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  • WE CREATE SPACE | Community, Platform & Consultancy

    Learn. Connect. Grow. WE CREATE SPACE A queer-led learning platform, community network, and DEI consultancy. We bring people together to learn more about themselves, and each other. Welcome to CSR Our Events Our Services Our Resources Our Collective Our solutions - 1 - Our Resources. Recent Articles Get in touch 3 min CASE STUDIES WCS x Garnier: Inclusive Pride Campaign and Advocacy Strategy. We delve into our partnership with global beauty brand Garnier. Post not marked as liked 4 min ALLYSHIP Inclusive Recruitment: Attracting LGBTQ+ Talent. Thea Bardot explores the importance of inclusive language in recruitment and hiring. Post not marked as liked 9 min ALLYSHIP Intersectionality 101: Unpacking Intersecting LGBTQ+ Identities. How this essential framework can be put into practice. Post not marked as liked 5 min LEADERSHIP We Create Space: Meet the Founder, Michael Stephens. Michael Stephens, Founder of We Create Space, speaks about his career journey and the organisation's origins. Post not marked as liked 7 min IDENTITY Through my Lens: Visibility and Authenticity. Challenges of being open about intersectional identities to be visible and authentic. Post not marked as liked 6 min ALLYSHIP My Ally & Me: Nancy & Christina. Nancy Di Dia shares how her experience as a Lesbian Executive informs her leadership style. Post not marked as liked 2 min ALLYSHIP Queer Allyship 101: LGBTQ+ Anti-Racism. Practical ways to confront personal and organisational bias. Post not marked as liked 9 min ALLYSHIP Queer 365: how to progress LGBTQ+ initiatives beyond Pride. Eight powerful ways you can practice queer inclusion and advocacy within your own organisation 365 days a year. Post not marked as liked 6 min LEADERSHIP Recentering and (Re)imagining our own Queer-Inclusive Futures. How leaders can reimagine inclusion to create new cultures that serve and protect those most affected by inequalities. Post not marked as liked 12 min Queer Role Models making History: Past and Present. A selection of Queer Leaders and Organisations from the past and present who have shaped history. Post not marked as liked - 2 - Our Services. Discover our range of bespoke corporate solutions, bringing powerful DEI-led conversations to the heart of your business. Corporate Solutions Get in touch Allyship Programmes Leadership Programmes Resources & Content Talks & Panel Discussions Event Packages Annual Membership Consultancy & Guidance Workshops & Webinars - 3 - Our Community. Follow us on social to receive all our latest free content. - 4 - Our Events . Sign-up to our newsletter to receive all the latest information and updates, including invites to our free events as they get announced. Upcoming Events Get in touch - 5 - Our Collective . Our Global Speaker Collective is comprised of DEI specialists, therapists, certified coaches, consultants, mental health professionals, activists, senior execs, legal experts, and corporate change-makers. Meet our speakers Get in touch

  • Campus Courses | WE CREATE SPACE

    Who am I? Home page | Courses EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES THROUGH ONLINE LEARNING. WCS | Courses E-learning through an intersectional lens. WCS | Courses are a collection of self-navigated online training programmes designed to encourage learning and knowledge building around issues relating to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), Allyship and Leadership. We combine informational knowledge sharing, research, resources and real-life experiences. Enquire now Our Platform. All of our courses are delivered via WCS | Campus , our online community learning platform and social hub. Allyship Programmes Our Courses... FOUNDATIONAL & ADVANCED LGBTQIA+ Inclusion . An e-learning course for those wanting to deepen their understanding of LGBTQ+ identities with the goal of creating more inclusive workplaces, communities and societies. This course will benefit those who already have some knowledge or understanding of LGBTQ+ identities, but who wish to further their allyship journey. ​ Module 1: DEI Core Concepts. Module 2: LGBTQIA+ Identities. Module 3: Intersectional Experiences. Module 4: Queer Allyship. Enquire now Any other Questions? If you're looking to develop resources for your business or organisation, we offer a variety of bespoke solutions designed to honour and elevate the diverse voices and perspectives of marginalised communities. To book a free consultation, please email 💌. Get in touch

  • Campus | WE CREATE SPACE

    Who am I? Home page | Campus OUR COMMUNITY LEARNING PLATFORM & SOCIAL HUB WCS | Campus Learn, Connect and Grow with our Global Community. WCS | Campus is our new digital space where you can connect with other like-minded people from our community - engaging in meaningful discussions, workshops, and events - at a global and local level. Join now This is a space dedicated to supporting your personal and professional development as an LGBTQIA+ person, Queer Leader, and Ally. with tools , resources and guides by intersectional Queer Leaders. Learn via community networks , online and in-person events . Connect through e- courses relating to DEI, Allyship and Queer Leadership. Grow Join now Take a tour... Get to grips with navigating WCS | Campus in this guided tour with Michael Stephens , CEO and Founder of We Create Space . Any other Questions? If you're looking to develop resources for your business or organisation, we offer a variety of bespoke corporate solutions designed to honour and elevate the diverse voices and perspectives of marginalised communities. To book a free consultation , please email Get in touch

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Our Library (166)

  • Creating Space for Queer Women.

    WCS Community Director Sevi Koppe writes about the importance of creating intersectional and intergenerational spaces where Queer women can come together and learn from each other. Throughout my experience of living in over 10 countries, the support I have received from women, especially Queer women, has been an invaluable asset. It took me a long time to come out as despite my somewhat comfortable French upbringing and having access to education, I was repeatedly told that I didn't belong and so worked hard to shield myself from further isolation. At four years old I kept trying to clean the colour of my skin with an eraser, by eight years old I was straightening my hair, and at twelve I was hiding my height. Coming out as queer was not a priority. As an adult, in my efforts to collaborate with mainstream venues, festivals, producers, and promoters to showcase queer performers, I still often found myself navigating the need to downplay aspects of my intersectionality. Beyond being an immigrant and a woman of colour, openly acknowledging my identity as a queer woman felt challenging. Engaging in business dealings with predominantly male counterparts further underscored the importance of focusing on broader LGBTQIA+ inclusion, rather than my own experiences. The objective was to create space, not to assert my personal presence. Finding open-minded, progressive spaces for Queer women while constantly travelling presented a significant challenge to me, underscoring the necessity for initiatives like We Create Space. Establishing and nurturing such a platform presents a rare opportunity to address a critical global need within our community. By crafting environments that centre Queer women we engage in an act of sisterhood, fostering a culture of radical care amidst profound uncertainty. Intersectionality and impact. Intersectionality exposes how systemic inequalities intersect to exacerbate how individuals experience oppression. Queer women must navigate the dual discrimination of queerphobia and sexism, but may also face additional oppression along the lines of race, ethnicity, class, disability, geographic location, etc. All of these factors may impact one’s ability to access community with other Queer women. Speaking with women at We Create Space’s Queer Women in Business meet-ups, I often hear how factors such as geographic location can exacerbate isolation. Considering my own story, I know that living in rural areas made it harder to find Queer connections and if I did find them, I didn’t always have the money to take transport! By moving to an urban area I found more opportunities. Economic disparities profoundly impact access to LGBTQIA+ friendly services and community support. Cindy Nehme, a business owner from Lebanon, explained to me how living in Beirut rendered her unable to access healthcare and multiplied the difficulties of accessing social support. Trans women especially are often juggling astronomical healthcare costs when trying to access gender-affirming care. Creating intersectional spaces for Queer women necessitates that we embrace an expansive definition of womanhood, embracing trans women and trans feminine people who are too often excluded from women’s spaces. Additionally, we must open the door to others who are impacted by being perceived or socialised as women in society but who may not identify entirely as cis women, whether they are non-binary, butch or genderqueer etc. "As a Black queer entrepreneur, who is further impeded by being perceived as a woman, support from other women, of all backgrounds and generations, has been integral and essential to my work. They have been my mentors, my sounding boards for ideas, my coaches and guides, my role models. Being able to relate to those who navigated similar experiences, shared pressures, frustrations and also celebrated success, has allowed me to feel less isolated and to trust my intuition. With Barcelona being such an international city, it felt empowering and truly necessary to bring together so many brilliant women with a range of expertise and both life and work experience in order to create a community imbued with the spirit of sorority." - Yassine Senghor Generational Disparities. Ageism in LGBTQ+ spaces is rarely addressed, because queer spaces are almost always youth-centric. Living at the intersection of queerphobia and misogyny, older queer women often experience a sense of invisibility both in broader society and within the LGBTQ+ community itself, leading to isolation, loneliness, and a lack of community support. Accessing healthcare that is sensitive to the needs and issues faced by LGBTQ+ elders is a significant challenge. Overcoming historical mistrust towards medical institutions is a challenge on its own, but they are often also dealing with trauma related to facing intense discrimination and criminalization of their identities. Older queer women may also face financial instability due to lower lifetime earnings, lack of access to spousal benefits and insufficient legal protection, exacerbated by the fact that they commonly lack support from their families. Creating spaces where these women can share their stories is crucial; they hold so much knowledge and power as potential mentors for younger Queer women. We often forget that our older community members have fought so many battles on our behalf, breaking barriers and paving the way for progress. “I personally feel a lot of gratitude for maturing because growing old brought me closer to myself. A certain amount of life experience is necessary (in my opinion) to find peace and stability within ourselves and self reconciliation with our identity so that we can be kinder individuals and healthier members of society. Another reason why I feel blessed to age is because I am very active. I build, I create, I have the wisdom to navigate projects, businesses, ventures and that is primordial to staying healthy and sane.” - Cindy Nehme Importance of Intersectional and Intergenerational Spaces. Intersectional spaces are necessary for the well-being and advancement of marginalised queer women. It is crucial that we have environments where individuals can express their lived experiences and troubles, knowing they are surrounded by people who experientially understand what they are going through. They are a source of safety and affirmation that may not be present in other areas of these women’s lives. By bringing Queer women together under one roof, we can offer tailored resources and support that effectively address the unique challenges they face, whether that’s through signposting each other to Queer inclusive healthcare providers, providing advice for coming out at work or sharing strategies for building our businesses when we have less access to traditional funding. Intersectional spaces can also highlight the diversity of experiences within our identity group, which is crucial for building empathy, allyship, and more comprehensive advocacy strategies that encompass the needs of all community members. By listening to each other and sharing our stories, we can more effectively fight for not just our own needs, but the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities. “Adopting an Intersectional approach is key because our community is not a monolith and we have to understand that there are as many facets to intersectionality as there are individuals. When I understood what intersectionality was, I started to see a lot of pride in the Indian queer rights movement as well , and what they're doing in terms of cultural representation and putting forward a very Indian way to be queer. Without intersectionality, queerness becomes a Western dominated, white dominated space where only one group is visible.“ - Sanjukta Moorthy Challenges and Considerations. Creating truly intersectional spaces can be challenging. As an organiser, you will never embody all of the identities of your participants, so consulting with your community on their needs is essential. Accessibility: Finding a venue that is accessible for everyone, including those who are disabled or have accessibility needs. WCS Resource: The future of accessible workplaces. Diversity: The sheer diversity of these spaces can lead to potential conflict arising from differing priorities, experiences, and identities. Balancing the needs and interests of various intersecting identities within the community requires careful navigation. WCS Resource: How to create intersectional networks. Responsiveness: The needs of your community will evolve over time and so must your space. WCS Resource: Learn how to use survey insights to build community engagement strategies. Communication: Within the community, it’s important that everyone understands their role and feels able to voice concerns, so we can learn together and do better. Fostering authentic engagement is key. WCS Resource: Learn how to foster psychological safety. Power Dynamics: Creating truly inclusive spaces requires actively addressing and challenging power imbalances triggered by race, gender, class, background and age. WCS Resource: How to shift the mindsets of others. A better future. I have found happiness creating and nurturing inclusive spaces for Queer women, as it allows me to look after my inner child. I look back and realise what a positive impact it would have had on me to have access to spaces like these throughout different places and times of my life. Being in community with other Queer women like this, I believe that we all truly mean each other well. We want to get to know other Queer women and treat them with the respect we have not always received ourselves. By bringing what we have learned to the conversation, we hope our experiences might be of use to someone else. In a world where Queer women often go unheard, intersectional and intergenerational spaces can amplify their voices, fostering a sense of belonging and strength. Every step of the way we remember that there is a long way to go, but we are also appreciating just how far we’ve come! Sevi Koppe (she/her) Sevi Koppe is Community Director at We Create Space, as well as an international creative director and producer. She's worked for films and music festivals around the world, as a creative director, booking agent and a production manager. Her vision is queer and she's been curating international events since 2000 to promote LGBTQ+ visibility to mainstream audiences. Find more information about Sevi here. While you're here... Did you know we consult with Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke corporate solutions? Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce DEI insights and craft bespoke content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Find out more here. We also organise FREE community events throughout the year! We offer a variety of ways to get involved - both online and in person. This is a great way to network and learn more about others' experiences, through in-depth discussion on an array of topics. You can find out what events we have coming up here. New ones are added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter so you can stay up to date!

  • Lesbian Visibility: Inclusion for Families Like Ours.

    For Lesbian Visibility Week guest writer Tash Koster-Thomas shares the challenges of navigating pregnancy as a lesbian couple in a heteronormative world. The moment we saw the little message, ‘2-3 weeks’ our entire world shifted. It was a wave of mixed emotions, disbelief, gratitude, love, overwhelm, but more than anything, excitement. We were excited to be starting this new journey. The one that so many of our heterosexual friends had already experienced. We were excited to share our news. To tell the world, ‘WE’RE HAVING A BABY!” But we hadn’t anticipated the worlds’ reaction. As a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant I spend my days focused on supporting inclusion within the workplace. However, the experiences I had during pregnancy highlighted the need for a developed awareness in society. When I “came out” at 16 years old, I always knew I would have a family of my own. I grew up knowing I would experience pregnancy one day, regardless of the assumptions of those around me. So, when I met my wife Marthe, we knew we would start a family together. Within a month of our relationship, we had already decided who would carry and when. The ‘if’ was never a question, it was just the ‘how’. Our journey to pregnancy was relatively easy when compared to other same-sex couples. We chose a private donor, and I was fortunate to get pregnant within the first few months of trying. It was a fairy-tale story and so when we started to share our news, we assumed everyone would have the same reaction as us. Instead, we were met with a barrage of uninformed, inappropriate, and intrusive questions. “Of course everyone was really happy, but I do remember one friend saying ‘how’? - Marthe Koster-Thomas I would love to say this interaction was a one-off, but it became the norm. People’s curiosity seemed to override their politeness and well-wishes. In the early days we would make jokes and laugh about how ridiculous some of the questions were. However, the humour quickly wore off. Instead of feeling excited to share my news with people, I started to dread it. Knowing I would have to deal with yet another thoughtless comment. The question that hurt the most was, “is the Dad going to be involved?”. This would offend and frustrate me in many ways, and highlighted how heteronormative our society is. Even when people knew we were two women in a relationship, there was still this need for a Dad figure to qualify as a family. The use of the word Dad, when in fact the man in question is a donor. The idea that donation of sperm automatically makes them equal to Mum. The assumption that we require a man to be involved. But the most frustrating fact is people would never ask this question to a heterosexual couple using a donor. There wouldn’t be assumptions about if the donor was going to be involved in parenting the child. “Who is the father? I found that really intrusive. The use of the term father I found offensive as a lot of people already knew we were using a donor, who wasn’t going to be involved.” - Marthe Koster-Thomas I wondered if we were unique in this experience, but after speaking with other same-sex couples we learned it seems to be the norm. Mel and her wife welcomed their daughter 3 years ago and experienced a lot of similar questions. Mel shares how the question of “who is the Dad?” wasn’t exclusive to friends and family, but even within the medical profession: “Especially in the NHS, the language is not there yet. When it was private [healthcare], they knew the language of donor but with our GP, midwife etc the language was never correct.” This experience highlights how language is continuously evolving to become more inclusive. Whilst we may have a certain level of awareness, there is an individual and collective responsibility to foster inclusion. This is even more poignant as in February of this year the NHS announced it was shutting down its ‘LGBT Rainbow Badge’ scheme for hospitals. Started in 2018, it has provided basic education and resources to staff who sign up. Supported by Stonewall after their Britain Health Report (2018) estimated that one in five LGBT+ people aren’t ‘out’ to any healthcare professional when seeking general medical care. The badge was given to staff who pledged their commitment to reduce inequalities and provide support to LGBTQ+ people. Unfortunately, the UK is not alone globally in these experiences for LGBTQ+ people seeking respectful and dignified medical care. There were times when I found myself awkwardly laughing as I answered strangers' questions. I was so shocked by their lack of respect for my privacy that I didn’t know any other way to respond. I would walk away from interactions feeling frustrated with myself for not speaking up. “What does the father look like? Was the most infuriating for me, especially once she was born. In the beginning I would even describe his features as I was so taken back by the question. But now I say to people that I would like to keep it private. I have learned throughout the process.” - Marthe Koster-Thomas Now that our daughter is here, I find myself being a lot clearer in my boundaries. She is no longer a hypothetical person. She is someone I want to protect from other people’s ignorance. But there is a fine balance in sharing knowledge for the purpose of education, respecting your family’s privacy and not coming across as rude. “It’s really good to talk about this with your partner. How you’re going to respond to these questions because they are quite surprising. If I had known they were going to come, I would have set harder boundaries.” - Marthe Koster-Thomas Ultimately these questions come from curiosity and a desire to understand something that’s different. Mel shared, “I try not to get offended, because it’s not people trying to be offensive. I think it’s just a lack of knowledge and education.” This doesn’t change the long-term impact. We know we will continue to experience microaggressions such as these throughout our daughter’s life based on our family dynamic. However, there is action that can be taken within the systems we are creating. I would say to anyone asking these types of questions, ask yourself something first. Why? Why do I need to know? What’s the purpose? And most importantly, what’s the impact? Tash Koster-Thomas (she/her) Tash is a leading Inclusion and Diversity Consultant, presenter, speaker, and LGBTQ+ Activist who is driving the conversation forward. As a Black queer woman, Tash leverages her lived experience and identity to champion diversity and inclusion in both society and the workplace. She provides invaluable insight into dismantling barriers associated with diversity, ensuring that opportunities are accessible with equity, not just in the workplace, but also in our communities, both locally and globally. Find more information about Tash here. Tash and her wife Marthe continue to share their experiences via their social media @_breakingthedistance. They also have a podcast ‘Breaking the Distance - Podcast’, where they have shared their pregnancy journey. While you're here... Did you know we consult with Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke corporate solutions? Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce DEI insights and craft bespoke content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Find out more here. We also organise FREE community events throughout the year! We offer a variety of ways to get involved - both online and in person. This is a great way to network and learn more about others' experiences, through in-depth discussion on an array of topics. You can find out what events we have coming up here. New ones are added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter so you can stay up to date!

  • Prioritising Trans Allyship in our Queer Future.

    In this open letter Jon-Paul Vicari appeals to cisgender lesbian, gay and bisexual people to practise trans allyship and pledge their support to the transgender community in a time of crisis. Dear reader, Across the globe, our LGBTQ+ community is increasingly under attack. Many societies are witnessing the widespread political demonization of queer people, targeted legislation against our human rights, and the degradation of the trans community. While this is tiring and defeating, for me it is an indication of a more positive underlying fact: our collective empowerment as a queer community has become such an enduring force of change that the historical and institutional power wielded over us is retaliating. However, like all systems of oppression, the forces holding us down will not give up easily as they dissolve bit by bit. In the meantime, the increasing legal and physical assaults on trans and non-binary people cannot be tolerated. We must urgently examine and respond to the ways that trans hatred is challenging our notions of intra-community care and allyship. To be clear, trans and non-binary people have always existed. They have been visible and celebrated in many cultures throughout history. They exist in every space, every job, and every aspect of humanity. Unfortunately, however, trans people have also been taught to hide themselves. Due to this shame, and since there is no singular way to express trans identity, we cannot rely on trans visibility alone to advocate for inclusion and acceptance. In fact, it is a common misnomer and microaggression to assume that someone “looks trans”. Thus, the creation of safe and inclusive spaces before and independent from trans visibility is that much more important. Even if you feel like you don’t know any trans people at your workplace or in your network, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Within the LGBTQ+ community, the struggle for human rights among cis and trans people has been forever intertwined. Trans people have been and continue to be on the front lines of LGBTQ+ civil rights movements around the globe. In the US, trans power has fuelled moments as significant as the Stonewall Riots, supported our community during the AIDS Crisis, and fought for marriage equality, equal pay, reproductive rights, and everything in between. Our community has been held together by trans people. It’s why we have marched, danced, celebrated, grieved, advocated, created, fought, loved, and protested together for decades. For the betterment of all queer people. All of us. And now, when a vulnerable population in our community needs support, when hate crimes against trans people have risen 1211% over the last 10 years in the UK, where is everyone? Where are we? Where are the global marches filling the streets? Where are the millions of voices we know are outraged? If this were a coalmine, the canaries would have been silent long ago. The alarm bells have sounded more times than I can count, and yet many of us are not showing up. I am concerned that cis queer people in particular are not aware of the need for their support, or of the ability they have to do harm through silence. I have seen fewer and fewer public displays of allyship for and with trans people. I have seen posts by gay men and feminist movements (TERFS) arguing for the removal of the “T” in LGBTQIA+. Not only is this hateful and intentional exclusion inherently wrong, but it also erases the decades of allyship and support that our movement has gleaned from the active participation and sacrifice of trans people. Rallying to the cause of supporting our trans community may not be easy. The laws and actions that societies and legislatures are taking against trans people are often surreptitious and confusing. Transphobia, misogyny, transmisogyny and male privilege continue to infiltrate our queer spaces. Nevertheless, it is our duty to stay informed so that we can help. We as a broader queer community must take stock of our power and privilege and put them to good use. Whether it’s reading about the financial burden of being trans, tracking and pushing back against anti-trans laws, finding and sign-posting to local trans charities like Mermaids, or holding your employer accountable for trans-inclusive policies, there is no shortage of ways to stay informed and active. It is not every trans person's responsibility to teach us everything, nor should their voices be left to advocate alone. As a cis queer man, I realise that I hold power and privilege in spaces that many trans people do not. Since our power divided is much less of a challenge for those who seek to do us harm, now is our time to reaffirm our solidarity and practise active allyship. Here are some practical ways that we all can leverage our power to be an active ally. Examine our own unconscious bias with self-reflection and model this practice for other cis people. Speak up when we witness transphobic comments, microaggressions, and policies. Don’t assume we know what’s best for trans people and instead be willing to learn. Show up when asked emotionally, physically, and/or mentally for other trans people without taking up space. Educate ourselves on a local, national, and global level to best serve our communities, including by registering to vote. The necessity for cis people to be active allies cannot be underscored enough as trans rights and lives are threatened globally. We have the opportunity to do something about this now. Today. Right at this moment. Let us use our voice and power. In the words of Audre Lorde, “My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.” Jon-Paul Vicari (he/him) Jon-Paul is the Managing Director at We Create Space and a queer Lebanese man living with depression. Since coming out in 2004, Jon-Paul has been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. He has volunteered with HIV/AIDS NGOs, organized community events for LGBTQ+ youths, created DEI programming, advised on inclusive products and services, supported LGBTQ+ political candidates, and worked on recruiting diverse talent. Find more information about Jon-Paul here. While you're here... Did you know we consult with Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke corporate solutions? Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce DEI insights and craft bespoke content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Find out more here. We also organise FREE community events throughout the year! We offer a variety of ways to get involved - both online and in person. This is a great way to network and learn more about others' experiences, through in-depth discussion on an array of topics. You can find out what events we have coming up here. New ones are added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter so you can stay up to date!

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