Jean-Marie Navetta, director of learning and inclusion for PFLAG National, led a March 16 workshop on being a supportive and respectful ally to transgender people in the workplace. Among the issues Navetta addressed were pronoun usage, disclosure etiquette and gender-based stereotyping. About 80 people attended.
Navetta's talk was presented under the auspices of PFLAG's Straight for Equality Project, a national outreach and education to "invite, educate, and engage new allies in the effort to achieve full inclusion for LGBTQ people," according to the organization. The event was part of Out & Equal Chicagoland's 2017 Citywide Pride event series, and was hosted by Publicis Groupe, a multinational communications firm.
Navetta said that PFLAG has "always been sort of the 'family side' of the LGBT movement," but that organization officials in recent years had noticed a significant shift in its membership: More people were working with the organization in order to be more supportive of a friend who is a member of the LGBT community. In other words, PFLAG was reaching beyond friends and family members.
"Becoming an ally is not an overnight transition for most people," Navetta said. "The only way they can take this journey is if we take this journey along with them. It takes a lot of work, because this is scary for a lot of us."