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- Jolinda Johnson
(they/she) Jolinda Jolinda is an award-winning Certified Life and Holistic Health Coach who specializes in burnout and perimenopause. She’s obsessed with helping changemakers and revolutionaries get their spark back so they can go set the world on fire. She wants to change the narrative around perimenopause and give attention to the voices that are typically left out of the conversation, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and people under 45. Jolinda Johnson Looking for a Guest Speake r ? Get in touch Our Recent Articles... Liberation, Learnings and Labels: Bisexuality and Me. Post not marked as liked Queer Role Models making History: Past and Present. Post not marked as liked We Create Space: 2023 Community Action Plan. Post not marked as liked Create Space for Change. We work with 100+ Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke DEI solutions. Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce insights and craft content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Discover our bespoke corporate solutions... Work with us
- Alex D'Sa
(she/her) Alex Alex is an out lesbian, British Indian Actress (Chloe, Ackley Bridge, Eastenders) and Entrepreneur. She is cofounder of House of Pride, a platform for queer female and non-binary people which builds LGBT+ lifestyle spaces and initiatives around the world to celebrate queer excellence, helping the community grow personally, professionally, and creatively. She is also cofounder of SHADES, bringing the South Asian creative community together. Alex has a background in Financial Services and Technology. Her current role is Head of Programs at the mentoring and leadership company, WERKIN. In 2021 she was recognised as one of INvolve's Top 100 LGBT+ Future Leaders, and DIVA's Visible 100, Top 10 LGBTQ+ Women in Tech. Find out more Alex D'Sa Looking for a Guest Speake r ? Get in touch Our Recent Articles... Liberation, Learnings and Labels: Bisexuality and Me. Post not marked as liked Queer Role Models making History: Past and Present. Post not marked as liked We Create Space: 2023 Community Action Plan. Post not marked as liked Create Space for Change. We work with 100+ Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke DEI solutions. Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce insights and craft content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Discover our bespoke corporate solutions... Work with us
- Geff Parsons
(he/him) Geff Geff has over a quarter of a century of experience in investment banking, based variously in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Amsterdam. Geff also chaired the Macquarie Pride (LGBTQ+) employee network group for almost eight years. His passion for promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality has resulted in global recognition, including winning the award for ‘LGBT+ Inspirational Leader’ at the British LGBT Awards in May 2019. Outside work, Geff acts as trustee for two UK-based LGBTQ+ charities: GiveOut and Diversity Role Models. Geff Parsons Looking for a Guest Speake r ? Get in touch Our Recent Articles... Liberation, Learnings and Labels: Bisexuality and Me. Post not marked as liked Queer Role Models making History: Past and Present. Post not marked as liked We Create Space: 2023 Community Action Plan. Post not marked as liked Create Space for Change. We work with 100+ Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke DEI solutions. Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce insights and craft content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Discover our bespoke corporate solutions... Work with us
- Liberation, Learnings and Labels: Bisexuality and Me.
Guest Writer, Emily Horton, describes how her relationship with the label 'bisexual' has changed over time. She also tells us about the history and etymology behind some of the labels we use within the Queer Community, and the importance of personal choice. By Emily Horton When you don’t fit into what society tells you is “normal”, it's natural to start searching for things that make you feel seen. So, like many queer people, I’ve spent a significant amount of time exploring the labels that best describe my identity. So far the ones that have stuck are bisexual, femme, she/her/they. Words bring things into existence. They legitimise and empower the people using them. They create boundaries around concepts that previously may have been felt, but not seen. However, our relationship to these words can change over time, as we evolve and society evolves around us. They can also restrict identity and put you into a box, which might be the exact opposite of what someone wants from their identity exploration. New words may challenge our perceptions of the previous ones. This journey can be exciting, but it can also be incredibly confusing and destabilising, especially when you thought you’d found your “identity”. Bi was not the binary I thought it was… I was incredibly excited when I found the word bisexual in my late teens. Finally, something that normalised not just being attracted to heternormative men! At the time, I assumed the “bi” or “two” in binary meant “male” and “female”. And for quite some time, I didn’t interrogate the word any further. But the more I found myself in queer spaces and the more people I met with different sexualities and genders, my understanding of the breadth of the gender spectrum grew and so did my attraction to multiple gender expressions. “Wait a minute! Am actually I bi?” A mini-identity crisis ensued. It had taken me almost ten years to really see myself as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This was what I later realised to be a symptom of bi-erasure - a lack of bisexual representation that wasn’t hypersexualised or framed around the male gaze; and my own internalised biphobia. All of this was compounded by the fact that I had only been in long-term romantic relationships with men. I feared I would have to go through this process of belonging all over again. So I started to read more about the history of the word bisexual and was relieved to find the definition did encompass multiple gender expressions. “Someone who is attracted to more than one gender, someone who is attracted to two or more genders, someone who is attracted to the same gender and other genders, or some who is attracted to people regardless of their gender.” “Phew!”, I thought “I’m still bisexual!” However, during my research journey, I came across another word - pansexuality - “the attraction to multiple genders, attraction to all genders, attraction to people regardless of gender”. This piqued my interest - am I pansexual? Why are there two words that basically mean the same thing? Do they mean the same thing? Which one came first? Do people not feel seen or represented by the word bisexual? Why? A very short history of bisexuality and pansexuality... Being attracted to more than one gender has existed since the dawn of society. Ancient Greece, Japan, and China all show historical evidence of bisexual relationships. However, the term “bisexual” - which was popularised in Western science and psychology - was used for the first time in the 19th century and has had many different applications and meanings over its lifetime. Its first use in 1859 was similar to what we understand to be intersex today, ie the possession of ‘male’ or ‘female’ physical characteristics. In the early twentieth century, it was used to refer to having a combination of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ gendered characteristics - which in today’s LGBTQIA+ dictionary would be understood as androgyny. But it wasn’t until Alfred Kinsey's spectrum of sexuality in 1948, that a rated attraction to the same or different genders along a scale of 0 to 6, did the modern understanding of bisexuality emerge. Under this definition, although “bi” means “two” it is not referring to a binary “male” and “female”, but refers to the combination of homosexual and heterosexual attractions. The term pansexual has an equally interesting origin story. The word “pansexual” itself was derived from the Greek prefix pan- which means all. The first recorded use of the term 'pansexual' was in 1914 as the word 'pan-sexualism' in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, according to the Oxford English Dictionary - over 50 years after the term bisexual was first recorded. The word was used by doctor J. Victor Haberman to explore one of Freud's theories of sexuality. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that the term pansexual started to take on the meaning that it does today - ie “the attraction to multiple genders, attraction to all genders, attraction to people regardless of gender”. This definition grew out of a queer activist movement aimed at reclaiming identity in one’s own terms as awareness and understanding of trans, nonbinary, and genderqueer identities grew. Biphobia and transphobia... Although well-meaning and born out of a desire to be more inclusive than the current definitions (aka bisexual) on offer, some see the creation of the term pansexual as both biphobic and transphobic. Critics argued that this “alternative” to bisexuality comes with the implicit suggestion that it doesn’t encompass trans people and the misunderstanding that bisexuality means attraction to the “same and opposite” genders. A possible explanation for this is a lack of understanding of the term bisexual, which is understandable given that the word bisexual has shape-shifted its meaning and that the literal meaning of “bi” is two. But biphobia is real, as is bi-erasure and this could be viewed as yet another attack on an identity that has historically been ostracised and or outright denied. However, when having these discussions we need to be careful not to promote the misconception that identifying as pansexual is transphobic or biphobic. “One of the biggest misconceptions about pansexuality is that pansexual people are somehow being transphobic by stating that they’re attracted to trans people while bisexual people aren’t because they don’t see trans people as men or women,” wrote Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin (they/them) for Stonewall. “This is a dangerous and untrue myth! Pansexuality is attraction regardless of gender, so a pansexual person’s attraction to someone has nothing to do with whether they are trans or cis” they wrote. From my understanding of this debate - it's not intrinsically biphobic or transphobic to identify as pansexual, but there is an argument to say that the creation of the word is - if it was created in response to an assumption that bisexuality was only about two genders. It all comes down to personal choice... But etymology and history aside, if someone relates to the term pansexual more than bisexual because it literally means “all” then that is their choice. Ultimately someone can choose how they identify, depending on their own personal preferences and experiences. If it brings you joy, if you feel seen and represented, then use it! Labels are useful, but they can also be limiting. So just do what feels right to you. I currently feel attached to the term bisexual. It’s been part of my identity for over a decade, but this may very well change. And actually, when I think about it the thing that excites me the most is that I’m open to this change. Yes, labels are useful and liberating, but they also can also box you in. I will call myself bisexual so that others can see that it is a thing as that might help them understand more about themselves, even if I don't want to be limited by the term itself. Here are a few from my personal circle of lovely bisexual/pansexual humans: “Around the age of 14 or 15 it slowly dawned me that the way I admired the women around me was quite different from my straight female friends. Since then it’s led me to meet incredible people. Engaging with the sexuality of all genders makes me feel free, open, alive to the possibilities and beauty of everyone around me.” - Georgina (she/her) “As someone who identifies as non-binary, my fluidity of sexuality also aligns with my own gender in that I am able to love people for who they are from where I am, and there is no label required other than queer.” - Genevieve (they/them) “I grew up thinking women to women relationships involve competition and envy, but once I opened up as a bisexual, I suddenly saw women as someone I want to impress and seduce, and not outcompete. This has changed my outlook and approach with half of my human interactions overall and I am glad I can now fully cherish and champion my fellow ladies. And yes, sometimes I really fancy them.” - Anaïs (she/her) Most importantly though, what brings me the most joy about this entire journey, is seeing other people blossom into themselves and realising there are alternative ways of living your life. Emily Horton (she/her/they) Emily is a writer, speaker and the founder of the inclusive communication consultancy More Diverse Voices. She helps create and deliver anti-oppressive and inclusive communication strategies that build trust, educate and empower. You can find out more about Emily's work here. If you would like to book Emily as a speaker for a workshop or panel event, please get in touch with us via email at email@example.com While you're here... Did you know we consult with 100+ 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!
- Queer Role Models making History: Past and Present.
To celebrate LGBT History Month, we've curated a selection of Queer Leaders and Organisations from the past and present who have shaped history through their actions and courageously created space for others. As Queer Leaders and change makers, we wouldn't be who we are today if it weren't for some iconic figures and organisations who came before us. An inherent aspect of being an activist or an advocate is to positively insight change and create space for others, including those who may come after you. Our team have chosen a small selection of Queer Role Models whom they find inspiring - for the work they're currently doing within the community or the legacy they have left behind. John Radclyffe Hall (1880-1940) A lesbian poet and author, known for writing “The Well of Loneliness”, a lesbian novel which underwent an obscenity trial in the UK, resulting in it being banned and copies of the book destroyed. The ban was lifted 30 years later. Living off money inherited from her wealthy father, she was able to live without working or marrying, instead spending her time pursuing various women. She was in a relationship with sculptor Una Troubridge until her death in 1936. Radam Ridwan (they/them) Unapologetic and an icon of our time, Radam is someone who you cannot fail to look up to, the power and knowledge they carry in their 6’5 frame is electric and they are full of heart! They are a model and a writer who uses their social media platforms to share educational and uplifting content that can't help but make us smile. Jay Stewart (he/him) Currently a member of the national Transgender Advisory board for trans pioneers, Jay Stewart has been part of the trans community for almost two decades, and has led a national grassroots organisation with a wealth of lived, years of experience and in depth knowledge of the trans community. Jay is the CEO and founder of Gendered Intelligence, the largest trans organisation in the UK. Dr Rita Nketiah, PhD (she/her) Rita is a Ghanaian researcher at Human Rights Watch – an activist-led fund dedicated to strengthening gender diversity and sexual rights in West Africa. To me she represents this academic force – her research interests covers critical subjects like diaspora homeland engagement, African migration, and African feminist movements. She is relentlessly documenting LGBTI communities in West Africa and is a powerful voice against gender-based violence. Lady Phyll (she/her) Co-founder and Executive Director of UK Black Pride and Executive Director at human rights charity Kaleidoscope Trust. A force to be reckoned with, and an unapologetic champion on issues of race, gender, and sexuality; Phyll has proven herself to be formidable in the fight for equality for QPOC and in carving out spaces that celebrate and elevate QTIPOC experiences. Edafe Okporo (he/him) Edafe is a multidisciplinary artist, leader, and powerful activist born and raised in Nigeria. He advocated for gay men’s rights - and was forced to flee Nigeria as a result of his activism. A refugee in New York City, he documented his experiences of detention centres, homelessness, grief, and exploration of his queerness in a foreign world. He recently founded the DRJ shelter, a safe space for refugees in New York. Shay Patten-Walker (they/them) (1998 - 2022) Shay was a young Black queer non-binary person based in London. They were a speaker, activist, and volunteer youth worker; studying creative digital media. Shay used their voice to inspire, educate, and empower, creating positive change and uplifting the QTIBPOC community. They took part in Gendered Intelligence's Activist Network (GIANTS) where they curated campaigns to improve the lives of gender diverse people. Shay walker was a pillar of the community, inspiring us all internationally. Their relentless light will never be forgotten. Nakhane (they/them) Nakhane Mahlakahlaka is a South African singer, songwriter, actor, and novelist. An outspoken and politically engaged person, their binary-defying approach to their art is the epitome of Queer magic to me. Nakhane’s vocals have offered me soundtracks to important personal memories over the years. Their song ‘We Dance Again’ (with Black Coffee) is one you’ll often find playing at the start of We Create Space events. James Barry (1789-1865) A transgender military surgeon who rose to the second highest medical position in the British Army. He worked to improve the conditions of soldiers and natives in British colonies. He lived his entire adult life as a man, with his sex only becoming known publicly after a woman who had had access to his body after his death took the story to the press. Fanny Ann Eddy (she/her) (1974 - 2004) A courageous woman with deep commitment to lesbian and gay rights in her native Sierra Leone and throughout Africa. In 2002, she founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association. The group documented harassment and discrimination of LGBT people, providing social and psychological support to the country’s fearful underground community. Eddy publicly lobbied government ministers to end state-sponsored oppression. Selly Thiam (she/her) Selly is a Senegalese-American journalist and filmmaker who founded None on Record, an African digital media organisation dedicated to lifting the voices and stories of African LGBTQIA people. Her podcast Afroqueer changed the game for me. It offered me stories I’d yearned for my whole life. It breaks the silence around African LGBTQIA experiences and challenges the miscommunications that we are un-African, unauthentic, and invisible. Nong Toom (she/her) Nong Toom, a kathoey (a Thai gender identity roughly equivalent to a trans woman), became a boxer at 16 to fund her transition. She captured the interest of the media, turning up to fights in full makeup. The sport embraced her, and her participation revitalised public interest in Muay Thai. She retired after funding her surgery, but later made a boxing comeback in the mid 2000s. She has also worked as a model and actress. Claude Cahun (1894 - 1954) Cahun was a French surrealist photographer, working in the first half of the 20th Century. They're best known as a self-portraitist, whose work explores the fluidity of gender. In their autobiography, Cahun described their gender in the following way: "Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me." Street Tranvestite Action Revolutionaries (1970-1973) STAR was an activist collective founded by Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. In addition to carrying out political demonstrations and regular meetings, STAR aimed to provide housing to the homeless within the LGBTQ+ community, with Rivera and Johnson frequently facing homelessness themselves. Together they fundraised enough money to purchase a four bedroom apartment which became STAR House. The pair primarily funded the House and supported their queer children through sex work. Audre Lorde (she/her) (1934 - 2002) An American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian and civil rights activist. Lorde’s work drew upon her intersectional life experience to address the injustices of sexism, racism, classism and homophobia. Through her poetry, letters and teaching, Lorde sought to make these conversations accessible beyond the confines of gatekeeping white academic circles. Chay Brown (he/him) Co-founded TransActual in 2017 in response to media transphobia and misinformation about trans people Chay led the team that created the Trans Lives Survey 2021, which highlighted the inequalities faced by trans people in the UK. Chay has led the campaign to reinstate and improve access to NHS bottom surgery for trans men and nonbinary people, stepping in to communicate the most up to date information with those impacted when the NHS has not. Chay has also appeared on BBC Radio and Channel 5, speaking on trans people's access to healthcare. Chevalier D’Éon (1728-1820) D’Éon was a French diplomat and spy who infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting as a woman. They lived as a man for 49 years, but began presenting as a woman full-time when they returned to France after being pardoned for their previous exile. The word “Eonism”, taken from their name, was previously used to describe transgender people. Travis Alabanza (they/them) Travis is an award winning writer, performer and theatre maker. They identify as Black, transfeminine and gender non-conforming. Alabanza's work focuses on the importance of trans rights as well as the need for safe spaces for trans and gender non-conforming people, driven in strength by personal experience - they articulate the world beyond binary gender in ways that empower and unite us as a community which is a rare gift. Amara the Lesbian (she/her) Amara is an activist, YouTuber and lesbian living in Nigeria. She and her partner Olayinka tattooed each other’s name on their ring fingers when they got married, as a sign of their love and commitment in defiance of Nigerian law prohibiting same-sex marriages. Her content covers issues relating to polyamory, feminism, family and self care. She continues to champion the rights of LGBTQ+ Nigerians. Third Genders in Indigenous Cultures. Third genders have existed in countless cultures across the globe throughout human history, often taking on spiritual roles within communities. Modern examples of indigenous third genders include the fa'afafine of Samoa, the hijra of the Indian subcontinent and the various Native American identities which fall under the two-spirit label. In many cases third genders were an accepted part of their respective cultures until they were marginalised as a result of (often British) imperialism. Cherish Oteka (they/them) Winner of the 2022 BAFTA award for best short film. A documentary film-maker who aims to provide a platform for marginalised communities, so they can share their story on their own terms. Cherish has worked with some well known brands and broadcasters, including VICE, SBTV, Stonewall, London Live and BBC One. Most recently Cherish produced and directed "Too Gay for God?" a documentary for BBC One, exploring the place for LGBTIQ+ people within the Church of England. Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (1984-2015) LGSM was an alliance of queer people, founded by Mark Ashton and Mike Jackson, who supported and raised money for the National Union of Mineworkers during their major strike between 1984-1985. This resulted in a reciprocal alliance between the LGBTQ+ community and miner labour groups, with miners joining pride parades, voting in support of LGBTQ+ rights and campaigning against Section 28. Max Slack (he/they) Max is a speaker, advocate and content creator. His passion is using his experience in events and corporate culture, coupled with his lived experience as a trans person to educate people and make genuine change. They share important, informative content on inclusion and queer rights, but also give us an insight into the joy they experience in their life with a sense of humility and approachability. Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941) An acclaimed modernist author, who has been influential throughout the feminist movement. Woolf was either a lesbian or bisexual and had affairs with various women. Her relationship with Vita Sackville-West inspired her novel “Orlando”, about a poet whose sex changes throughout the course of the novel. She struggled with mental illness and killed herself in 1941. Zanele Muholi (they/them) Zanele is a South African visual activist and photographer. Their work offers a powerful exploration Black, Queer identity – their striking signature black-and-white portraits always capture the humanity and soul of their subjects – how their African heritage glows across their skin, faces, and bodies. Zanele’s art reminds me of what’s possible when we can choose to look at ourselves with curiosity, rawness, tenderness and an unconditional acceptance. Fox Fisher (they/he) Fox is an artist, film maker, author and trans campaigner, whose art has been viewed by millions around the world. Through the children's books that they write and illustrate, Fox is helping engineer a strong foundation of support, education and representation for the next generation of Trans and Non-Binary Leaders, as well as their allies. Gladys Bentley (1907 - 1960) An American blues singer, pianist and lesbian, cross-dresing performer during the Harlem Renaissance. Headlining in the early 1930s at Harlem's Ubangi Club, she was backed up by a chorus line of drag queens. Bentley openly had relationships with women early in her career, and continuously faced criticism for her masculine attire but ultimately, her talent won over audiences across the country. Iesha Palmer (they/them) Iesha is a creative thinker, speaker and body positive advocate. Hailing from the beautiful Turks & Caicos Islands, this is where their love for community engagement began. They currently work as a campaign officer for UK-based charity, Mermaids, supporting transgender and gender-variant children and young people, and was instrumental in starting the charity's podcast, “She said, They said.” HOLAA Founded by Tiffany Kagure Mugo and Christel Antonites Siphumeze Khundayi, Hub of Loving Action in Africa (HOLAA) is a pan-Africanist hub space for queer African women to submit their own experiences of sexuality, sensuality, pleasure, and bodily autonomy, creating an archive of their stories. As well as hosting offline events and workshops, HOLAA use their blog, social media and podcast to uplift the voices of queer African women, both on the continent and within the diaspora. Michelle Ross (she/her) The founder of CliniQ the first UK holistic sexual health and HIV service for transgender and non-binary people. With 34 years in sexual health, HIV and wellbeing behind her, she is a member of IRGT: A global network of trans women, advocating for trans issues in the international HIV response. Laila Yahaya (they/them) Laila is a Queer, Muslim, feminist, educator and a human rights activist from Ghana. Laila is the co-founder and director of One Love Sisters Ghana. In this current critical climate where Ghanaian law is denying LGBTQIA+ persons fair access to their fundamental rights, Laila’s work boldly tackles discussions around gender based violence, sexual and reproductive health, consent, LGBT+ rights and more. Jeffrey Marsh (they/them) Jeffrey is a coach, speaker, writer and activist, known for their thoughtful and uplifting video content on social media. Their long-standing work as an advocate, raising awareness for the issues that non-binary people face, is respected and an inspiration to many. Through their coaching and writing they impart their experience and knowledge to the wider community. Azekel Axelle Nasa (they/them) A Black queer non-binary activist based in Leeds and London, who aims to build a world where Black Trans and gender-nonconforming people have the same access to healthcare and opportunities as their cisgender counterparts. Their most recent work has been setting up a community interest company, The Black Trans foundation, a non-profit organisation working for the advancement of Black Trans people in the UK. Staceyann Chinn (she/her) Proudly identifying as a Caribbean, Black, Asian lesbian, Staceyann Chin is also a poet, actor, and performing artist. Her work includes “Crossfire: A Litany For Survival”, the critically acclaimed memoir “The Other Side of Paradise” and multiple one-woman shows. She centres themes of identity, belonging, desire, sexuality and parenthood through witty and evocative wordplay. Jonathan Van Ness (they/he/she) Jonathan is most famous for managing manes on Queer Eye but they also embrace curiosity and learning in their award-winning podcast “Getting Curious”. Jonathan’s position as a public figure has given non-binary identity a foothold in modern culture, showing the world that non-binary identities cannot remain on the sideline - we are stars too. Raven Saunders (she/her) An American track and field athlete who competes in the shot put and discus throw. Saunders recently won a silver medal in shot put at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Often seen sporting bold and bright hair colours, she champions marginalised people, most notably holding her arms in an X on the podium when accepting her Olympic medal. Fola Francis (she/it) Fola is a fashion designer and content creator. A trans woman living in Nigeria, she expresses her creativity and passion unapologetically as herself. She runs a fashion brand that serves everyone - regardless of their expression. During the #ENDSARS protests, in which queer Nigerians led a nationwide uprising against police brutality Fola supported the cause by making t-shirts proclaiming “Queer Lives Matter” and offered them to protesters and activists. Calver Touré (he/him) Calver is the Director of Alternative - Côte d’Ivoire, an LGBTQIA rights organisation that fights homophobia and advocates for better health care for sexual minorities, especially HIV and AIDS treatment. Calver’s work helped me connect to activism spaces in my native Côte d’Ivoire. As one of the most visible and instrumental voices of change in my country, his advocacy not only gave me hope but an array of learning materials to help guide my own journey. Dr Ronx (they/them) Dr Ronx is a queer, Black, androgynous intersectional feminist and work as an emergency medicine doctor. Self funding their way through medical school after leaving a difficult upbringing, they realised their story could inspire people from similar backgrounds and aid them through their application. Alongside ongoing charity work they present on many educational tv shows, including the highly acclaimed, Channel 4 investigative show “Is Covid Racist?” Sabah Choudrey (they/them) Sabah is a Trans activist who co-founded Trans Pride Brighton in 2013, which subsequently won best trans event in Brighton in 2014 and 2015. Sabah works with queer, trans and non-binary youths through Brighton and London, through groups like Colours Youth Network, aiming to create connections between BAME/POC young people. Sabah was recently appointed as trustee of the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, creating safe places of worship for all people. Who selected these Queer Role Models? Maylis Djikalou (she/her) Maylis is a transformational coach, consultant and Programme Director at We Create Space. She has been working at the intersection of the creative and mental health industries for over a decade - promoting wellbeing in the workplace and championing marginalised communities. Jua O'Kane (they/he) Jua works at WCS doing content creation and social media management. They're also an illustrator and comic artist, currently studying for their Masters in Illustration. Yassine Senghor (she/her) Yaz is a diversity, equity and inclusion specialist and is the Director of Confronting Change EDI Strategies. She also works as a writer, mentor, speaker, facilitator, podcaster, occasional model and is a We Create Space team member! Ben Pechey (they/them) Ben is a writer, speaker, content creator, LGBTQIA Advocate, D&I consultant, and author! They uplift and educate through media; with their website benpechey.com, The Happy Place podcast, and legendary Instagram Stories. Their debut Book - The Book of Non-Binary Joy - is out now. Rico Jacob Chace (he/him) Rico is Director at TransActual UK, Trustee at LGBT+ Consortium, a part of the UN's UNITE 2030 Youth Delegate Program as well as a Diversity & Inclusion Consultant. He started his career by launching the radio show, 'Against Racism' following in the footsteps of the BLM movement, and speaking in the award-winning documentary 'Pride & Protest.' His recent appointment as the Trustee and Treasurer at LGBT+ Consortium has allowed him to continue to help the community, through grant funding and advocate work while chairing panels at the London Assembly. While you're here... Did you know we consult with 100+ 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!
- We Create Space: 2023 Community Action Plan.
What are getting up to in 2023? Our plans for the year ahead. Incorporating all the valuable feedback and insights from our last Community Survey, we've now set out our plans and ambitions as an organisation, and as a collective, for 2023... 1. Strengthen the WCS intra-community network. We hope to strengthen the WCS intra-community network, connections and relationships through the hosting of more global events and experiences – bringing together both international community activists and corporate professionals in shared spaces, both virtual and in-person. We plan to host more free… In-person events in London and around the UK. In-person events in Barcelona. + Take WCS on a small World Tour hosting some community events in other cities. Expand our ‘Pride & Beyond’ Queer Leadership Summit activation. Explore a WCS Community Digital Platform to connect people beyond events. Sign up to our newsletter to ensure you receive invites to our events. 2. Ensure we're a progressive, inclusive and attractive organisation to work for, and collaborate with. As we expand our team and grow our network of queer talent, we will: Build out, train, and support the global internal teams, collective and advisory board. Improve representation from speakers across certain identity groups, age-ranges, languages, and continents. Continue to invest back into the LGBTQ+ community through the creation of even more paid work opportunities. Identify more Queer Charity Partners and Social Enterprises for WCS to support and collaborate with. Follow us on social to hear about any new job opportunities. 3. Continue to help LGBTQ+ people around the world access a sustainable path to Queer Leadership. We are continuing to: Build an archive of FREE reliable educational information for our global community members. Host more online webinars and panels (such as our Queer Perspectives and Queer Leadership 101 series). Produce more articles and videos on leadership development topics as well as wellbeing content to support individuals on their journey. Check out all our past webinars for free on our YouTube channel. 4. Enhance our DEI services and establishing longer-term partnerships with our global network of corporate clients. This will allow us to continue… Advocating for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the workplace. Creating more paid work opportunities for our global collective of change-makers. Connecting grass-roots community leaders with corporate organisations; creating space for new perspectives and conversations. Raising money to fund all our free events, content, resources and development opportunities for our global community. + Produce a new WCS Workplace Report to provide LGBTQIA+ data and insights as we explore Queer Leadership across different professions, industries and sectors. Find out more about our consultancy services here. 5. Further develop our own online learning platform. We want to improve and develop our own online learning platform. We hope for WCS to remain a high-quality source for FREE Queer Allyship info and tools. We plan to... Be even more intentional and intersectional with our programming and Allyship content, covering topics that matter most to our community. Continue creating meaningful resources that support individuals with strengthening their role as change agents within their own communities or organisations. Continue to advocate for holistic approaches to activism and learning. Explore our Library and Glossary for existing Queer Allyship resources. If you have any questions please get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org