Jaworski has led DEI conversation around Pride at A&E Networks, helping create its first ERG, Pride @ A+E Networks. Since then, he’s helped plan the company’s first Pride Prom, guided A&E’s first-ever Pride parade presence in New York and partnered with Black @ A+E to lead an event entitled “I am Black, Trans & Proud.” Jaworski is pushing programmers and creatives across the industry to make an impact by mixing their art with their allyship, working with writers to integrate more LGBTQ+ representation. “It’s important to note, the community goes beyond gay white men and storylines and characters should highlight the incredibly diverse intersectionality that makes up our community,” he says. “If content seems questionable, it should be run by your ERG (Employee Resource Group) to flag any inappropriate or triggering content.”
Advice for allies on how to show up for their LGBTQ+ colleagues? One thing an ally can do to support their LGBTQ+ colleagues is join an LGBTQ+ employee resource group. It’s important that an ally shows up having educated themselves on LGBTQ+ related matters, both outside the workplace and within. I feel this is important as it shows initiative, care and respect that goes beyond being a voyeur of the group. It also takes the responsibility off the LGBTQ+ colleagues to educate their allies on important matters impacting the workplace and their community. A simple and effective way to show support is to include your pronouns in your email signature. This would also be a good opportunity to educate yourself on the different identities that fall under the LGBTQ+ community. As content creators, I think creative executives can work with their writers and integrate more LGBTQ+ representation. It’s important to note, the community goes beyond gay white men and storylines and characters should highlight the incredibly diverse intersectionality that makes up our community. If content seems questionable, it should be run by your ERG (Employee Resource Group) to flag any inappropriate or triggering content. I would also highlight that allies should show support for their LGBTQ+ colleagues year-round and not just in June. Anyone that is in charge of Pride type promotions should consult with their ERG and include their input before launching the campaign. Finally, allies can continue their support for the LGBTQ+ community outside of the workplace by volunteering or donating to LGBTQ+ non-profits or charities.
Favorite media milestone moment in LGBTQ+ history?
Music: Sometimes advocacy doesn’t need to be marching, speeches or fundraising campaigns. It can be done effectively in subtle ways to send a powerful message. That’s why I always reference Alanis Morissette’s performance of Ironic at the GLAAD media awards in March of 2004. During the song, Alanis amends the lyrics in support of gay marriage. “It’s like meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful husband” Since then, she always performs the song this way, it even appears on the Jagged Little Pill acoustic album, which was released in 2005.
TV: There are a lot of incredible milestones that predate my personal favorite, but I would have to say the creation and evolution of the character Eric Effiong in Sex Education. We all have experiences that shaped who we are throughout high school and Eric’s journey beautifully captures the highs and lows of being an out & gay teenager. We watch Eric have to hide his identity from his extended family, get bullied and gay bashed all while struggling to connect with his straight peers. But we also see Eric shine, we watch him grow comfortable is his identity, challenge gender norms, fall in love and most importantly get a lot of great screen time! A big shout out to Ncuti Gatwa for a stellar performance across the three seasons.