LGBTQ+ movement, remains a symbol of hope, strength, and resilience today. While many joyful celebrations take place during Pride Month each June to honor the accomplishments and diverse identities of the LGBTQ+ community, we can also take part by educating ourselves on the struggles and inequities LGBTQ+ people often experience to better our society.
In 2023 alone, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in the United States, causing the Human Rights Campaign to declare a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans. To bring ourselves to the table for a meaningful discussion, the Education and Awareness team within Vitality’s Project IDEAL initiative worked with the Center on Halsted to facilitate an employee training session focused on transgender and gender non-binary identities and how to be better allies.
The Center on Halsted opened its Chicago location in the Lakeview neighborhood in 2007. Their mission, to advance their community and secure the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ people of Chicagoland, aligned well with our own mission to enhance and protect the lives of our members, making them the perfect fit to facilitate a discussion on how we can best show up for the LGBTQ+ community.
Our trainer from the Center on Halsted, Aster G., joined us in our Chicago office for a lunch & learn event, during which they discussed topics including how to respect and use proper pronouns, important LGBTQ+ terminology, and how experiences like coming out or transitioning vary from person to person. Following the training, the group indulged in some sweet Pride-themed treats from Jennivee’s Bakery, a trans-Filipina-owned local business.
The Education and Awareness team within Project IDEAL is committed to creating learning opportunities for Vitality employees, and their most recent event was a group field trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art for a guided gallery tour to commemorate Celebrate Diversity Month. Stay tuned for more updates on future events from Project IDEAL!