Celebrating Diversity: LGBTQ Pride Month 2021
LGBTQ Pride Month 2021
Every June, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) communities across the globe celebrate Pride Month, honoring those who participated in the Stonewall Riots in June of 1969. These demonstrations took place over a week and resulted from a violent police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, on June 28. Many consider these riots to be one of the significant turning points in the gay liberation movement. Before this uprising, society viewed LGBTQ individuals as criminals, and ordinary events like gathering at local bars were deemed illegal. Since the riots, legislation has undergone multiple changes, and those identifying as LGBTQ continue to work towards greater acceptance and equality. Major cities worldwide celebrate Pride Month each year with parades, rallies, festivals, and community events.
Clincierge is proud to be an LGBTQ-owned company located in Philadelphia, and member of the Independence Business Alliance, a local Chamber of Commerce built around promoting business development and growth, creating and fostering leadership opportunities, and increasing diversity and equality for LGBTQ-owned businesses and their owners.
Our President and CEO, Scott Gray, founded Clincierge in 1994 as Gray Consulting with just one business partner and has since cultivated his small company into a staff of almost 50 full-time employees. In addition, he is the executive sponsor of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Clincierge, where he continues to oversee educational opportunities for employees and foster an inclusive environment.
Creating Opportunities for Success
Over the years, Scott felt a personal calling to dedicate his time and experience to charitable organizations. Currently, Scott serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Governors for the Valley Youth House (VYH), an organization working with at-risk youth in cities around Pennsylvania. As part of his role, Scott serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee and uses his business knowledge to help with fundraising efforts. VYH provides services for more than 22,000 homeless and foster care youth and their families, many of whom identify as LGBTQ. The support these individuals receive at Valley Youth House is integral to their personal development and is one of the main reasons that Scott continues to serve.
Scott also dedicates his time to support his local LGBTQ community. For the past 12 years, he has been part of the support crew for The SMART Ride. This 165-mile bicycling challenge runs from Miami to Key West each November and raises funds for AIDS service organizations in Florida.
Scott feels extremely fortunate to have grown up in a loving and supportive home environment, one that offered necessary items like food, housing, clothing, and education and encouraged him to learn. This stability instilled in Scott a confidence to be who he is, without apology, and it is this trait he hopes to share with others who may be less fortunate.
Local LGBTQ Community Support
Many associations in the Philadelphia region and around the globe embrace this passion for giving back. For those who identify as LGBTQ, there are unique mental, emotional, and healthcare needs. Below is a list of several community organizations currently supporting the LGBTQ population in the Greater Philadelphia Area:
- Access Matters provides community-based healthcare for teens and adults in need, focusing on those affected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- AIDS Fund Philly produces several awareness and fundraising programs throughout the year, the largest being AIDS Walk Philly every October.
- Attic Youth Center allows LGBTQ youth to develop into adults within a supportive and accepting environment.
- Colours Organization strives to improve the lives of LGBTQ communities of color in the Philadelphia area, especially those of African descent.
- COMHAR: PACTS (Philadelphia AIDS Counseling and Treatment Services) offers mental and medical services to those affected by HIV and AIDS.
- GALAEI (Gay and Lesbian Latino/a AIDS Education Initiative) began as an organization to serve the Latinx community but now provides support and services for all Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (QTBIPOC).
- LGBT Elder Initiative supports the interests of older members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the Delaware Valley and surrounding communities.
- Mazzoni Center provides health services at its two LGBTQ-focused locations in Center City, Philadelphia, including free HIV and STI screenings.
- Morris Home offers emotional, medical, and behavioral support to trans and gender-nonconforming individuals with addiction issues. The home honors the memory of Nizhah Morris, a transgender woman murdered in Philadelphia in 2002.
- Office of LGBTQ Affairs works to promote equity in housing and working conditions and advocate for LGBTQ causes within the City of Philadelphia.
- Philadelphia FIGHT provides primary medical and dental care services to those living with or at elevated risk of contracting HIV or AIDS at six centers in Philadelphia. Since 1994, they have hosted AIDS Education Month (AEM) each June, reaching an estimated 10,000 people yearly.
- Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative provides case management and monthly programs for LGBT refugees and asylees in the Philadelphia area.
- The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium (TPAC) strives to meet the needs of residents lacking affordable healthcare, focusing on those with HIV, STIs, and behavioral health challenges.
- Therapy Center of Philadelphia (TCP) provides affordable psychotherapy services to women, transgender, and gender non-conforming communities. To date, they have supported over 2,500 individuals.
- Valley Youth House helps vulnerable young people build the foundation for future growth and independence, ensuring that no one is alone on their journey.
- Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP) is a division of Philadelphia FIGHT and offers a gender-affirming and comprehensive approach to healthcare for those between the ages of 13 and 24.
- William Way Community Center supports the LGBT community through cultural, educational, and recreational programs.
- Women Against Abuse recognizes the unique challenges facing LGBTQ individuals in abusive relationships and assists accordingly.
At Clincierge, we are firm believers in the idea that diversity begins at home. Therefore, we honor what makes each of us unique and we celebrate coming together as individuals in a welcoming environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.