How and why PR pros should consider their responsibility to tell LGBTQ stories

Trans activist Stephanie Battaligno challenges communicators to mirror the courage of young activists in demanding equality and justice for all.

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Inclusive LGBT comms

Stories have power. They can reinforce stereotypes or break down barriers. They can celebrate the humanity in everyone—or they can legitimize cruelty and oppression.

It’s this heavy responsibility that underpins the main message of Stephanie Battaligno, a trans activist and author of the book “Reflections from Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling.” Her story is a remarkable one. As the first employee with New York Life to openly transition, she became an important voice for the LGBTQ community and for transgender inclusion in the workplace.

Stephanie Battaligno

Yet, finding her voice didn’t come naturally for Battaligno. She had used stories all her life, but to reinforce and defend an identity that felt wrong. “Telling a story had always been my default mode of communication. It was how I pursued human connection… it was how I got people to like me,” she shared with the audience at the Museum of Public Relations’ virtual event “The LGBTQ Experience in Public Relations.”

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