As a cisgendered bisexual, I used to take inclusivity for granted. Not intentionally mind you, but because I tend to blend into the crowd and people never even know that I am part of the LGBTQ+ community. I mean I am married to a cisgendered heterosexual man, we have a child together. I just never thought about how people who don’t fit society’s version of “typical” aren’t included in everyday things. Woah has that changed over the past few years.
But back in 2018, I was in a social media group that catered to creative biz owners and I was introduced to Mason Aid (They/Their/Them Pronouns.)
meet my friend mason.
Mason is an LGBTQ creative biz owner who is working to make the world a better place by teaching EVERYONE about being inclusive in their lives and businesses.
Not to mention Mason started a Podcast!!! It’s called Aided. It’s amazing. You’ll love it!
Mason schooled me on being intentionally inclusive in business and life.
My biz was a hot mess when it came to inclusivity. I mean I didn’t have my pronouns in my signature block, nor was I requesting pronouns from my clients. I was using heteronormative/gender-specific language in my stationery business–like bride and groom (which is a total no-no BT Dubs, I like using couple and partner instead.)
But here’s the thing.
It’s not like I was intentionally trying to exclude anyone within the LGBTQ+ community–I mean, for shit’s sake, I am a member of the community! I was just ignorant of what I was doing, and how my actions were affecting fellow members of the community. The actions I was taking were what I perceived to by socially acceptable AND THAT was the problem. Society isn’t setup for the marginalized communities–it is setup for the typical. Once I realized what I was doing I knew I had to change how I was interacting with everyone–because I am not about that shit!
That’s when Mason taught me this about being intentionally inclusive…
Taking the steps to be inclusive–like asking for people’s pronouns and using gender-neutral language–makes a world of difference and makes LGBTQ+ folx feel safe and able to easily recognize that you respect them. Period.
And the funny thing–in a tragic/sad way–most of the time cisgendered straight people won’t even notice you did anything. Being a decent human is loving people for who they are and making them feel welcome no matter what!
So a few months back when Mason reached out to have me design a workbook for their PridePrep Masterclass I was ecstatic and jumped at the chance to help them out! The content in this workbook was EPIC!!!! Like life changing.
So, here is a little peek into Mason’s Pride Prep Masterclass Workbook…