Yay!Starter Stands with the LGBTQ+ Community
The first of June marked the beginning of Pride month, where the world comes together in multicoloured stripes to celebrate the efforts and progress of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout our social media feeds, we are witnessing brands from all industries rally their support through posts, interviews and partnerships. These feeds include our own as well as those of our wonderful clients’ Pride campaigns.
Here at Yay!Starter, we celebrate the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) communities all over the world, especially here in our home in South West London. On the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York on 28 June 1969, we take the time to remember the many trailblazers in Pride history that have changed the world with their will to persevere and fight for their right to be who they truly are.
This year of Pride is incredibly important to me, especially as I reflect on my position as a black gay female entrepreneur in the UK. I am from Martinique and had the pleasure of studying and studying in France, the UK, the USA and Argentina. During my experiences abroad, I discovered that across the globe there was an underrepresentation in not only black females in the financial services, technology and marketing industries, but also black females part of the LGBTQ+ community. It was imperative for me to become a visible female leader in the industry and give back as a mentor for groups that are underrepresented like I was. I have volunteered with organisations like Afev Bordeaux and UPTIH that support those living with disabilities and limited mobility. I also volunteer for charities like the House of Barnabas, which specialises in helping bring homeless people living in the UK back to the job market. I was also recently selected as a Growth Mentor on the Growth Mentor platform, allowing me to share my growth marketing knowledge and expertise with business owners and marketers.
While reflecting on this month, I go back to one of my favourite articles from Pride 2019 by Supermaker, a media company aimed at helping startups with content and community. Two Prides ago, Ludi Leiva wrote a wonderful piece called “LGBTQ Entrepreneurs Are Coming Out & Beating Odds”, which discusses this social plague that has been set upon LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and members at large in the workforce. It still surprises me that even in 2019, a study from StartOut found that 37% of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs decided to remain in the closet while running their businesses, for the fear of not being accepted, especially when it comes to raising financial capital. Much like Sonya Fox’s experience in the article, a fellow Black queer women founder, I have also found empowerment in my identity.
As a Black queer woman entrepreneur, and alongside my business partner Yana, we hope to cultivate nothing less than a positive, inclusive and empowering experience for our employees here at Yay!Starter. I feel so privileged in my position to have the platform I do to reach out to marginalised communities to demonstrate to them that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and work hard. We want to be the kind of digital marketing agency that works with diverse clients from all walks of life. As a proud mentor, I want to ensure our everyday commitment is to cultivate a workplace for our employees, that is safe, inclusive and free of judgement and discrimination.
Although pride month is a month-long social commitment, we should never stop the narrative of inclusion and acceptance. These virtues need to be a year-long commitment. We are the author of our own narrative and Pride Month is a great time to reflect on what side of history we want to be part of.
We all play a role in society. Whether we identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, or as an ally like my fellow colleagues here at Yay!Starter. We should be constantly learning how to do better and how to better support one another. This does not end on our social feeds but should continue in and outside of the workplace.
Everyone deserves a voice, and I hope that no matter how you identify, you all have a safe and inclusive Pride – while recognising that our fight does not stop on June 30th at 11:59 pm.
Be fabulous, be you! Be an ally! Thank you for joining us for another year in our fight for global acceptance and equality.