Pride 2023 starts today! And, as we begin another month of celebration and love, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the importance of complexity.
Adam Grant, in his book Think Again, implores the need for complexity in our conversations and our thinking.
He writes, “We might believe we’re making progress by discussing hot-button issues as two sides of a coin, but people are actually more inclined to think again if we present these topics through the many lenses of a prism.”
Like Queer people themselves, rarely are the issues the Queer community faces limited to a binary.
One prominent example where I think we need more complexity: corporate pride.
Undoubtedly, corporate pride is problematic because it’s rooted in capitalism and profit. And, individuals within corporations do often use that profit to fund lunatic political candidates with disastrous ideologies who seek to strip rights and freedoms from Queer folks who just want to live their lives.
But, at the same time, pride displays in stores and online means increased visibility, representation, and belonging for Queer people. And, there are real people who work for those corporations—Queer folks and allies — who truly want to bring more belonging to their workplaces.
Even though the roots may be rotten, bringing Queer lives and stories to the forefront forces people to grapple with their own beliefs, and it creates more space for Queer people at the same time.
So, while ‘corporate pride is problematic’ is true, ‘corporate pride is productive’ is also true at the same time.
As Brené Brown writes in her book Atlas of the Heart, “Paradoxes force us to think in expansive ways and lean into vulnerability.”
So, as we celebrate Pride 2023, I invite you to reject the lure of simplicity and to approach your thinking with complexity in mind. Let’s not stop at acknowledging the paradoxes, but lean into them — for they not only challenge us, but they offer us the opportunity for growth and understanding.
Have productive conversations.
Challenge harmful ideologies.
Foster belonging and love.
To borrow from Brené Brown once more: Let’s spend Pride 2023 strengthening our backs, softening our fronts, and listening to the whispers of our wild hearts.
Happy pride, all 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️❤️