Planning an event for Pride

Hello! I’m Will and I recently joined the content team here at Tech Circus. My top priority is organising our community events whilst ensuring that all of our speakers and community members are happy with the content that’s being produced. One of the first events that I’d been tasked with curating, was our upcoming ‘International Pride Month’ event which will take place on 29th June 6pm (BST.) We’ve managed to onboard such an excellent range of speakers this year and I’ve really appreciated the time and openness that they’ve shared with me. Listening to the insights from a variety of different fields and backgrounds has made me reflect on my own experiences and has kickstarted important conversations from my work desk to my kitchen.

It’s important to recognise and represent as many faces of the LGBTQIA+ community as possible, so our panel discussion this year will consist of seven wonderful speakers who can all offer a unique perception of what it’s like to work within the UX and Design spaces. I’m really excited to share this platform with such a diverse group of queer people that have already expanded my knowledge. By shedding light on the experiences of non-binary folks, transgender women, gay men, lesbians and bisexuals, our speakers have given me a lot to think about this Pride Month and I’m looking forward to hearing the full discussion at the end of the month.

A lot of the speakers I initially reached out to were found using a directory for designers called Queer Design Club, which helped me come into contact with other LGBTQIA+ members of the UX community and started discussions surrounding the inclusivity, opportunities and accessibility of the professional spaces surrounding our communities. Our panel host Josh LaMar was a great help following these initial conversations, and has introduced me to two friends that we’ll also be welcoming as members of the panel. Someone that Josh recommended for this discussion was Ender Ricart, a staff UX researcher at Google, who’s keen to challenge UX’s claim on ‘empathy’ during our panel discussion. A few other key talking points that the speakers and I have been exploring within our topic calls have included: the exclusivity of language within the workspace, the scarcity of queer people within leadership roles, the meaning of intersectional identities and how cis-het people can best utalise this information to become better allies to the LGBTQIA+ community.

As an educational networking platform, Tech Circus wanted to create this event for our speakers and audience members to help bring people together during Pride Month and provide a means of connecting and empowering queer designers and UX professionals. We encourage anyone and everyone to chat in the networking rooms during the session and also use them to ask any questions you may have for our panellists during the discussion- this event is a safe space for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and we hope that by attending you are supportive and respectful to all. When planning this year's Pride event, I thought that the best way to give back to the community was by asking our speakers to nominate charitable causes that we can share with our viewers during the event. Our online community events have always been free to attend and have grown during the trials of the pandemic; I think that our audience attending and supporting this event encompasses the importance and impact of community excellently. Thank you for reading. I hope you’re having a Happy Pride Month!

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