Tell us about your accomplishments to date?

Through my career I have been very instrumental and active in building policy, training, workshops, coaching, mentoring and advocacy and awareness around intersectional groups – but with a specific focus on Trans awareness and global ways of working.

I have also provided keynote and fireside chats actively inviting people to ‘ask anything’ so that there has been a clear moment for people to engage and obtain the support or clarification they require.

There are too many moments where people seem to step away or distance themselves from someone LGBTQIA+ out of fear of saying the wrong thing, becoming awkward around a topic or not fully accepting that someone may be different to them. Ultimately, who we are or who we love shouldn’t be up for debate, which is why it’s so important to me to undertake this work – to help people to become educated, engaged and empowered.

  • This work has taken place over 8 years and in over 50 different organisations.
  • In total, the training I’ve delivered has reached over 150,000 people globally.
  • In 2018 I was invited to speak at TedxLondon – to which my talk has been viewed over 500K times.
  • In 2014 I was nominated for a ‘Corporate Rising Star’ award by the British LGBT Awards for work I had complete at Sainsbury’s and with the Proud@Sainsbury’s Employee Resource Group (ERG).
  • In 2022 I was awarded ‘Corporate Champion Award’ from Trans In The City.
  • In the last year at Burberry, I have produced a Trans and Non-Binary inclusive language guide and created an awareness video to help our colleagues support and partake in conversations with and around Trans and Non-Binary individuals.

I’ve also volunteered for projects such as ‘All About Trans’ which has positively engaged media groups around their representation, particularly in years 2011-2013. As part of this, I participated in over 20 media interactions with the intention of bringing journalists and broadcasters into direct conversations to understand more about trans and non-binary people’s lived experiences and the impact of incorrect reporting.

I also sit on the advisory board for IMPROPER agency which puts people, activism and social impact into their campaigns, and am a Non-Executive Director for Outvertising which is in place to support and create better representation for LGBTQIA people and organisations in Advertising and Marketing in the UK.

What are the barriers in representing many intersectional identity groups?

I think a key barrier continues to be building an understanding that we all need to be seen, heard and represented, and that we bring many identities to work.

It’s also about recognising where equity is lacking and about being proactive, not reactive, towards authentically creating space and putting in the right systems for representation. Ultimately, we deserve to feel that we belong in society and have the safety and freedom to do so.

To tackle these barriers, I have worked with leadership teams, ERG groups and different business functions so they can identify and see where their areas of the organisation can be improved and greater represent inclusivity.

From my own experiences bringing multiple identities to work, it can feel daunting, and to many those identities aren’t always visible. It’s about creating spaces where you feel you can be, but also belong.

Do you think acceptance is improving?

This is a great question! I think morally we know what we should do, but there has also been a backlash to inclusion, and within that, there has been a blurring around whether people feel they have permission to be accepting or celebratory about difference.

If anything, I feel the reality for people when they meet someone who is from a different community to them is generally positive, but what isn’t helpful is if a narrative about them has been shared that is negative, provocative or othering. This can cloud people’s initial thoughts around how inclusive or open minded they want to be.

The ‘accepted’ rudeness or violence that LGBTQIA+ people are experiencing globally is unacceptable especially when other intersections such as ethnicity, ability or gender identity are also being weaponised to other and hate on people – this is where good leadership and allyship is needed as well as techniques we can also practice and remember in cutting through the noise and caring for each other in our workplaces, families and wider society.

What does been nominated in your category mean to you?

I am very humbled to be nominated in this category – the work I do isn’t just part of my 9 to 5. I believe in creating space and connecting with others so we can all thrive and be a part of the wider community.

It is great to be seen as a visible Bi, mixed-race, dyslexic, Trans man as I didn’t see many examples of that when I was younger and representation is important, especially when speaking about intersectional identities and building a sense of belonging.

No-one should have to hide who they are, and I hope that my being nominated in this category and talking openly about my experiences that it reminds people they don’t have to.