When people think of the state of Utah, they often think of our world-famous snow or our iconic arches and red rocks. One of the highlights of Utah that often gets overlooked is our LGBTQ+ inclusivity! Salt Lake City, is one of the most densely LGBTQ+ populated cities in the country, identified by Gallup as the 7th “gayest city in America.” Per capita, we are “gayer” than both Manhattan and Los Angeles. The Boston Globe calls Salt Lake City “America’s super gay, super cool hipster haven.”
At Culinary Crafts, language precision is something we take great pride in. The acknowledgment that words have poignant power to distract or enhance our guest's experience drives us to constantly be learning how to include and dial in our language use. In this vein, we worked with Equality Utah, who has been working for two decades to shatter stereotypes and foster dynamic change in the Beehive State, to create an inclusive language for events. Check out what we learned!
8 tips for making your events more LGBTQ+ friendly with inclusive language:
- Offer LGBTQ+ inclusivity training to your team in advance of any events. Seek guidance from local LGBTQ+ organizations or consult with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure you are centering on those most impacted. This will help ensure you are offering accurate information.
- Confer with your vendors in advance of the event to make sure their frontline employees have been trained to use inclusive language. If not, you can offer a quick training onsite the day of your event. However, this is better done in advance, so you don't miss anything.
- As the host, be cognizant of common gender-biased words when speaking to groups. So many of these are unwittingly included in our everyday language. Some great gender-neutral examples of greeting a group of people could be "folks" instead of "guys" or "everyone" instead of "ladies and gentlemen" or as it is Utah, an appropriately timed "ya'll" is always welcome!
- Where possible — collect legal & preferred names. Give your guests an opportunity to self-identify and use that name wherever possible.
- Where possible, use gender-neutral signs. One of the prime examples of this is bathrooms. Instead of "men's" and "women's" indicate what can be found in each restroom (e.g., a toilet, a urinal, a changing station).
- Offer places for your guests to self-identify their gender pronouns. Name tags are a great way to include this in your event. This will help ensure your guests are not misgendered and signal to transgender people that they are in a safe place.
- Update your event pages and other listings to indicate you are LGBTQ+friendly. (Yelp even has a badge for this.)
- Seek continued guidance from the LGBTQ+ community through trusted organizational partners. Also, get feedback from your LGBTQ+ members or other allies on how to make everyone feel included and loved.
Another resource to make your events more inclusive is Equality Utah. Recently, they launched a new Business Equality Leader certification program to offer Utah’s growing corporate sector the tools and training needed to create inclusive corporate cultures. They provide interactive diversity and inclusion training, which builds bridges between shared values. They also certify companies so you can make a public statement of support for an inclusive workplace and events.
With inequality and discrimination in the LGBTQ+ community being such a daunting problem, it can be discouraging not knowing how you can help and support. Including these tips above is a great start! You can also take the lead by thoughtfully and courageously engaging in equality efforts such as:
- Become an ally through Equality Utah and other LGBTQ+ foundations.
- Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ lives and uplift those who have been pushed to the margins of our culture.
- You can always join Equality Utah's celebratory events.
We are proud to partner in this work with Equality Utah and the LGBTQ+ community. Together, we are working to ensure that every American can be included and celebrated in our state and country. While ignorance and fear still divides communities. we choose to approach each other with open hearts and a listening ear, we can begin to find solutions together.
Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!