x
Square
Pride Month Spotlight, Pride in Business: LGBTQ+

Pride Month, typically observed in June, is dedicated to the celebration and commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other sexual identities. Following the Stonewall riots, a series of gay liberation protests in 1969, the community and allies now come together globally each year to lift each other up, support one another, celebrate the progress we’ve made, as well as continue to advocate for the progress we still need to make.  

 

At Square, we’re deeply dedicated to equal treatment, respect, and opportunity for all. 

 

Mini Banner - Pride (1).png

 

In order to better support those in the LGBTQ+ community, we launched Pride in Business: LGBTQ+. This private group in Seller Community aims to be: 

 

  • A place where LGBTQ+ sellers can support each other. This is a space where anyone identifying as LGBTQ+ and allies can come together and discuss life as a seller, business owner, Square employee or just in general.

 

  • A business resource hub for LGBTQ+ folks where members can share their stories, insights, and resources that have enabled them to find success in their business or career.

 

  • A place for people to connect with LGBTQ+ Squares who are eager to align with our LGBTQ+ customers. By opening more connections with LGBTQ+ Square product and engineering team members, these engagements strive for a deeper understanding of our customers' needs as we iterate on services and build out our products.

 

If you’d like to be a part of our conversations and community, we welcome you to request to join Pride in Business!

 

Happy Pride everyone! Let me leave you with some parting words from our former President, Barack Obama, “When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

 


Sean is a Product Manager for our Point of Sale application, a former global leader of our LGBTQ+ employee resource group, and one of the volunteer moderators for our Pride in Business: LGBTQ+ group. Sean loves connecting with new people and learning new things every day!

 

3 Comments
Square Champion

Hi @Sean - I am reading this on PRIDE Sunday in a city that chose to force our pride to move to October long story short because it was more convenient for local parks and traffic (note that no summer festivals or markets were moved other than PRIDE). I am part of the Super Sellers and Pride in Business groups and those resources are very important to me and ones that I respect Square for creating but this post feels a little less than protective (because of the lack of a public facing LGBTQ+ message) and more here's a box we made for you, if that makes sense? We do need to be in community with each other. But we also need public support - support with money and social cache. Visibility matters. PRIDE matters. 

In past Pride weeks/months Square publicly showed support for LGBTQ+ sellers - our business was shouted out in stories and several wonderful posts including sellers were on the Instagram as well as general acceptance messages. This feels different than in years past.

In the current political climate sellers like me are being vilified with legislation passed against talking about us, allowing medical care for us, coupled with book bans that are not allowing children to read about us. I am sitting here considering the words of Audre Lorde “In a world of possibility for us all, our personal visions help lay the groundwork for political action.” Also in her words - silence doesn't equal protection. In a place of erasure on many corporate brands it is more important than ever that LGBTQ+ businesses find support and create communities that offer protection from bigotry, bullying, and hatred and actual legislation. 

So where can we go from here? 

20% of younger generations identify as LGBTQ+ and I hope many of them become future business owners and Square sellers but what are we telling them when we are not a place of public acceptance?

I know Square has incredible internal support - I've heard that from @Valentina and @Tom and @isabelle and Michael Fredrick (not sure how to tag him). I think it is important for me to recognize that - because I know a lot of people don't have that support and also give a kind but critical view above. 

Much love and Happy Pride!


Square

Hey @MudFire_Dex. Really appreciate you taking the time to share more about what’s happening in your community, as well as your feedback. I’m really sorry to hear about your local Pride, and I absolutely agree that showing up does matter. 

 

To address some of your questions, you’re correct, we have taken a slightly different approach when it comes to showing support for specific communities on social media, not just specific to the LGBTQIA+ folks.  Instead of only highlighting support or stories during specific months, we’re trying to show visible support throughout the year. To illustrate, we highlighted a number of queer-owned retail sellers from Austin, TX for our ongoing series “Only In” back in October/November, rather than only focusing on June, which tends to be the only time most companies show up. I also want to highlight other, less-visible types of advocacy happening, like our collaboration to sign onto HRC’s Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation. Having said that, we can always do more to show up for our y’all. I’m happy to chat more with our team to see if there are also ways to highlight our support in June specifically in the future. 

 

You’re definitely a very important member of our community, so I appreciate the candid feedback and keep it coming!

Square Champion

Hi Sean, 
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm not just a Square customer myself - I am working in a micro-business incubator where most of my young staffers are Square sellers too because they sell work at markets and use the product. We are constantly in conversation about the ways in which we can queer capitalism and support each other with our values.

Sure, yes, I'd always prefer a company that didn't show up to support LGBTQ+ people only during June - I already knew about Square/Block signing the pledge and mentioned that in another post about a documentary airing tonight. It is necessary and appreciated for companies to do that as well as supporting their own LGBTQ+ people who work at Square/Block which I know y'all do.

Pride capitalism is different than showing support for the community and I understand the nuance of that for sure. I am stating that in the past Square has posted specifically posts pertaining to Pride and I noticed the absence of it. I also think that if the strategy moving forward is to show support throughout the year then the representation and visibility can't go back to your example in October - If 20% of Gen Z and younger people identify as LGBTQ+ are we showing them representation as business owners? This says to me that 20% of the posts have to be about LGBTQ+ business owners right? Square's Forward series being a good example highlighting BIPOC business owners in that and the Only In series is showing support and visibility for communities of color which is also crucial. It is a heavy task, I realize, because I am also a business owner that has to break down barriers of access in my own business to support BIPOC and LGBTQ+ and all of the intersectional relationships in these communities. I know it isn't simple.

Maybe that is because of my particular relationship with Square and noting that involvement with Square was an impetus for me to become more visible in my own business and marketing. Prior to working with Square and Square teams and photographers I didn't show myself on our website, Google listing, or marketing, because I viewed being who I was as a threat to the success of my company.

A deafening silence coming from a company that I love (which happened with many companies this year) US Companies Were Less Vocal On Pride Month During Anti-LGBTQ Protests - Bloomberg - says to me - that I am a risk still, a risk not just to my company but to yours. Whether that is the intent or not isn't really the question. 

Hopefully this can be an ongoing discussion and if you have any contact info for specific teams or ways that I can be an asset in this conversation I'd love to do that on behalf of myself as a transmasc person - and part of the LGBTQ+ community. Business is about belonging. 

Similar Threads
Introducing Square Champions: Learn about our new and improved Square advocacy program ‌🎉‌
Stellar Sellers: Recognizing Top Contributors in the Seller Community, May 2024
Stellar Sellers: Recognizing Top Contributors in the Seller Community, April 2024
Designing Products for People in the Beta Community: Meet Beta Specialist Marco