As Pride Month comes to a close for another year and we wind down for the summer, we’re looking ahead to next term and reflecting on Girlguiding’s strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. Here, 38th Aberdeen Brownie leader Emma shares her thoughts on being more inclusive of the LGBT+ community…
As a leader I think it’s really important for us to show support for the LGBT+ community wherever possible. It sends a clear message that Girlguiding is for everyone and that we offer young members as well as adult volunteers a safe a supportive space where they can be themselves.
A great way to show solidarity with the LGBT+ community is to take part in your nearest Pride Parade with fellow Girlguiding members. I took part in Glasgow Pride in 2018, Grampian Pride in 2019 and had the pandemic not happened I’d have taken part in the 2020 and 2021 marches too.
There’s always a great atmosphere when we show up in our ‘Guide with Pride’ t-shirts and experience a peaceful protest against inequality and bigotry. While a lot of large-scale events are still on hold Girlguiding have thankfully put together a list of other Covid friendly ways to celebrate Pride – the fun doesn’t have to stop when June finishes!
We love camping and campfires but there’s so much more to us than that and I think a lot of people outside of guiding might still think we haven’t moved with the times when we have. This makes it all the more important for members to do their part where they can to spread the word that we’re an inclusive organisation.
When Girlguiding published their strategic plan for diversity and inclusion recently, I think some volunteers found it quite daunting and weren’t 100% sure what steps to take next in the quest to become more inclusive. This is just a reminder that we’ve got this, we can keep pushing to be even better. We’ve done it for years in different ways – from adjusting activities to accommodate members with additional support needs to organising snacks for those with specific dietary needs. But we have to keep going and, as I mentioned earlier, continue to move with the times.
My main advice when it comes to being inclusive is keep trying. Never assume that someone else’s experiences are the same as yours, and always be open to learning and understanding others. Lead with kindness, an open heart, and an open mind and you can’t go wrong!
Find out more
Head to the Girlguiding website to read the new strategic plan for diversity and inclusion and check out these helpful diversity and inclusion resources.