All Means All: Our All-Day-Every-Day Stance on Serving the LGBTQ+ Community
Sep 21, 2020
When a potential client types your name into Google, sees your Pinterest Boards, or searches the web for professional Celebrants in their area, you want to make sure what they find tells them exactly what type of ceremony they can expect to have if they hire you. Is the story you are telling in your marketing representative of your services and of your core values? Are you telling a story at all?
We’ve seen marketing done well by seasoned Celebrants many times. But, Beth Stokes may have just taken the cake! (See her image below, pick your jaw up off the floor, and keep reading…)
Beth is a recognized Humanist Celebrant (annnnd instructor of our End of Life Celebrations course in November 2020) who has put acceptance front and center on her homepage. Before her contact information, before links to her social media handles, and in one sentence-- you know that Beth walks the walk when it comes to equality.
We admire Beth for many reasons, but now we see even more clearly why it was such a good fit when she joined our team of instructors (again, OMG pinch us), because we walk that same walk. Celebrant Academy does not have a separate course with a focus on LGBTQ+ weddings, because LGBTQ+ celebrations are not separate.
Since we began to promote this coursework in early 2020, we have received so many thoughtful questions from Celebrant’s around the world about our approach and specific contents of the curriculum.
One question that continues to come up is, "Why don’t you offer a LGBTQ+ focused course?"
Donna Forsythe, our Director and Founder, began her Celebrant career when she officiated the marriage of a same-sex couple in their 70's when PA passed marriage equality in 2014. She happened to be on sabbatical at the time from her public school teaching job, where diversity and equality were also a part of her career. Donna explained, “Black History Month is one month out of the year. When I was a teacher, I taught Black history throughout the entire school year. Celebrant Academy does the same with marriage equality and LGBTQ+ celebrations. It is the thread of the fabric of our curriculum and our values as Humanists-- it is woven into the entire program."
Our goals have always been to prepare individuals with the skills needed to be in-demand professionals who provide exceptional ceremonies to all people during all of life’s most important moments. For instance, our upcoming Marketing coursedoesn't have a section on crisis management or good public relations. But it does cover Diversity & Inclusion and Networking-- two areas that help business owners establish a proactive marketing strategy, rather than one that reacts only when social justice issues get national attention.
Throughout our coursework we emphasize:
Honoring and recognizing pronouns and using inclusive language at all times
Approaching ceremony details through the lens of non-traditional couples and non-traditional wedding parties
Being proactive with LGBTQ+ couples with all aspects of their wedding day
Celebrants were on the right side of history as marriage equality passed and as marginalized communities continue to fight for additional rights, but our work isn’t done yet. By making diversity and inclusion, gay marriage, trans rights, and anti-racism pillars of the training we provide, we are doing our best to work towards a world where there are no longer sides to stand on.
So if you are searching for "LGBTQ+ celebrations" on our website, try just typing celebrations and you'll find everything you need to know about Celebrant Academy!
Inspired to join Beth for our End of Life Celebrations track? Learn more by exploring this 4-week coursework in our Learning Library!