honorifics

Best Practices for LGBTQ Inclusive Meetings and Events

Photo by Lori Tenney

Photo by Lori Tenney

Last week I spoke at the Meeting Planners International wonderful event, World Education Congress. You can read the article here. I spoke about the increasing gender diversity within workforces, and how that can significantly impact meetings and events - even non-LGBTQ events. Every event will have some LGBTQ attendees and it's important to aware of how this can impact your event.

Here are 5 best practices to create LGBTQ-inclusive meetings and events:

Train your front line employees to understand the fluidity of gender, remove gendered language from greetings, and serve guests whose presentation might not match their ID. For some specific tips, check out this blog post, A Person Walks into a Store...

Include pronoun identification as part of the event registration process and show pronouns on name badges, or offer as stickers at the registration desk. You can see an example from a recent Google event in the image above. Singular pronouns are no longer just he or she. Many people are identifying with the pronoun, "they." Read this post for more specific tips on using "they." 

Update your forms to include ‘Other’ as a third gender option, and gender neutral honorifics (such as Mx). Many companies are now understanding that great customer service starts with great policies that provide diverse gender options on forms. Check out this post for more specifics on how to do this and this one on gender neutral honorifics.

Allow guests to choose the restroom of their actual gender identity and create at least one gender- neutral restroom in the event space. This could mean re-branding multi-stall or single stall restrooms as gender neutral. Check out this post for some creative options.

Promote your destination, property, and/or event as an LGBTQ-welcoming space by including the community in marketing images, and using inclusive language. This means showing real life photos of real life LGBTQ folks in marketing, not just cheesy stock photos. This also means showing the diversity of the LGBTQ community in imagery, not just gay men or lesbians. Ft. Lauderdale is an excellent case study in attracting transgender travelers and events to the city.

The bottom line is to lead with inclusivity and brand loyalty and repeat attendees will follow!

For more information on any of these topics, contact us today!

 

Gender Neutral Titles and Why They Matter

gender-neutral-honorific.jpg

Earlier this year, HSBC Bank made headlines by creating a policy to allow their customers to choose from a new list of honorifics when establishing or managing accounts. What are honorifics?  According to the Oxford Dictionary, an honorific is a title or word implying or expressing respect.

For example, terms like Mr., Mrs., Miss., and Ms. are all honorifics - and traditionally, as in our examples, many honorifics are gendered. When more customers are identifying somewhere under the transgender umbrella, these gendered honorifics become problematic. For example, if a new gender non-binary customer is filling out an application to open a bank account or credit card, and their only honorific/title options are traditionally gendered terms, they may feel alienated, frustrated or even leave.

HSBC doesn't want to take that risk. They now allow customers (and staff) to identify as non-binary on forms and include the following gender-neutral honorific options:

Ind (abbreviation of individual)
M
Mx (pronounced “mix” or “mux”)
Misc (for miscellaneous)
Mre (for mystery)
Msr (a mix of miss/sir)
Myr
Pr (prounced “per”, for person)
Sai (pronounced “sigh”)
Ser (pronounced “sair”).

Mx. is generally the most preferred honorific option by those who are non-binary.

This incredibly progressive move is a great model for other banks and any business which collects customer information (including health care facilities, airlines and others). What steps is your company taking to create inclusive honorifics?