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3 Ways to be a More Mindful Event Vendor to the LGBTQ+ Community

Mel (She/Her) MAS at Venopi
3 min read
3 Ways to be a More Mindful Event Vendor to the LGBTQ+  Community

The LGBTQ+ community is known to host memorable events, whether a birthday, bachlorx, or wedding, and as an ally, I am still learning all about being mindful, inclusive and thoughtful to my friends from the LGBTQ+ community.

This brings me to the topic of event vendors! How can event vendors be more inclusive, mindful and thoughtful to their LGBTQ+ clients? Simple things can make a world of difference when creating a safe and comfortable atmosphere for clients.

Here are 3 ways you can be more mindful when working with clients who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

1. Learn your client's pronouns 

You may have heard about gender pronouns, and though it may seem like a modern idea, the earliest recorded use of "they" as a gender-neutral personal pronoun was in the 14th century in a French poem called William the Werewolf. Gender pronouns are the terms people refer to themselves that convey their gender identity. This can be he/him, she/her or gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them. 

When speaking to Ivana, Founder and CEO of Venopi, I learned a lot about their experiences with their own events. When asked about some of their struggles while planning an LGBTQ+ wedding, they mentioned something interesting. Ivana said that vendors would often refer to them as she, and they actually did not correct the vendors. They felt that it was already awkward and worried that the conversation could get too philosophical. They said it would have been nice had the vendors known their pronouns before working together, as it would have created a much smoother encounter.

Knowing and using a person's correct pronouns fosters inclusion and affirms their gender identity, which is why learning your client's pronouns is essential in creating a safe atmosphere. 

 

2. Use gender-neutral terminology

Another struggle that Ivana mentioned was that during the planning of their wedding, vendors would always use the word "husband" to describe their partner, which would then turn into a conversation of Ivana correcting them and explaining their sexuality. This can be super uncomfortable and awkward, as you can imagine. When you approach the wedding industry with gendered terminology, you're already showing you have a  point of view in terms of what a wedding should or shouldn't look like and who it does or doesn't include. Instead of using gendered terminologies such as bride or groom, you could use "marrier/s". For Bachelor/Bachelorette party, you could use "Bach Party".

 

3. Create a safe and accepting environment

Most persons in the LGBTQ+ community have had struggles with safety and acceptance, from being made fun of on the streets to having acts of violence committed against them; it is clear why the LGBTQ+ community may feel unsafe or unaccepted around people they do not know. This is why it is vital to make each and everyone feel safe. We can do this by being aware of internalized biases and any stereotypes we may believe. It may not be obvious, but we all grew up in a society that allows homophobia and gender stereotypes. We must also treat everyone with kindness and equality no matter how they identify. 

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Are you LGBTQ+ event professionals or Allies? 

We are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and we understand the importance of being included in the narrative and how hard it is to find and connect with event professionals who are aware of the things that matter to us. Venopi's mission is to improve the event ecosystem in the LGBTQ+ community through collaboration, digitalisation, and smart work.
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