Pride Month:

June ’24

Insights from Stephanie Wooley from Toronto P-Flag

This month, we celebrate empowerment through chosen communities, reflecting on strides toward equality while acknowledging ongoing challenges. Last year, we had the privilege of hosting Stephanie Woolley (she/her), a board member of Toronto Pflag—an organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for the LGBTQ2S+ community. In honor of Pride Month, we’re excited to share key takeaways from her session that both organizations and individuals can find valuable.

Promoting Equality: Inclusive Policies and Language

Stephanie explains how everyday societal rules and norms can unknowingly reinforce bias, such as gender checkboxes on forms.

To tackle this, we need to start breaking down these barriers in our workplaces. Prioritizing strong non-discrimination practices helps ensure that gender expression and identity are openly respected and supported.

This includes using gender-inclusive language in all communications, both online and offline—from meetings to everyday conversations.

Providing accessible and inclusive facilities, such as counseling support services, helps all employees thrive. offers free access to therapists and other wellness resources through OpenUp, available to every employee’s family members as well.


Stephanie highlights key concepts crucial for both individuals and organizations to educate themselves on:

Misgendering and Deadnaming

Navigating respect and understanding of gender identity means addressing key issues that deeply affect people. Misgendering—using incorrect pronouns—can cause social dysphoria and make someone feel profoundly misunderstood. Deadnaming—using a person’s former name instead of their chosen one—undermines their journey of self-identity and often leads to significant emotional distress.


Stephanie also mentions that microaggressions—casual put-downs of marginalized groups, excluding others, and passive-aggressive behaviors—contribute to an unwelcoming space. Spreading awareness and fostering a culture of respect and acceptance is crucial. When we commit to this, we create environments where everyone feels truly seen, valued, and respected for who they are.

The Power of Support

Stephanie emphasizes the importance of having supportive allies. Change starts with us, and together, we can make a positive impact. Here’s how:


  • Advocate boldly: Use your voice and influence to empower others.
  • Show it, wear it, display it: Symbols of unity in action.
  • Respect identities: Honor chosen names and pronouns with care, avoiding misgendering and deadnaming.


Stay informed: Engage actively in workshops and educational sessions provided to you.

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