Embracing Diversity: The Business Case for LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Embracing Diversity: The Business Case for LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Recent studies, including a comprehensive report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, have highlighted significant progress in U.S. workplaces towards LGBTQ+ inclusivity. However, the journey towards a fully welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ employees is ongoing, with many challenges still to be addressed.

Survey Insights: Progress and Challenges

The HRC Foundation’s report, “Equality Rising: LGBTQ+ Workers and the Road Ahead,” surveyed over 3,000 part- and full-time workers, revealing a mixed landscape. While more LGBTQ+ employees are openly out at work than in previous years, concerns around trust in HR departments and fears of stigma or violence persist.

The Need for Concrete DEI Strategies

RaShawn “Shawnie” Hawkins, the HRC Foundation’s senior director for workplace equality, emphasizes the importance of concrete institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices. These practices include collecting sexual orientation and gender identity information as part of employee demographics, which is crucial for tailoring inclusive programs.

Beyond Symbolic Gestures

While recognizing LGBTQ+ Pride Month and establishing support groups are positive steps, Hawkins stresses that DEI efforts must go deeper. Awareness of political and social issues impacting LGBTQ+ rights is essential for effective DEI strategies, especially in today’s rapidly changing landscape.

Supporting Gender-Affirming Care and Understanding Family Dynamics

Shoshana Goldberg, the HRC Foundation’s director of public education and research, points out the importance of supporting gender-affirming care and understanding the familial connections of LGBTQ+ community members. In the wake of restrictive state laws, companies should consider extending support for gender-affirming care to their employees and their dependents.

Intersectionality and Centering the Marginalized

The HRC Foundation’s survey also highlights the need to focus on intersectionality and to center the needs of the most marginalized within the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and nonbinary individuals who often face heightened discrimination and challenges.

The Business Benefits of Inclusion

Both Hawkins and Goldberg underline the business advantages of an inclusive workplace. A safe and welcoming environment attracts and retains talent, increases productivity, and aligns with the purchasing preferences of a diversity-conscious consumer base. This alignment with consumer and employee values is increasingly important as younger generations, who prioritize equality, enter the workforce.

A Call for Action Beyond Words

The report underscores the need for workplaces to go beyond mere statements of support, implementing policies and practices that actively promote and ensure LGBTQ+ inclusivity. This approach is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic business decision, enhancing employee satisfaction and aligning with broader social values.

In conclusion, while progress has been made, the path to complete LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the workplace requires ongoing commitment, understanding, and action from both employers and employees.


Antoni Porowski and Fiancé Kevin Harrington End Engagement

Antoni Porowski and Fiancé Kevin Harrington End Engagement

November 2023 – In an unexpected turn of events, Antoni Porowski, famed for his role in “Queer Eye,” and his partner Kevin Harrington have amicably called off their engagement, just one year after announcing it. Their split has come as a surprise to many, given their frequent public displays of affection and the history they’ve shared.

Celebratory Engagement and Memorable Moments

The engagement of the couple was made public in November 2022, marking three years of their relationship. They took to social media to share their excitement, with posts that beautifully encapsulated their bond. Porowski uploaded a slightly blurry, yet charming picture of the duo, making a lighthearted comment about hoping for more distinct wedding photos. On the other hand, Harrington’s post included a series of pictures chronicling their time together, humorously culminating in an image of them dressed as zombies, symbolizing a lasting union.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Their Relationship

The COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in accelerating Porowski and Harrington’s relationship. As Porowski recounted, what was supposed to be a brief visit in Austin, Texas, during the “Queer Eye” filming extended indefinitely due to the lockdown in New York City. This unexpected turn of events led them to foster, and eventually adopt, a dog named Neon, symbolizing the beginning of their life together as a family.

Decision to Part Ways

A representative for Porowski confirmed the split to People, noting that the decision was mutual and amicable. The statement highlighted that after numerous discussions and reflections during the wedding planning process, the couple realized their paths were diverging. While they maintain a great deal of respect for each other, they acknowledged the need to focus on their individual lives and careers.

Moving Forward

Both Porowski and Harrington are channeling their energies into their professional endeavors and leaning on their circle of friends during this transition. The respect and care they have for each other remain evident, even as they navigate this new chapter separately.

The end of their engagement marks a significant moment in both their lives, reminding us of the unpredictable nature of relationships and the importance of personal growth and understanding.


Billie Eilish's Reflections on Sexuality and Gender Identity

Billie Eilish’s Reflections on Sexuality and Gender Identity

Acclaimed musician Billie Eilish, celebrated for her distinctive sound and fashion, has recently been at the center of conversations regarding her sexual orientation. This wave of curiosity is linked to an Instagram post and her recent statements in an interview.

Instagram Post Leads to Fan Theories

Previously, Eilish, 21, has described herself as unequivocally straight in a video on social media. However, an Instagram story of hers, showing her with the caption “Gay & Tired,” has prompted her followers to ponder over her sexual orientation. This post elicited a mix of responses, with some fans showing their support and others interpreting it as a subtle revelation about her sexuality.

Insights from a Variety Interview

In a feature for the “Power of Women” edition of Variety, Eilish openly discussed the impact of public scrutiny on her life, particularly regarding her style and sexual identity. She mentioned feeling disconnected from traditional notions of femininity, remarking, “I’ve never really felt like I could relate to girls very well.”

Her conversation also touched on her admiration and attraction to women, stating, “I’m physically attracted to them. But I’m also so intimidated by them and their beauty and their presence.”

Eilish’s Unique Fashion Sense and Self-Image

The artist, known for her preference for baggy clothing, explained that her fashion choices were a form of protection against sexualization and a way of dealing with her body image issues. “I wasn’t strong enough and secure enough to show it,” she said, referring to her body, suggesting her attire was a guard against body criticism.

Eilish’s remarks indicate a nuanced relationship with her femininity and self-view. “I’ve never felt like a woman, to be honest with you. I’ve never felt feminine. I’ve never felt desirable,” she expressed. Despite identifying with she/her pronouns, Eilish acknowledged a sense of disconnection from being a girl.

Public Scrutiny and Personal Identity

Billie Eilish’s personal disclosures offer insight into her journey of self-discovery in terms of gender and sexuality, especially given the intense public attention she receives. Her openness provides a glimpse into the complexities celebrities face in navigating and expressing their identities in an era where conversations about gender and sexuality are increasingly at the forefront of cultural discourse.


Conservative Muslims in Indonesia Protest Coldplay Concert Over LGBTQ Support

Conservative Muslims in Indonesia Protest Coldplay Concert Over LGBTQ Support

JAKARTA, Indonesia — In a display of rising conservative sentiment, over 200 conservative Muslims took to the streets of Indonesia’s capital on Wednesday. Their target was the British band Coldplay, scheduled to perform that evening. The reason for their protest? The band’s vocal support for the LGBTQ community.

The demonstrators, who convened about a kilometer from Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno stadium, where Coldplay was set to perform, wielded a significant banner. It called for the outright cancellation of the concert, branding Coldplay as LGBTQ “propagandists” and accusing their stance of undermining “faith and morals.”

History of Tolerance Meets Modern Challenges

Indonesia, known for its secular governance and a long tradition of religious tolerance, is witnessing a shift. A small yet increasingly vocal extremist fringe is challenging this narrative, as evidenced by the recent protest. This shift is part of a larger trend in the region, where issues related to LGBTQ rights are sparking controversy.

Coldplay’s Values and Previous Incidents

Coldplay is no stranger to incorporating its values into performances. The band, led by Chris Martin, frequently integrates environmental sustainability messages into its shows. Martin is known for his symbolic use of rainbow colors and the waving of gay pride flags during performances.

The protests in Jakarta are not isolated incidents. Earlier this year, British pop rock band The 1975 had to cancel its Jakarta and Taipei shows. This followed a truncated music festival in Malaysia after the band’s lead singer criticized the country’s anti-gay laws. In 2012, Lady Gaga canceled a sold-out show in Indonesia, citing security concerns after threats from Muslim hard-liners.

The Significance of Jakarta for Coldplay

The Asian leg of Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres World Tour” prominently features the Jakarta concert. This event is significant, as more than 70,000 tickets were sold in less than two hours – a testament to the band’s popularity in the region. Jakarta ranks as one of Coldplay’s top streaming hubs globally, with a dedicated fan base of 1.6 million in the city alone.

The unfolding events in Jakarta reflect a complex interplay of cultural values, artistic expression, and rising conservative voices, underscoring the challenges faced by international artists in navigating diverse global landscapes.


"Make Me Gorgeous!": A Bold Exploration of a Forgotten LGBTQ Pioneer

“Make Me Gorgeous!”: A Bold Exploration of a Forgotten LGBTQ Pioneer

Monday marked the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week, and with it came the debut of a compelling off-Broadway play, “Make Me Gorgeous!” This innovative production, housed in Playhouse 46, ventures into the extraordinary life of an often-overlooked figure in LGBTQ history.

A Gender Kaleidoscope on Stage

“Make Me Gorgeous!” is not just a play; it’s a journey through the gender spectrum. Actor Wade McCollum takes on the challenging role of Kenneth Marlowe, who transitioned to Kate in the latter part of his life. McCollum describes the play as “an exploration of a gender kaleidoscope,” emphasizing the multifaceted nature of Marlowe’s identity.

The Many Lives of Kenneth Marlowe

Marlowe’s life was nothing short of remarkable. His roles ranged from an Army private to a celebrity hairdresser, a self-proclaimed hustler, and a female impersonator. Each phase of his life brought unique experiences and challenges, culminating in his transition to Kate. This play delves deep into these varied chapters, showcasing the complexity of Marlowe’s journey.

A Deep Transformation

McCollum’s portrayal of Marlowe involves meticulous attention to the nuances of gender transition. The actor notes the profound impact of donning the costume and makeup, leading to a deep, transformative experience. McCollum immersed himself in Marlowe’s life, studying his autobiography, “Mr. Madam,” to accurately portray his journey.

Bringing Recognition to a Forgotten History

The obscurity of Kenneth Marlowe in mainstream LGBTQ history is a gap that “Make Me Gorgeous!” aims to fill. The play seeks to bring recognition to Marlowe’s life and experiences, highlighting the diversity and complexity within the LGBTQ community.

A Timely Debut

The timing of the play’s debut aligns perfectly with Transgender Awareness Week, a period dedicated to raising visibility for transgender people and addressing issues faced by the community. McCollum believes that the play’s message is particularly relevant during this week, providing insight into the possibilities that might have been available to Marlowe had he had access to more information earlier in life.

Empowerment, Celebration, and Protection

The ultimate goal of “Make Me Gorgeous!” is to serve as a source of empowerment, celebration, protection, and honor for the trans, non-binary, gender nonconforming, and queer communities. It’s a tribute to the struggles and triumphs of those who have navigated their gender identity under challenging circumstances.

A Limited Engagement

“Make Me Gorgeous!” is set to run through December 31, offering audiences a unique and profound look into the life of a fascinating individual who made significant, though often unrecognized, contributions to LGBTQ history. The play stands as a testament to the resilience and diversity of the human spirit, encouraging awareness and understanding of the rich tapestry of gender identity.


Celebrity Split: Chris Appleton and Lukas Gage End Their Marriage

Celebrity Split: Chris Appleton and Lukas Gage End Their Marriage

Famed hairstylist Chris Appleton and actor Lukas Gage have concluded their relationship, dissolving their marriage mere six months after exchanging vows. The duo, who celebrated their union in a notable ceremony led by Kim Kardashian this past April, have officially submitted divorce papers, signifying a sudden closure to their short-lived but extensively publicized marriage.

The Divorce Filing: Details and Legalities

Appleton, 40, filed for divorce from 28-year-old Gage in a Los Angeles court on November 12, as reported by TODAY.com. The legal documents point to November 10 as the official date of separation and cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. Interestingly, the couple had a post-nuptial agreement in place, signed on May 3, that waived any claims to spousal support. This agreement ensures that both parties retain their individual assets and obligations as they were before the marriage.

The Wedding: A Star-Studded Affair

The couple’s wedding on April 26 was nothing short of a celebrity event. Appleton and Gage shared their special day with fans by posting pictures on Instagram. The ceremony was officiated by Kim Kardashian, a notable client of Appleton’s, and featured a performance by Shania Twain. The wedding, with its star-studded attendee list and lavish setting, had garnered significant attention on social media and in the entertainment world.

Public Declarations of Love

Before their split, both Appleton and Gage had openly expressed their affection and happiness in their relationship. Appleton, during an appearance on “The Drew Barrymore Show” in March, shared his feelings of being very much in love and grateful. Similarly, Gage spoke on TODAY about his happiness and love, emphasizing the joy and adventures they shared together.

Conclusion: An Amicable Separation

The separation, while sudden, appears to be amicable, with no contentious disputes over assets or support, thanks to their post-nuptial agreement. The divorce of Chris Appleton and Lukas Gage closes a chapter on a relationship that, despite its short duration, captured the attention and imagination of their fans and the wider public.


Art Therapy: A Creative Path to Healing in the LGBTQIA+ Community

Art Therapy: A Creative Path to Healing in the LGBTQIA+ Community

In the realm of counseling, especially for individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community, integrating art and creativity has proven to be a transformative tool. This approach is particularly effective given the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals, including discrimination, stigma, and social isolation. These experiences can significantly impact their mental and emotional well-being, making traditional verbal expression in therapy sessions challenging.

Grounding Through Art: The Role of Drawing

For clients, especially those who have experienced trauma, finding grounding is often a crucial first step in therapy. Pencil and paper drawing offers an accessible and non-threatening way for clients to explore their thoughts and emotions. This simple yet powerful technique helps clients to experience grounding and containment, facilitating a more effective therapeutic process.

Case Study: Integrating Multiple Identities

A recent case illustrates the effectiveness of art in therapy. A client struggling to feel grounded in sessions found relief through free drawing. This approach allowed them to express themselves creatively without pressure, enabling them to open up about their thoughts and feelings during the drawing process.

Therapeutic Benefits of Drawing

Drawing as a therapeutic activity allows clients to give tangible form to their complex, inner emotional world. It aids in staying connected to the present moment, crucial for clients grappling with anxiety or trauma. Additionally, the bilateral stimulation involved in drawing – engaging both sides of the brain through activities like alternating hand movements or eye movement – has been effective in processing traumatic memories and reducing negative emotions.

Deepening Therapy Through Free Drawing

Implementing free drawing in regular talk therapy sessions can lead to deeper emotional processing and make therapy more engaging and enjoyable. It is vital to address not only difficult emotions but also to explore feelings of joy and euphoria, especially in the context of LGBTQIA+ clients integrating their marginalized identities.

Creative Prompts for Expression

Several prompts can be used in free drawing sessions with LGBTQIA+ clients. These include drawing responses to words like “pride” or “trans day of visibility,” illustrating concepts like safety and support, or creating images that represent gender euphoria. Technical challenges, like drawing with only lines or using the non-dominant hand, can also be effective.

Choice and Creativity in Counseling

Offering clients a choice among various drawing prompts empowers them, a significant consideration for LGBTQIA+ individuals often deprived of choice and expression in oppressive environments. By providing a non-threatening and accessible way to explore emotions, free drawing can help clients express themselves, process their emotions, and integrate emerging LGBTQIA+ identities.

Invitation to Practitioners

For those working one-on-one with queer individuals, incorporating regular ‘draw-n-talk’ sessions can be a highly effective approach. It caters to clients who show interest in art and provides an alternative avenue for expression and healing.

In conclusion, art therapy, particularly free drawing, emerges as a powerful tool in counseling LGBTQIA+ clients. It facilitates emotional expression, aids in processing complex identities, and enhances the overall therapeutic experience.


The Intersection of LGBTQI+ Rights and Democracy: A Global Concern

The Intersection of LGBTQI+ Rights and Democracy: A Global Concern

Recent trends indicate a worrying rise in anti-LGBTQI+ attacks globally, a phenomenon that experts are beginning to recognize as a potential indicator of democratic backsliding. This escalation in homophobic and transphobic rhetoric and policies is particularly evident among populist leaders with illiberal tendencies, as observed in various countries.

Global Summit Insights: Reflecting on Democratic Health

At the second Summit for Democracy convened by President Joe Biden, global leaders assessed the state of democracy, with Biden optimistically noting a shift away from autocracy. However, this outlook contrasts starkly with the reality of increasing authoritarianism worldwide, as noted by organizations like Freedom House. Significantly, the summit lacked substantial discussion on how democratic regression mirrors the surge in attacks on LGBTQI+ communities.

The Williams Institute Study: Linking LGBTQI+ Rights and Democracy

A study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law highlights a direct correlation between LGBTQI+ rights and democratic health. The Global Acceptance Index, covering 175 countries, suggests that attacks on LGBTQI+ rights often precede and contribute to the erosion of democratic norms and institutions.

Political Strategy and Crisis Diversion: The Use of Anti-LGBTQI+ Rhetoric

Leaders in various countries have used anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric as a political strategy to appeal to conservative and religious voters or to distract from internal crises and corruption. The so-called threat of “gender ideology” is often utilized to frame LGBTQI+ advocacy as a subversive influence against traditional norms.

The Indonesian Example: A Case Study

Indonesia’s recent history illustrates how anti-LGBTQI+ sentiment can accompany democratic regression. The country witnessed a rise in homophobic and transphobic attacks, coinciding with President Joko Widodo’s consolidation of power and retreat from promised democratic reforms.

Brazil’s Scenario: Bolsonaro’s Homophobic and Transphobic Policies

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro’s tenure provides another example of how populist homophobia and transphobia can parallel antidemocratic shifts. His administration dismantled professionalized bureaucracy in favor of military and conservative allies, alongside efforts to restrict LGBTQI+ rights.

The Broader Implications: Economic and Political Benefits of LGBTQI+ Inclusion

The relationship between LGBTQI+ rights and democracy is multifaceted. Countries with high levels of LGBTQI+ acceptance tend to have stronger democratic institutions, civil liberties, and economic prosperity. This suggests that promoting LGBTQI+ rights could have broader political and economic benefits.

Policy Recommendations: Prioritizing LGBTQI+ Inclusion

To counter democratic erosion, policymakers should focus on promoting LGBTQI+ acceptance and expanding human rights protections. This includes increasing funding for LGBTQI+-specific programs and leveraging multilateral systems to mainstream LGBTQI+ issues.

A Call to Action: Integrating LGBTQI+ Rights into Foreign Policy

The Biden administration has acknowledged the importance of LGBTQI+ rights in U.S. foreign policy. However, translating this recognition into substantial resources and political action is crucial for strengthening democratic foundations worldwide. Prioritizing LGBTQI+ inclusion aligns with democratic values and constitutes sound policy for bolstering democracy.


The Trevor Project Exits X Amid Rising Hostility

The Trevor Project Exits X Amid Rising Hostility

In a notable development, The Trevor Project, an organization nationally recognized for its work in preventing LGBTQ youth suicide, has declared its withdrawal from X, previously known as Twitter. This move represents a significant alteration in the field of LGBTQ advocacy on digital platforms and comes just over a year following the acquisition of the company by billionaire Elon Musk for $44 billion.

Rising Concerns for LGBTQ Youth Safety

The main factor behind The Trevor Project’s decision to leave the platform was the escalating hostility and negativity directed at the LGBTQ community on X. The organization highlighted the frequent harassment faced by LGBTQ youth on the platform, a situation worsened by recent policy changes at X, such as the elimination of key moderation features. These changes have significantly hindered the organization’s ability to maintain a supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTQ youth.

Internal and External Deliberations Lead to Departure

With nearly 350,000 followers on X, The Trevor Project’s decision was not made lightly. It involved extensive consultations with both internal and external perspectives. A significant concern was whether leaving X would allow harmful narratives and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community to dominate without their presence to counter it. Ultimately, the need to protect the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth guided their decision to leave the platform.

Alternative Platforms and Resources

In light of its departure from X, The Trevor Project directed LGBTQ youth to its own social networking site, TrevorSpace.org. The organization reassured its commitment to the community by maintaining its presence on other social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Broader Impact and Industry Response

The departure of The Trevor Project from X is part of a larger trend observed since Musk’s takeover. Many LGBTQ individuals and organizations have found the platform increasingly hostile. Notably, high-profile LGBTQ figures and organizations such as Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres have either left or reduced their activity on X. Other LGBTQ nonprofits, including the San Francisco LGBT Center and LGBTQ Youth Scotland, have also exited the platform.

Ongoing Concerns and Future Outlook

X’s press office has not yet responded to these developments or the characterization of the platform as a space of “hate & vitriol.” This situation raises broader questions about the future of social media as a safe and inclusive space for marginalized communities, particularly the LGBTQ community, in the wake of changing policies and leadership at major platforms. The industry-wide impact and responses from other social media giants remain to be seen as this situation evolves.


Avon and Somerset Police Acknowledge Past Wrongs to LGBT+ Community

Avon and Somerset Police Acknowledge Past Wrongs to LGBT+ Community

In a landmark statement, Sarah Crew, the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, has extended a formal apology for the historical mistreatment of the LGBT+ community by the police force. This act of contrition aligns with the Peter Tatchell Foundation’s #ApologiseNow campaign, which started in June and seeks to mend the strained relations between law enforcement and the LGBT+ population.

Campaign for Change

The #ApologiseNow campaign encourages police forces to confront and apologize for past actions that were harmful to LGBT+ individuals. These actions include invasive raids on gay bars, derogatory treatment, and discriminatory targeting of the LGBT+ community. Avon and Somerset Police have become the seventh police force to engage with this initiative, taking a significant step towards acknowledging past injustices and fostering a future of inclusion and mutual trust.

Painful Past, Hopeful Future

Chief Constable Crew expressed deep regret for the force’s historical conduct, acknowledging the “hurt, pain, and anger” caused, which eroded the trust and confidence of the LGBT+ community in the police. The apology comes after extensive internal consultations and discussions with community stakeholders, ensuring that the sentiment is backed by a robust action plan.

Building Bridges

Looking ahead, Avon and Somerset Police have committed to “starting a conversation” in the coming year to enhance local policing strategies. This initiative will include close collaboration with the community to ensure that the force moves forward with a comprehensive understanding of the needs and concerns of LGBT+ individuals.

Unambiguous Recognition

Sarah Crew’s apology was noted for its clarity and directness, leaving no room for ambiguity regarding the force’s acknowledgment of past wrongs. Peter Tatchell, a renowned activist, commended the apology for its straightforwardness and the chief constable’s proactive approach to initiating positive change.

A Joint Journey Forward

The chief constable emphasized the importance of joint progress, stating, “Rather than us moving forward alone, I think it would be much more effective to move forward together.” This sentiment was echoed by Tatchell, who highlighted the campaign’s aim not to cast blame but to forge improved relations for the equitable treatment and protection of LGBT+ persons under the law.

Commitment to Honour Promises

The sincerity of the apology was bolstered by the confidence expressed by Peter Tatchell in the force’s commitment to their promises. It signifies a move away from shaming tactics towards constructive dialogue and actions that ensure equality, respect, and legal protection for the LGBT+ community.


The apology from Avon and Somerset Police marks a significant step in addressing historical grievances and building a more inclusive society. As police forces across the country are called upon to reflect on their past, this moment serves as a catalyst for change, symbolizing hope and the potential for healing long-standing wounds within the community.