Authenticity is a recurring theme across the LGBT business equality movement these days. We are encouraged to bring our authentic selves to the work- place. For those of us who are business owners, we are told to pay close attention to our executive presence as it is informed by individual authenticity and choice of outward presentation. We even celebrate National Coming Out Day in October to remind people to be authentic and that coming out still matters. All this talk about authenticity is great, but our actions will always speak louder than words.
In this issue of Affinity Inc Magazine, we are celebrating action in the business equality arena:
• Victoria Fulkerson explains how the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has created groundbreaking initiatives designed to strategically grow LGBTBEs and to energize corporate supplier diversity programs.
• The U.S. Small Business Administration provides access and information to vital business and economic development programs directly to the LGBT community.
• Riley Folds shares how LGBT millennials view/care about corporate authenticity. According to Folds, investing in a strong connection with LGBT millennials today will result in long-term benefits to businesses.
• The Human Rights Campaign’s Athletes for Equality program is a physical, as well as a financial, testament to commitment to true equality.
Being authentic is the first step. Have the courage to bring your true self to the work- place. But, the next step — the most important — is action:
• If you are an ally, make the workplace a safe place for colleagues to be themselves and bring their “A” game.
• As a business owner, get involved in the local affiliate of the NGLCC to actively use your executive presence to build a broader LGBT business community with more certi- fied business enterprises.
• After coming out as LGBT or as an LGBT ally, get involved in the community di- rectly through active participation or indirectly through donations to organizations that support business equality.
We must not only show up as our authentic selves, we must take action to achieve the desired results. Our results are what matters in the equality struggle.
Let’s agree to combine our authenticity with action.
Robin Dillard, Publisher