I have been blogging for a couple of months about LGBTQ inclusive business practices, but I wanted to make a post about the definition of inclusive (compared to accessible) and how to be LGBTQ inclusive in your wedding industry business. A lot of businesses get as far as being accessible to the LGBTQ community and feel like the work is done. Falling short of being authentically inclusive while marketing yourself as such is a huge disservice to your LGBTQ+ identified clients and potential clients.
What is Accessible?
Accessible, by definition, means “able to be reached or entered.” When you acknowledge that you will provide your wedding service to LGBTQ+ couples should they inquire with you about your service, you are accessible. Simply being willing to engage in a business transaction with an LGBTQ+ couple does not make you an LGBTQ+ inclusive business.
What is Inclusive?
Alternatively, inclusive means “including everyone, especially allowing and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability).” The integral word in this definition is accommodating. Does your business accommodate LGBTQ+ couples? Are you providing an equitable service? Is your business built on a foundation that supports LGBTQ+ rights?
Inclusive means voting in favour of platforms that support LGBTQ+ rights.
Some politicians seek to revoke LGBTQ+ rights – to make same-sex marriage illegal, to eliminate rights and benefits between spouses, to create barriers for transgendered people, and to remove LGBTQ+ affirming education from schools. Using your vote to support individuals who want to eliminate LGBTQ+ rights is actively supporting discrimination.
Inclusive means not supporting individuals, businesses, or organizations that promote anti-LGBTQ+ messaging.
Some public figures and businesses openly discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. These views are often entirely public knowledge. Continuing to support people who promote anti-LGBTQ+ messaging despite having this knowledge demonstrates that you do not authentically support the LGBTQ+ community.
Inclusive means educating others and supporting LGBTQ+ people in your personal life.
Being inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community goes beyond business practice and extends into your personal life. It means elevating LGBTQ+ voices and experiences even when it is not comfortable to do so. You can use your voice and speak up against people who are actively discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community, you can educate others about the problematic nature of gender reveals and refuse to offer your services for gender reveal parties, you can correct people who are using incorrect pronouns, and you can educate your children about gender, sexual orientation, and diverse families.
Is your wedding industry business actually inclusive? Or are you more accessible? What is one action you can take to be more authentically inclusive in your business?
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