New research from Greene King finds that although attitudes towards the community are changing, there are still a lot of misconceptions


National pub-chain Greene King is celebrating 50 years of progress with their new Progress Pale Ale, named after the Progress Pride flag. With donations of 20p for every pint and 10p for every bottle sold going to the Switchboard LGBT+ charity, we suggest you get yourselves down to a Greene King pub and try this tasty pale ale!

Research by the pub giants found that although 69% of the public consider themselves an ally, nearly a third (30%) don’t know what the LGBTQ+ acronym stands for. The survey found that just over half understand what it means to be lesbian or gay, and even more worryingly less than one in five understand what it means to be non-binary (19%), gender-fluid (19%) or Intersex (11%). 

The research also demonstrated some common misconceptions about why Pride is held. 32% of respondents admitted to not knowing its origin, with a further 41% believing Pride is to celebrate the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. Of everyone surveyed, only 17% correctly stated that Pride month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots.

The poll survey of 2000 respondents clearly highlighted the need for more to be done to educate the public of LGBTQI identities and issues. Greene King has 2600 pubs in their UK network, including the iconic queer venue, The City of Quebec, in London’s Marylebone. In a move to becoming a more inclusive company, their research has drawn attention to the significant gaps in knowledge about queer identities and queer history amongst the British public. 

Speaking about Greene King’s steps toward inclusivity, Managing Director of Premium, Urban and Venture Brands Karen Bosher said: “We’re mindful and welcoming of the progress that is being made across our business, but acknowledge that inclusiveness and tolerance isn’t just for Pride month which is why we’re proud to support Switchboard, who provide support for the LGBTQ+ community 365 days a year.”

“At Greene King, we strive to make our venues safe spaces for all. We’re on a journey to become a more inclusive company – The Village Greene employee-led inclusion group will continue to pave the way ensuring inclusivity is at the heart of all we do, to help both our team members and our guests feel welcome and a sense of belonging.” 

Greene King’s Progress Pale Ale has raised over £4000 from draught pint sales so far for Switchboard, an LGBT+ helpline. The charity, which is run mostly by volunteers, provides a confidential and non-judgemental helpline for LGBT+ people, operating for five hours every evening. 

Steph Fuller, General Manager at Switchboard LGBT+ said: “The £10,000 donation from Greene King in 2021 meant that we were able to respond to 625 conversations, (which includes full wrap around coverage of our service) or train 22 Listening Volunteers. We are delighted that they are continuing to support us and raise awareness of the service we provide”.

Greene King’s Progress Pale Ale and employee-led inclusion group are steps in the right direction to making pubs feel more inclusive spaces for LGBTQI people, yet there’s still a long way to go. 

You can grab yourself a bottle of Progress Pale Ale until the end of September in participating Greene King pubs.

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