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June 22, 2023

What does Pride Month mean at HEX?

Jeanette Cheah 🇦🇺🇲🇾🇺🇸
What does Pride Month mean at HEX?

It's June, which means it's Pride Month. On one hand, this is a month of powerful celebration, protest and advocacy that acknowledges the fight for equality is not over. On the other, it is a slightly corporatised branding event which can easily slide into cringe territory.

At the end of the day, celebrating Pride means different things to everyone, and I wanted to take a moment to share how I think about Pride at HEX.

Pride is not this...
  • Rainbow logos for no reason.
  • Asking queer friends and colleagues to do extra work.
  • Saying nothing, because we assume people know we're inclusive.
  • Sharing a list of impersonal 'resources'.
  • As much as it could be fun to just post a Padam TikTok and call it a day, tokenism doesn't help anyone.
These are things we already do to support an inclusive and queer positive environment, but really, I think this is doing the bare minimum.

I'm sharing these ideas in case they spark inspiration for anyone else out there, and am open to learning from others.

  • Creating and communicating equal parental and carers leave policies for all families and all parents.
  • Respecting and defending pronouns, and sharing ours in public forums to let others know it's safe to share theirs.
  • Being aware of LGBTQIA+ representation on the team, in our mentors, and in our content creation. We have a unique opportunity to choose who we put on screen and on stage and take this responsibility seriously.
  • Including queer-friendly events like Drag Queen Bingo as part of HEX Hackathons.
  • Using our voice and privilege to advocate for underrepresented LGBTQIA+ and enby founders / professionals. Never underestimate the power of advocacy when supporting someone whose voice is less loud than your own.
  • Understanding the importance of mental health – raising funds for mental health charities and providing 4 x free therapy sessions per year through our Employee Assistance Program.
But actually...
  • Actively creating a community and team culture where everyone is free and encouraged to be their whole selves.
  • In a climate where queer and trans people are still under attack or forced into hiding, we must recognising that many Hexies come from families or cultures which are less accepting. For these people, we want them to know that HEX is a safe place, whether they are out or not.
  • Demonstrating through our words and actions that HEX is a queer-positive space, with a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination. Everyone has the equal right to learn, build the future, and be themselves, whoever they are.
  • Making sure that we act like this every day and not just in June.

Historically, Pride Month has been a time of protest, honouring the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan in 1969. Today, the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights continues and cannot be ignored.

Personally, I'm seeing Pride Month as a chance for reflection and action. What am I unaware of? How can I educate myself? Who needs to hear from me? What do others need to feel safe and supported? How can I take a small step to build the future that I want to live in?

So this post is a message to anyone who is looking for a safe and inclusive community who will lift you up, educate you, open professional doors, and help you create your own future. We've got your back here at HEX.

Bring your whole self and all your big ideas, because the future will be better when we build it together.

Jeanette & the HEX team

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