June is Pride month, a month where we don brightly coloured outfits, proudly wave our rainbow flags, and celebrate the 2SLGBTQI community and its members! At Westland Insurance, we are committed to standing with this community not only in June, but with year-round initiatives encouraging us all to continue to learn and grow to become a more inclusive world. To learn more about his experience with diversity and equality, we sat down with one of our team members who is also a member in the community, Jackson Wubs (he/him), Marketing Assistant.
“Diversity isn’t something that can be forced, it has to happen naturally. When I walk into a business or I see advertising, I want those messages and images to represent what I see in my life. It shouldn’t be unrealistic, just a true representation of all the different people in our communities,” Jackson shares when asked what businesses like Westland can do to be more inclusive.
“As we have seen recently this past year with different movements, some things have gotten better in terms of equality. But not everyone is accepted, there are so many people in my community still fighting every day for their rights just to be themselves.”
Jackson also had some shocking news to share with us. In June 2020, the Trump Administration reversed Transgender Health Protections in the United States, a rule that would remove non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. “While we are not the same country and have come a long way, these types of discriminatory acts fuel homophobia and transphobia worldwide.” The Act has since been moved to the Senate and is awaiting consideration.
When it comes to what we can all do to help become a more inclusive society, Jackson suggests to simply listen and amplify the voices in the community within your own social circles or platforms. “It’s okay if you say something wrong or are not sure of the proper terminology. If you do get corrected, look at it as a learning opportunity to see the world through someone else’s lens.”
An organization that Jackson believes is doing amazing work throughout the difficult year we’ve experienced is the Covenant House Vancouver, who provide love and hope to Vancouver’s homeless and at-risk street youth. Many of these youths have been forced to leave their homes due to their families not accepting them, or for fear of not being accepted.
“They’re really doing great work keeping queer youth off the street. Home security is uncertain for so many youths who are worried about coming out and so many end up homeless on the street. The Covenant House helps with that and provides a safe space these youths so deeply need.” Jackson shares.
For more information about The Covenant House Vancouver, please go to covenanthousebc.org