With the aim to celebrate inclusivity and equality – elements that have arguably always been prominent and high up on the agenda in hotel design, architecture and hospitality – the team at Hotel Designs are amplifying their faith this Pride Month by adding a splash of rainbow colour into its logo throughout June. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes why Pride Month should be celebrated at every opportunity…
It’s so easy to call yourself a ‘global brand’ these days. Thanks to the democratisation of everything, a social post can be viewed by tens of thousands of people worldwide in an instant. On platforms like Hotel Designs, we take pride in covering news and features from what feels like all corners of the globe – from energy positive hotel concepts in Norway to chic new properties in Australia and the fast-evolving concepts within the Red Sea Development. But the truth is, we – the editors – decide just how international our content is at any given time, depending on what we believe is relevant. We won’t be swooning over Russia’s hotel development pipeline any time soon…
I have a question for you about our global arena. Are you proud of our ‘international’ industry? Perhaps the answer is ‘yes’ seeing as there are beautiful hotels around the globe. But, given the hospitality’s need to discuss (ESG) Economic, Social and Governance, socially is the world and its politics – and therefore its hospitality parameters – something to be proud of? If I am really honest, I don’t think I can be when, in 2022 Human Dignity Trust provided an overview of the countries across the world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are criminalised.
71 jurisdictions/countries, including much of the Caribbean, for example, criminalise private, consensual, same-sex sexual activity. The majority of these jurisdictions explicitly criminalise sex between men via ‘sodomy’, ‘buggery’ and ‘unnatural offences’ laws. Almost half of them are Commonwealth jurisdictions.
Meanwhile, 43 jurisdictions criminalise private, consensual sexual activity between women using laws against ‘lesbianism’, ‘sexual relations with a person of the same sex’ and ‘gross indecency’. Even in jurisdictions that do not explicitly criminalise women, lesbians and bisexual women have been subjected to arrest or threat of arrest.
“It takes no compromise to give people their rights … it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk.
Furthermore, 11 jurisdictions in which the death penalty is imposed or at least a possibility for private, consensual same-sex sexual activity. At least six of these, many of which are considered prime hotel development hotspots, implement the death penalty – Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen – and the death penalty is a legal possibility in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and UAE.
Equality goes beyond same-sex relations. Pride Month, however, was born out of homophobic atrocity, and in its infancy was developed by the LGBTQ+ community who wanted to call out homophobia. It is celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In recent years, though, while it is important to understand the heritage, it has evolved into something greater. Brands and people can use the month to amplify their support and intolerance towards homophobia.
Pride Month today, in my opinion, is the answer to society’s shame. It is promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) people as a social group. It is an opportunity for everyone to support the cause towards fairness.
Our wonderful and colour-filled and creative industry is known, respected and responsible for pushing forward social and climate issues and presenting solutions to complex problems that threaten a peaceful world. In all of these stigmatised scenarios, it is often collaborative efforts that lead to change. So, throughout June, to mark Pride Month with the noise and stance evolution demands, Hotel Designs has decided to change its logo to represent the colours of the rainbow with the hope that others will follow.
Main image credit: Unsplash/Robert-Katzki