Why Pride Looks Different This Year
Pride month looks different this year. A global pandemic has prompted local, national, and international celebrations to reimagine ways to celebrate Pride and hold meaningful conversations about diversity, inclusivity, and LGTBQ+ rights. Many celebrations and events have moved online. Virtual pride events are taking place in New York, Toronto, San Francisco, and other cities as organizers began canceling events as early as March to ensure the health and safety of participants.
Recent protests in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have sparked a call for change to the systemic racial injustices that plague Black communities and other communities of color. For the LGTBQ+ community, it is critical to highlight the contributions and intersectional challenges of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
Adding to those changes this year, on June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ employees could not be discriminated against based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. This landmark decision is partially owed to years of work by activists pushing for legal protections from workplace discrimination. Prior to this decision, job discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees was technically legal in more than half of U.S states.
As WTS International celebrates Pride and the diversity of our 8,500 members, we find it especially important to recognize the intersectionality of LGBTQ+: race, gender, and sexuality. According to a report by the Human Rights Campaign, “LGBTQ people of color report that more work must be done to promote racial diversity within larger LGBTQ communities, as well as sexual diversity within racialized communities.” Our organization and partners are committed to this work of creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable industry.
The WTS Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, led by the International Board Diversity and Inclusion Committee, creates and executes an actionable vision for achieving equity in transportation for all, regardless of race, gender identity, or sexuality. As an organization devoted to the professional development of women, we challenge ourselves to expand opportunities for training of both conscious and unconscious bias in our leadership courses, with Board and Chapter leaders, and amongst WTS staff to ensure we are building a welcoming, inclusive, diverse and dynamic space for all people.