We’ve celebrated pride a little differently this year
Throughout summer, we’ve been sharing our perspectives on how we can continue the fight for LGBTQ+ equality individually, as a collective, and as a bank.
If you haven’t had a chance, check out our earlier articles on our Pride 2020 theme, and remembering those who paved the path for the fight ahead.
Today I wanted to talk about allyship, and how we all have a role to play in actively amplifying the voices of others.
The difference between allyship and advocacy
Monzo’s Pride celebrations were a little different this year, and at the end of June, we hosted a company-wide fireside chat with some of our amazing staff to discuss how we can help everyone belong, and what belonging means to us. This was open to our LGBTQ+ staff, as well as those who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ but want to learn how they can stand with us, our allies.
Since then, we’ve seen a lot of colleagues go that one bit further, stepping up to listen, educate and spark change. They’ve even produced some Monzo merchandise for colleagues to purchase, raising money for UK Black Pride (@ukblackpride). These are our new advocates! As an organisation, it’s clear there is a desire for us to do better.
We’ve also updated our custom pride app logo, available in the app all year round. We want to make a statement that pride is not a seasonal movement, and our logo should include visibility for all members of the LGBTQ+ community - including all races and gender identities. Check it out in your app!
We talked about privilege
As a white, cisgendered, able bodied, middle class, gay male I’ve got hella privilege. Over the last few months I’ve seen a lot of people use this word as an insult, and even the reason why some people distance themselves from fighting for equality for fear of saying something wrong. The reality is, everyone has some form of privilege, and acknowledging that you have this - and will continue to benefit from this - is how things will change.
Allowing yourself to get uncomfortable in these discussions, and acknowledge where you were wrong, is where you’ll learn the most.
At our Pride fireside chat, we spoke about an amazing article from John Scalzi where your level of privilege can be likened to the difficulty setting on a video game. Everyone faces their own challenges, and those with privilege benefit from a lower difficulty setting. And for some, the difficulty setting is increasing.
There is work to be done on LGBTQ+ inclusion for all
Over the last month, there’s been an increased focus on the inequality LGBTQ+ people are facing in Poland following the re-election of Poland's President Andrzej Duda (link). Black trans folks' lives remain at risk and they’re at the center of the rising of the Black Lives Matter movement, as they’ve always been for the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Ravyn Wngs (@RavynWngs) explained in a recent speech at the Black Lives Matter protest in Toronto “there is a saying… ‘Life, Liberty and Justice’ - black people are still on Life’.
I’d encourage you to think about how you will continue the fight throughout the year using the resources below because allyship is not a status symbol, it is a continuous movement.
Resources and ways you can be a better ally
Donate your money or time to the Albert Kennedy Trust, who help support homeless LGBTQ+ youth
Check out the documentary ‘Disclosure’ on Netflix, which explores the historic representation of trans people in media
Listen to this discussion on Lending privilege with Anjuan Simmons