A new cross-industry network called Pride In Music has launched to support the LGBTQ+ community and allies in British music.
Last year Stonewall revealed that 35% (51% for trans) of staff across all UK industries prefer to not disclose their LGBTQ+ status at work due to fear of discrimination.
The study also revealed that in the past year, in or outside of work, two in five trans people (41%) have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity. One in six LGB people (excluding trans), have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation in the same time scale.
Pride In Music, founded by David James Lennon (AMLOR Music), Guy Howes (Creative Artists Agency) and Jamie Ahye (Atlantic Records / Warner Music Group), with committee support from Blake Price, Mark Fabish, Simon Jones, and Sophie Harley, is a new cross-industry network that will provide a place for the LGBTQ+ community and allies in the British music industry to socialise and build relationships with other supporters.
The site reads, "Pride in Music aims to provide a support network to break down stereotypes, to work as an education service to employers and staff, as an entry point to the industry for underprivileged youth and to provide a peer mentoring, networking, and an industry wide social group to help those who may struggle with the anxieties and stigmas that generally arise with these topics."
Guy Howes explains, "As an industry we strive to promote and celebrate diversity with the artists and musicians we work with - yet we still have so much to do to address LGBTQ+ stigmas and encourage more diversity in the workplace."
He adds, "Whilst I have been lucky enough to always be open and accepted at work as openly gay I have found at times that the music industry can be intimidating place to break into if you don’t fit the mould. I hope that Pride in Music can be a network for people across the industry to meet and support each other as well as nurturing best practice where these is need for change."
Jamie Ahye adds, "When thinking about setting up the network it became really apparent that we could work across so many different areas, not only to benefit our members but to help other LGBTQ+ charities, spaces and companies. Across 2019, Pride In Music will be fundraising for our key charity partner (more news to come soon), working alongside key festivals & promoters to encourage bookings of more LGBTQ+ musicians, hosting panels and by the end of the year, our goal is to have set up a peer to peer mentoring scheme for the members of the network.
I hope that by forming an organisation like Pride In Music we can provide a service to help those in need who may be less fortunate in dealing with mental health issues, anxieties and other consequences that arise with these topics and provide a rich and varied community for networking, peer mentoring, social engagements, education within all areas of the workplace and encourage overall visibility."
Pride In Music has already gained support from East Creative, and will look to develop emerging LGBTQ+ artists with an end goal of one artist performing at Mighty Hoopla festival in June. Both East Creative and Pride In Music will be offering placements to underprivileged individuals in the community, offering experience in artist liaison, being a runner, and experience of working at a music festival.