Progress on 2SLGBTQIA+ rights isn't always linear. But it's still progress.

Progress on 2SLGBTQIA+ rights isn't always linear. But it's still progress.

Ronan Lyver by Ronan Lyver on

The month of June is Pride Month, which celebrates 2SLGBTQ+ folks (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer plus all the other people that fall under this umbrella). It also honors the Stonewall Riots and the queer liberation protests of 1969. This year in particular marks the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

2SLGBTQ+ issues have never been more important or talked about in North American society. So it’s important to take a moment to listen to queer voices. It’s an opportunity to recognize that while we still have room to grow, we’ve made significant progress since June 28th, 1969.

A brief timeline of progress

Many people consider Stonewall to have kicked off the 2SLGBTQ+ movement in the United States, though it was preceded by a decade of similar riots. However, Stonewall is considered a major turning point, with Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Stormé DeLarverie all playing major roles. June 1970 marked the first Pride Week, remembering the actions of everyone involved in Stonewall and celebrating the culture that grew out of it.

There have been some major milestones since then. In May 1990, the World Health Assembly (WHA) stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental illness. Then, in May 2019, the WHA announced gender incongruence, the organization’s preferred term for transgender people, is no longer considered a mental illness.

The Canadian Human Rights Act, which handles discrimination in the workplace, was amended twice to include people in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The first time was in June 1996, when sexual orientation became a protected category. The second was in June 2017, when it was expanded to include gender identity and gender expression.

In December 2003, the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations went into effect in the UK, making it illegal for employers to discriminate against lesbians, gay and bi people. It was followed by The Equality Act 2010 in October 2010, which included limited protections for transgender employees. Moving back across the pond, June 15th, 2020 marked the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of employment protections for LGBTQ+ employees.

These milestones are significant, however, they were hard-won and are still being challenged to this day. In the US, many laws regarding 2SLGBTQ+ people are created and managed by the state. This means from state to state, laws change greatly. Gay and trans panic defense is still legal in many states, and over 500 anti-trans bills have been proposed in 2024 alone, with 43 of them having been passed. Many of them concern bathroom usage, insurance and medical care as well as prohibition in schools.

Similar policy changes have occurred in Canada and the UK. For example, the UK government blocked Scotland from passing gender reform laws last year. These developments show that while progress is being made, there are plenty of challenges and setbacks. Outside of politics, accessing healthcare for 2SLGBTQ+ in all three countries is significantly difficult, with a lack of providers willing to provide the care and wait times of years to access it.

Stories from 1Password

1Password prides itself on being able to hear stories from people directly from the community. Through our Pride ERG (Employee Resource Group), we’ve learned that while society has made great strides, there’s still a long way to go. Furthermore, we asked people two questions on this topic:

What are some of the positive changes you’ve seen in your lifetime/career? Are there things you once thought impossible that have come to fruition?

Here’s what we heard:

Kaitlyn Vinson – Product Operations

I remember being in my Women & Gender Studies class when gay marriage became legal in the United States and it was electric. While not everyone in the class was part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you could feel the joy and happiness seeping from every corner of the room. It was a really unique experience to be able to celebrate in a space like that.

[Another positive change I’ve seen is] WLW1 representation in pop culture. Recently, we’ve had so many WLW artists come out and release songs that really encompass the sapphic experience. Seeing artists like Chapell Roan, Billie Eilish, and Renee Rapp have such huge successes with their music is so inspiring. It’s so nice to listen to a song and really feel what they’re singing. (Shoutout to the artists who have been singing about WLW experiences for years like Tegan & Sara)"

I’d love to see a world where we can all just exist and not live in fear. While we’ve come a long way as a society, there is still so much hate, misunderstanding, and outright lies being spread about our community. We are just people who want to be able to live our lives authentically and love who we want to love.

Anonymous 1Password employee

I’m ace2 and one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in my lifetime is LGBTQIA+ visibility. I know a ton of ace people who didn’t really realize it was even a thing when they were younger and just felt odd. Even now, there aren’t a ton of ace references in pop culture. I hope to see an increase in people across the rainbow spectrum being represented in movies, TV, and books. Growing up in the 1990s, if I saw queer people on TV, they were often the punchline and not the leading character. Seeing that change and noticing Hallmark movies get queer leads makes me happier than I can even express. But it can still get better!

Kelly Calheiros – Senior HR Business Partner

Every day I am reminded of my privilege to live in a country and work for a company where I feel safe bringing my full self to work, which means a great deal to me. However, I recognize that many people in our community, both globally and locally, do not share this experience.

Looking ahead to future generations, I hope to see a world where being true to oneself is not just accepted but celebrated, where everyone can live without fear of prejudice or persecution.

Erin Figueroa - VP, Office of the CEO and Executive Sponsor of the Pride ERG

Leadership comes with great privilege and access, and I strive to use my position to support the continued inclusion and advancement of our 2SLGBTQIA+ ‘Bits. As someone who has benefited from transparency and openness, I bring those values to work every day and ensure every voice around the table is heard and valued.

Powerful Pride

With the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, we picked the theme of “Powerful Pride” to celebrate this year at 1Password. Despite the challenges that have been recently surfacing for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, significant progress has been made since June 28th, 1969.

Here at 1Password, we stand together in strength and authenticity, celebrating the joy and freedom of living our inner truth. This month is about celebration, empowerment, and the power of representation.

Let’s push for and champion progress, even when it’s not always linear.

  1. WLW is an acronym for woman-loving-woman also known as women who love women. ↩︎

  2. Ace refers to asexual, someone who does not experience sexual attraction to any gender. ↩︎

Team Coach, CX Service and Pride ERG Co-Lead

Ronan Lyver - Team Coach, CX Service and Pride ERG Co-Lead Ronan Lyver - Team Coach, CX Service and Pride ERG Co-Lead

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