Pride Month Is a Great Time for Advisors to Become ‘Allies’

Pride Month celebrates and acknowledges the LGBTQ+ community. Will you join me in providing support?

By Laura J. LaTourette
Laura J. LaTourette
Laura J. LaTourette

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community I have celebrated Pride Month in many ways. My gratitude and sense of belonging in my community is especially strong this time of the year. My community is vibrant. I want to be loud and proud with them. I find optimism and joy in seeing all the rainbow flags, stories, celebrations, etc. in my local community, as well as all over the country.

Belonging is important to all of us humans, and I never had such a strong sense of belonging in a group or community until I “came out” as a lesbian more than 30 years ago. To bring my whole self to my family, friends and the financial services profession has been vital to my success and wellness.

I want to share how to support and celebrate with your family, friends and clients who are part of my community. I’ve also gathered a list of resources in case you don’t know where to start or don’t understand why it’s important.

Your involvement can demonstrate your commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. It can also help build trust with clients from these diverse backgrounds. We can make a significant difference in the financial-planning sector if we all work together .

Some Background

So why participate in Pride if you are not a member of the community? Here’s some information to answer this question.

History

Pride events commemorate the Stonewall Riots of June 1969, a pivotal moment in the fight for our equal rights in the United States. The riots, a series of protests and clashes with law enforcement, began after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. This event is widely considered the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

As the years went on and people aged, we began to include more diverse expressions of identity in our community. The modern LGBTQ+ rights movement includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, questioning, and many more expressions of identity.

Celebrations

Pride Month is a time for us to openly celebrate our identities and help educate people about our uniqueness. It promotes self-acceptance for our members and increases the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.

Events and parades celebrate LGBTQ+ culture, including art, music, fashion and literature that showcase the diversity and creativity within our community.  We are one of the most diverse communities since we include people from all cultures, ethic backgrounds, faiths, ages, identities, professions, etc.

Additional Reading: Should 80-year-old LGBTQ Clients Wed?

Community

Pride Month fosters a sense of community and solidarity among LGBTQ+ individuals and our allies. Allies are people who are not part of our community but want to support us. Pride provides a space where we come together to support each other, share experiences and build networks. Pride also includes celebrating our progress, fighting for equality, and building a future where we can ultimately live openly and fearlessly.

Education

We look to raise awareness and educate people about issues facing our LGBTQ+ community, such as discrimination, violence and legal inequalities. Focusing on our community for this time provides opportunities to advocate, educate, and pushing for legal and social change. Allies provide some of this education too. They are vital to our cause and help us gain equality by speaking up for us when we are not present. They help to tell our stories and create a space of empathy for us.

Getting Started

Here are a few ways you can get involved and show your support during Pride Month:

  1. Educational Workshops. Host or participate in webinars and workshops that focus on financial planning for LGBTQ+ individuals and families. From retirement planning and healthcare to investment strategies and estate planning, there are many areas where financial advisors like you can provide essential guidance and support. Many fund sponsors, software providers, advisory firms and business partners have presentations you can use as templates to get started. Ask them.
  2. Inclusive practices. Review and update your practice and firm materials. Ensure you have inclusive and welcoming messages for consumers, prospects and clients, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This could include using inclusive language and your pronouns in your email signature, social media, website and intake forms. Here are some ideas.
  3. LGBTQ+ organizations. Consider donating, volunteering or partnering with local or national LGBTQ+ organizations that work towards financial literacy and empowerment. They have many educational training opportunities that you can take to further your knowledge.

Organizations and Websites

Thank you for considering this invitation to celebrate and support Pride Month. For more information, here are some resources you can use year-round:

  1. Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group in the U.S., HRC offers consumers data and resources on a variety of LGBTQ+ issues.
  2. PFLAG. It’s the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents, families and allies. PFLAG offers online and in-person meetings.
  3. SAGE. Founded in 1978, this national advocacy and services organization has focused on older LGBTQ+ individuals. SAGE gathers data, offers financial resources and certifies healthcare agencies.
  4. CFP Board. Among the many topics covered on its Make a Plan website includes articles written by CFP professionals that address LGBTQ+ issues and financial strategies.
  5. Financial Planning Association (FPA). Its PridePlanners Knowledge Circle is hosted by FPA members of the LGBTQ+ community to connect, converse, learn and support each other. Monthly meetings often have CE’s available for CFP® designation.
  6. Out in Finance. This national network of LGBTQ+ professionals in the financial services industry hosts events around the U.S.
  7. Affirming Advisor™ Program. This paid program aims to create “safe places for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to find affirming advisors who can help them achieve their financial goals.”

Laura J. LaTourette, CFP® (she, her), is particularly passionate about working with the LGBTQ+ community and on estate planning, end-of-life decisions, charitable giving and legacy planning. She is a member of the FPA’s Pride Planners, DEI committee and annual conference committee. Laura is a CFP Board Ambassador and a SAGE National Resource Center Ambassador for LGBTQ+ elders. She also was an inaugural member and served for five years on LPL’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.

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