Our Top Inspirational Speakers for Pride Month – June 2021
10th May 2021
Each year Pride Month offers a fantastic opportunity for companies to address diversity, inclusion and LGBTQ+ rights within the workplace.
With the aim to educate and inspire, our LGBTQ+ speakers have a resounding impact, helping businesses achieve inclusivity. So whatever your reason for organising a Pride event this year, these speakers are able to offer a true insight, sharing their own personal tales of achievement and upheaval – that’s got them to where they are today!
June was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall Riots (June 1969) which lead the way for LGBTQ+ equal rights in America and consequently across the globe.
Amy is well-known in the cultural and creative industries. Amongst many accolades as a broadcaster and presenter, Amy is also a known co-founder of RVT Future, a voluntary LGBTQ+ community group, campaigning to preserve the iconic Royal Vauxhall Pub – the UK’s oldest LGBTQ+ pub and entertainment venue.
Her debut book, From Prejudice to Pride: A History of the LGBTQ+ Movement was the first book of its kind, solely dedicated towards teens.
Amy served as Mayoress of Camden in 2010/11 and spent her year highlighting the history and culture of live music and nightlife in the borough.
Ben has delivered over 400 talks reaching nearly 100,000 people since completing his 401 Challenge, so raise money for the LGBTQ+ anti-bullying charity, Stonewall. His teaching includes healing through support, achieving goals and above all, proving that with happiness and a strong foundation, anything is possible.
The 401 Foundation, which was set up as the legacy to The 401 Challenge, offers grants with the aim to help communities and individuals build confidence, self-esteem and positively contribute to people’s mental wellbeing, especially to those within the LGBTQ+ community.
Matt is an inspiring and thought-provoking transgender speaker. His life experience as a trans man himself means those who hear Matt speak are inspired and encouraged to overcome any hurdles and tackle adversity in their own day-to-day lives.
Matt aims to educate his audience on topics such as medical interventions, social aspects of being transgender, safe practices and equality rights, as well the legal implications of the Gender Recognition Act.
TV personality, comedian and host, Sandi Toksvig OBE is an activist for gender equality. In 2014 she co-founded the Women’s Equality Party.
According to their 2017 statement;
(they) recognise that the binary words “woman” and “man” do not reflect the gender experience of everyone in our country and support the right of all to define their sex or gender or to reject gendered divisions as they choose/ WE are committed to addressing the very real oppression of trans people as well as the social structures that oppress and sometimes erase cis women and damage all genders. Cis inclusivity must never mean trans exclusivity, nor vice versa. There are huge and serious issues to address and it is vital that we find ways to discuss our experiences in an environment of mutual respect and tolerance if we are to progress to equality for all.
In 2020, it was announced that pro Olympic female boxer Nicola Adams would joining the line-up of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC). She, alongside her dance partner, professional dancer and choreographer Katya Jones would be part of the competition’s first same-sex couple.
I think it’s really important, it’s definitely time for a change. It will be nice for the LGBT community to be able to see there are same-sex couples on the show as well, it’s just breaking those boundaries and showing people that it’s OK.
Matt delivers talks on Diversity and Inclusive Leadership. He was one of the first gay pilots in the service. When he joined the Royal Air Force in 1995 it was against the law to be homosexual, but he had a passion for flying and desperately didn’t want his sexuality to be a barrier to fulfilling his ambition to become a Fast Jet Pilot.
Whilst In the closet, Matt shut out his inner feelings, but he fulfilled his ambition and finally qualified as a Fast Jet Pilot. Matt describes his journey and the impact on his mental health whilst hiding his true self and operating in a macho, intolerant work environment.
During this journey Matt had no one to turn to, his performance faltered, his stress levels became unmanageable and he failed his RAF ‘Top Gun’ course. Matt links his mental wellbeing, stress, reliance to performance and productively.
He eventually moved to the Royal Squadron and met an inspirational leader who developed trust and inclusion. As a result when the law changed he eventually came out. His leader’s exemplary inclusive style changed his life, both personally and professionally.
Although Matt’s diversity talk has an LGBTQ+ theme, it holds relevance to wider issues of marginalisation, be it gender, working parents, or ethnic minorities.
Entertainers & Hosts
If you’re running a Pride event, but a LGBTQ+ speaker isn’t exactly what you’re after, then perhaps consider the likes of chat-show host Graham Norton, TV presenter Anna Richardson or comedian Zoe Lyons, to bring something truly unique and memorable to your event.
And while these talents may not as strongly advertise their connection to the LGBTQ+ community as those listed above, they still have a true appreciation for the LGBTQ+ fight for inclusion and equality.
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