LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH: A time to celebrate inclusivity

The UK LGBTQ+ History Month takes place throughout February and was founded in 2004 by Schools OUT co-chairs, Paul Patrick and Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders.

The UK LGBTQ+ History Month takes place throughout February and was founded in 2004 by Schools OUT co-chairs, Paul Patrick and Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders.

Following the repeal of Section 28, legislation which ran from 1988 to 2000 and was designed to prohibit the ‘promotion of homosexuality’, the UK’s LGBTQ+ History Month was created to allow those in the community celebrate and claim their past, as well as create their future. You can find out more about it here.

Throughout February, we will be sharing articles that highlight organisations within the community, provide advice on how to support your LGBTQ+ employees and more. This month provides an excellent opportunity for studios to celebrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion. And here are a handful of ideas to consider to support both  employees and gamers as we head into the month…

Inclusive Content Creation

One of the most direct ways to support LGBTQ+ individuals is by creating inclusive content within games. Studios can actively incorporate LGBTQ+ characters, storylines, and themes into their games. This not only provides representation but also promotes empathy and understanding among players. Highlighting LGBTQ+ characters in games can send a powerful message of acceptance and inclusion.

Partner with LGBTQ+ Organisations

Collaboration with LGBTQ+ organisations can be a meaningful way to show support during LGBTQ+ History Month. Community groups such as Out Making Games are doing great work to  help studios gain insights into the needs and perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community.

Host Diversity and Inclusion Workshops

Hosting workshops or training sessions on diversity and inclusion can be beneficial for employees and foster a more inclusive work environment. Invite experts or LGBTQ+ advocacy groups to lead discussions on LGBTQ+ history, terminology, and best practices for creating inclusive content. These workshops can create a safe space for employees to ask questions and learn.

Amplify LGBTQ+ Voices

During LGBTQ+ History Month, games studios can actively amplify LGBTQ+ voices within their teams and communities. Showcase the stories and experiences of LGBTQ+ employees through interviews, articles, or social media features. This promotes a sense of belonging.

LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Groups

Establishing LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) is a fantastic way to provide support year-round. ERGs can serve as a platform for employees to connect, share experiences, and offer suggestions for creating a more inclusive workplace. Studios can support these groups with resources and encourage their activities, such as hosting events or creating LGBTQ+ mentoring programmes.

Showcase LGBTQ+ Creators

Studios can use their platforms to spotlight LGBTQ+ creators from across the industry. Celebrating their contributions not only highlights talent but also encourages diversity within the industry.

Implement Inclusive Policies

Review and revise company policies to ensure they are LGBTQ+ inclusive. This includes updating non-discrimination policies to explicitly include gender identity and sexual orientation protections. It’s also essential to offer inclusive benefits, such as gender-neutral restroom options and health plans that cover LGBTQ+-specific needs.

Games studios have a unique opportunity during LGBTQ+ History Month to demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and support for their LGBTQ+ employees and consumers. By actively engaging in these activities and initiatives, studios can make a significant impact on the industry’s culture, promoting acceptance, diversity, and understanding within the games community.

Of course, embracing LGBTQ+ inclusivity should not be limited to one month but rather integrated into the company’s ongoing mission for a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all. However, this month is a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on, and celebrate, this community.

You can read more about LGBTQ+ as part of EDI here.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

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