High Profile Magazine: The Diversity & Inclusion Edition

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JUNES’S EDITION EDITOR’S NOTES Dear reader, Welcome to our June edition of High Profile Magazine! This is the Diversity and Inclusion edition, in honour of Pride month – happy Pride to you all! There are some fantastic articles this month representing the very best of Pride, and I know you’re going to love it. I am very proud to have Elton John and David Furnish on our cover, as well as the wonderful Stefan and Sebastian from Nomadic Boys, and my dear friend Rochelle. They are all great people and it’s an honour to be able to share their stories with you inside the pages of this magazine.

“Happy Pride to you all! ”

As always, I want to encourage you to get in touch if you have a story to share with us. We're always looking for new people to contribute to the magazine, and we’d love to help you promote your work on our platform. Please get in touch at editorial@highprofilemag.com See you next month. RAFAEL DOS SANTOS Editor-in-Chief

Hello and welcome to another fantastic edition of High Profile Magazine! First of I want to wish everyone a very happy Pride! This edition is dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusion, and I'm really proud of how it has turned out. There are some incredible articles inside this edition, and I'm certain you will enjoy reading them. This Pride month I want to encourage everyone to show huge support to the LGBTQ+ community, and to reflect on why Pride month is necessary in our society. Remember those who are no longer here due to the AIDS epidemic and violence against the LGBTQ+ community, and show up for those who are still here so we can move towards a more inclusive society. Enjoy the issue and please get in touch with any feedback or if you would like to share your story with our readers. Thank you for the continued support on this project! LOLA SHERWIN Assistant Editor

I want to encourage everyone to show huge support to the LGBTQ+ community


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Rafael dos Santos, Editor in Chief

Lola Sherwin, Assistant Editor

Rafael dos Santos is the owner and editor-in-chief of High Profile Magazine as well as a writer for Forbes. Rafael is the CEO and co-founder of GuidedPR.com, an artificial intelligence platform that connects journalists with business owners. He has won seven awards including the Sunday Times 'Top 100 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs in the UK'. His award-winning TEDx Talk 'What It Takes To Be A Migrant Entrepreneur' has been watched over 157k times. With over 18+ years running businesses in the UK, USA and The Netherlands, he combines real world-experience with an MBA from Henley Business School to manage his several businesses.

Lola is our Assistant Editor. She started at the company as a Journalist Trainee and progressed up the ranks after a few months of working with us. She is also a First Class Honours graduate in Hispanic Studies from The University of Nottingham, and is currently studying for a Masters in International Journalism at The University of Leeds. Lola runs a personal blog in her spare time, which has over 6,000 all-time views! She also speaks 4 languages and has spent time living in Spain, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as her home country, England.

Junior Negrão, Graphic Design

Sahar Hechme, Video Editor

Junior Negrão is a graphic designer from São Paulo with 20 years of experience designing magazines, books, publicity material and brand identity creation. He graduated in Graphic Design from UMC-SP, and he also completed specialist design courses run by renowned schools in São Paulo.

Sahar is a video editor who studied in Lebanon, and now has over 4 years’ experience. Her clients include SME businesses, influencers, fitness gurus, and many more. With over 1 million views across YouTube and social media, Sahar helps clients grow their social presence and stand out in a competitive market.

Andrei Koscina, Fashion Photographer

Wanja Muthee, Contributor

Andrei Koscina is a corporate, lifestyle and fashion photographer from Brazil. He is currently based in London, and has a degree in Advertising from PUCRS, as well as a HNC in Photography from LCCA. In 2020, he reached over 1.2 million views and 270,000 downloads on Unsplash. His main clients are entrepreneurs developing their personal branding.

Wanja is an avid reader and writer who lives in Nairobi. She’s a PR Assistant and Blogger at GuidedPR. She holds a Bachelors in Mass Communication from JKUAT and has worked in print media and in academia. When she’s not researching current affairs, you’ll find her on social media, keeping up with what’s hot!


COVER stories

Interview by Lola Sherwin



Rochelle and Lana are the brains behind LanaRoc Solutions Ltd., which helps businesses become leaders in their markets, and Little Hearts Muesli, a snacking brand which wants to make snacking healthier and easier for everyone. We spoke to them about maintaining a work-life balance, the inspiration behind Little Hearts Muesli, and their goals for the future. What makes Little Hearts Muesli different from its competitors?

with plant-based protein. This makes it not only vegetarian, but also vegan friendly.

Little Hearts Muesli is the healthier and easier way to snack. It’s great tasting, heart-shaped bite-size clusters and is perfect for a tasty snack. Everyone can enjoy Little Hearts Muesli bites straight from the pack, as a healthy any time of the day! It is also perfect with milk for breakfast as the Little Hearts keep their shape, meaning no more soggy breakfast cereal in the morning!

Little Hearts Muesli also contains manganese and natural fruits that are not only good for you but are also packed full of flavour and high in fibre too. It is a non-GMO cereal snack with no artificial flavours or colours. Little Hearts is made from real fruit pieces such as apple and chia, papaya, cranberries for the fruity flavours, and cocoa mass for the chocolate flavours which include chocolate, coconut and chocolate, and banana and chocolate.

We only use the best ingredients in our snack-food including oat beta-glucans. Oat beta-glucan has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol; heart and circulatory diseases cause 26 per cent of all deaths worldwide – that's over 18 million deaths each year (source: WHO 2020). The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3g of beta-glucans from oats, which Little Hearts help to prove you with. Fancy a snack or a tasty breakfast? Well, Little Hearts is an innovative cereal as well as a snack made

As Little Hearts is a multi-usage product that appeals to both adults and children, this makes it great for our stockists as it has many opportunities to sell to mass consumers. How does healthier snacking help to enhance productivity and increase happiness and wellbeing? Now more than ever, people are focusing more on healthier snacking, as it's been proven to enhance

"It's also proven that healthier snacking makes people happy, especially at work." 7

"Our daughter doesn't really have a preference, in her words "I love all the flavours of Little Hearts!" productivity and happiness. It is a well-known fact that healthy eating, especially from oats, is one of the best ways in ensuring energy levels are high. This brings out the best in you, thereby enhancing one's productivity. We all need good food to fuel performance, which in turn provides the glucose which the brain requires to stay alert. Healthier snacking helps to maintain high energy which will reduce the risk of having a depleted nutrient base, which leads to reduced energy levels. It's also proven that healthier snacking makes people happy, especially at work; when employers provide quality healthier snacks such as Little Hearts Muesli for their employees, employees are happier, and will flaunt their workplace to their friends! This will boost the mood of employees thereby making the workplace an enjoyable place to work and fostering good relationships between employees. They also work harder and give the employer their best. Thus, healthier snacking helps to create a better 8

work culture, as it will boost engagement amongst the employees. Having Little Hearts Muesli at every workplace is essential as employees quickly dash into the kitchen and have it as a breakfast cereal in the morning or as a snack at their desk. By stocking Little Hearts Muesli at your workplace, you are showing your employees you have not only their welfare at heart but also that you care about and appreciate their overall well-being. What was the inspiration behind setting up Little Hearts Muesli? Little Hearts Muesli came to be as we realised that there's a big problem in our society based around what we eat. As mentioned, the prevalence of heart-related diseases worldwide is alarming. The majority of these issues are directly related to unhealthy snacking habits. Currently, the prevalence of high cholesterol is on the increase and also, we are all

looking for a multi-usage portable healthier food and do you know what? Little Hearts Muesli ticks all of these boxes. It contains beta-glucans known to reduce cholesterol; 3g of beta-glucans per day is all we need to regulate cholesterol in an average human body, and some flavours of our Little Hearts Muesli have got 3.2g of beta-glucans. It is also a multi-usage snack food as it can be consumed as a breakfast cereal as well as a snack, or as a topping with custard or pudding. Children love it in their lunch pack, and it is also great as a quick portable snack for professionals and the working class. Mothers find it easier to give their children Little Hearts Muesli while they get them ready for school as a wholesome breakfast cereal as well as a lunch box snack, meaning not only does it taste great, but it’s also making morning routines that little bit easier!

What are your goals for Little Hearts Muesli by the end of 2022? Our goal for Little Hearts Muesli by the end of 2022 is to be able to reach as many homes, schools, workplaces, cafes, and supermarkets worldwide as possible, thereby creating a healthier snack society overall. We will achieve these goals by partnering with distributors and wholesalers that have an existing relationship with retailers across the globe, thus allowing us to distribute our product more widely. How does LanaRoc Solutions Ltd heIp businesses to become leaders in their market? We help health and wellness professionals to generate more income and impact by automating their marketing to attract clients online. Our five-step process allows them to serve more and have a greater impact with a marketing system that works while they sleep. First, we help you adopt the mindset of a successful coaching business through the M.M.S Method, then we build the foundations to attract your ideal clients consistently online without wasting countless hours on social media. Finally, we help them create an automated sales process that attracts their ideal clients. When working with the skilled marketing team at LanaRoc, with over 25 years combined experience in Facebook advertising, copywriting, conversion and sales, our values are to always give our clients our best, empower others, over-deliver, be resourceful, decisive and do what it takes! If it ain't working, we help them fix the problem! How do you manage working on both LanaRoc Solutions Ltd. and Little Hearts Muesli? Is it hard to maintain a work/life balance? It requires time management and discipline to make both LanaRoc Solutions Ltd and Little Hearts Muesli a success. It is challenging at times to maintain a work/life balance, so we have to discipline ourselves to not talk about work after 9pm (even though that time is late!). We love our work, so it is difficult not to discuss our day with each other! With the capable hands of Rochelle Odubela as Co-founder and Director of LanaRoc Solutions managing a global team, we have the right people in place 9

for clients to get their desired results and for both businesses to continue to soar! What's your favourite Little Hearts Muesli flavour, and why? We all have different flavours we like; it depends! Rochelle’s favourite is coconut and chocolate because I love coconut and it’s the perfect balance. Lana is in love with two flavours, papaya as well as cranberries. Our son craves between the chocolate as well the banana with chocolate and the coconut with chocolate. But our daughter loves all the flavours. She doesn't really have a preference, in her words "I love all the flavours of Little Hearts!”. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your careers, and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge so far has been investing in both Little Hearts Muesli and LanaRoc Solutions at the same time!

“Little Hearts Muesli is the healthier and easier way to snack.”


Another major challenge is dealing with government legislation on snack food for different countries. Overcoming this is the reason we partner with local distribution companies in every region who already understand the law relating to food importation within their region, as this makes the process considerably easier. Brexit combined with the current pandemic was also a major setback, of which we are already scaling the hurdles of these challenges – we will overcome them!


COVER stories




This month we met Stefan and Sebastien, LGBTQ travel influencers who are taking over the world. We chatted about beaches, sunsets, bars, clubs and homesickness. Being a travel influencer sounds fun, right? Let’s find out more about these two sexy travellers and where they suggest going! Stefan and Sebastien are a gay couple from London. Nomadic Boys is their gay travel blog where they inspire gay travellers and show them that they can travel anywhere, by providing a first-hand account of their travel adventures which will help them plan a fun and safe trip. Why, when and how did you decide to become LGBTQ travel influencers? It was never planned, rather it happened completely by accident. Stefan used to be a lawyer and Sebastien a computer programmer at Bloomberg. In 2014, we decided to take a pause on our respective careers to travel for 1 year in Asia. We started our Nomadic Boys website as a way of keeping our family and friends updated with our travels by sharing our stories and photos. Over time, traffic to our humble blog started to grow exponentially and companies started reaching out to collaborate with us. We took the opportunity to make this into a full-time vocation, and we’ve been lucky enough to be able to elevate our website to the point where it’s now our full-time vocation, receiving around 10k daily visitors. Our social media grew alongside our blog, particularly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Where was your first destination? What was it like? Were you scared of leaving all behind to travel the world? Our first destination was Russia - we took the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow all the way into deep Siberia and then into Mongolia. We absolutely loved it, although back then we were completely terrified of going to a country with such a terrible rep for LGBTQ rights. The truth is, Russia is unlike any other Eastern European country when it comes to LGBTQ rights, i.e., it’s lacking considerably but there is still quite a large gay scene in Moscow, and an even larger gay community living/working there. Taking that first big step outside of our comfort zone back in London was certainly scary, but it was exciting at the same time. We were careful not to just jump into it. We had planned for it financially for several years and made sure we could return to our former jobs if all else failed. Thankfully we’ve not had to do this, and we don’t intend to.


This month we met Stefan and Sebastien, LGBTQ travel influencers who are taking over the world. We chatted about beaches, sunsets, bars, clubs and homesickness. Being a travel influencer sounds fun, right? Let’s find out more about these two sexy travellers and where they suggest going! Stefan and Sebastien are a gay couple from London. Nomadic Boys is their gay travel blog where they inspire gay travellers and show them that they can travel anywhere, by providing a first-hand account

of their travel adventures which will help them plan a fun and safe trip. Why, when and how did you decide to become LGBTQ travel influencers? It was never planned, rather it happened completely by accident. Stefan used to be a lawyer and Sebastien a computer programmer at Bloomberg. In 2014, we decided to take a pause on our respective careers to travel for 1 year in Asia. We started our Nomadic Boys website as a way of keeping our family and friends updated with our travels by sharing our stories and photos. Over time, traffic to our humble blog started to grow exponentially and companies started reaching out to collaborate with us. We took the opportunity to make this into a full-time vocation, and we’ve been lucky enough to be able to elevate our website to the point where it’s now our full-time vocation, receiving around 10k daily visitors. Our social media grew alongside our blog, particularly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Where was your first destination? What was it like? Were you scared of leaving all behind to travel the world?

"We were careful not to just jump into it." 14

Our first destination was Russia - we took the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow all the way into deep Siberia and then into Mongolia. We absolutely loved it, although back then we were completely terrified of going to a country with such a terrible rep for LGBTQ rights. The truth is, Russia is unlike any

"We are fortunate to have made lots of long-lasting friendships during our travels."

other Eastern European country when it comes to LGBTQ rights, i.e., it’s lacking considerably but there is still quite a large gay scene in Moscow, and an even larger gay community living/working there. Taking that first big step outside of our comfort zone back in London was certainly scary, but it was exciting at the same time. We were careful not to just jump into it. We had planned for it financially for

several years and made sure we could return to our former jobs if all else failed. Thankfully we’ve not had to do this, and we don’t intend to. Is life really that much fun travelling all the time? Do you feel homesick? Do you develop long lasting friendships? Constant travelling is absolutely exhausting! We learnt this very quickly during our first big trip in Asia. 15

"If you love travelling and posting about it, then voila - you’re pretty much there!" We therefore changed the way we travel so that we would stay longer in each destination, using it as a home/work base. This enabled us to create more long-lasting ties with each destination we visited whilst being able to work on Nomadic Boys at the same time. We are fortunate to have made lots of long-lasting friendships during our travels, which we’ve been able to retain over the years thanks to social media. How do you keep fit (and sexy) travelling all the time? What’s your routine like? Does it change from country to country? Keeping fit while travelling is certainly a challenge! The starting point is your mentality. This may sound obvious, but if you want to keep fit while travelling, then you’re already halfway there. For us, fitness is super important. We prioritise it and make sure to make it part of our daily schedule. We try to start each day with an online yoga class, then depending on where we are we go to a local gym we’ve found, go for a run (a fantastic way to see a new place!), or do a series of bodyweight exercises. We also love adventure travel so, when possible, we 16

try to factor this into our trips - especially trekking, scuba diving and snorkelling. Eating clean and healthy is also extremely important as part of this. We’re always careful to avoid processed foods and prioritise fresh products. We also make fresh fruits and vegetables a daily priority. In every new place we visit, we seek out the local market to stock up on a few days’ fruit - another fun way to discover a new place. How do you cope with hate messages, anger and all the nonsense that comes your way? Thankfully they are few and far between. At the end of the day, we’re just putting out content about ourselves that people can “opt in” to follow. No one is forcing anyone to do anything against their will, which is why we think the hate messages are few. From the ones we do receive, we’ve found that almost all of these messages are from trolls - i.e., people who are simply being controversial to make a scene to get attention. Therefore, we ignore/block them. On one occasion we received a homophobic comment about how the Bible is against homosexu-


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COVER stories




Elton John is a singer, pianist and composer. He is one of Britain’s biggest musical icons, having sold over 300 million records. He has also found success on Broadway, composing the score for Billy Elliott, which went on to win 10 Tony Awards. His Elton John AIDS Foundation was established in 1992 and has since brought in more than $400 million to support HIV/ AIDS programmes across the globe.

Elton Hercules John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25th, 1947, in Middlesex, England. He has always had a strong passion for music, and he taught himself to play piano aged just four years old. Just prior to his A-Level exams, he left sixth form to pursue a career in music. He had also won a scholarship to a youth programme at the Royal Academy of Music in London aged eleven. John's father, Stanley Dwight, was a member of the RAF, and he and Elton had a strained relationship throughout Elton’s teenage years. Stanley wanted his son to pursue a career in something more conventional, such as banking, and he was dismayed when Elton chose to pursue a career in music, despite being a semi-professional trumpet player himself. When John was still a teenager, his parents divorced. John had always been raised predominantly by his mother and maternal grandmother, with his mother being something more of a free spirit than his father was. She later married Fred Farebrother, a local painter who doted on Elton and called him “Derf ”, which is Fred backwards. Aged fifteen, John was hired by a local pub as a pianist, where he would play at the weekends. He played popular songs as well as some of his own songs. He also did a stint with a short-lived group called The Corvettes. Elton's first real venture into performing was as part of a group called Bluesology, which was when he came up with his stage name, Elton John, from the names of two of the other members of the group. By the mid-1960s, Bluesology was supporting touring American soul and R&B musicians. In 1967, John responded to an advert for a songwriter for Liberty Records. He was offered the job and he teamed up with Bernie Taupin, with the duo switching to the DJM label the next year, writing songs for other artists. At this point, Elton was regularly going by the name Elton John, and he legally changed his name to Elton Hercules John in 1972. His first break as a singer came in 1969, with his first album, Empty Sky, which featured songs by John

and Taupin. The album didn’t enjoy great success, however, the follow-up album, titled Elton John, which was released in 1970, featured Elton’s first big hit, Your Song, which reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart and number eight in the US. The album reached number four on the US Billboard 200, and number five on the UK Albums Chart. The albums that followed also enjoyed great success, with Madman Across the Water in 1971, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in 1973, and Rock of the Westies in 1975. Elton's first American concert came in 1970 at the Troubadour in LA, with the concept album, Tumbleweed Connection, being released later that year and enjoying great success. Throughout the course of the 1970s, John became equally famous for his live performances as for his music. His glamorous and extravagant costumes became instantly recognisable and were often part of the reason that people would attend his shows. In 1973, John founded The Rocket Record Company and signed notable acts such as Neil Sedaka and Kiki Dee, the latter of whom went on to release Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Elton in 1976. Around this time, he decided to take a break from performing, instead focusing on the football team that he co-owned here in England for a few years and cutting down his albums to just one a year. It was around the time that John announced he was stepping down from performing that he also came out as a bisexual man (it was later on that he then came out as a gay man). He then became the subject of controversy and ridicule due to his sexuality, a controversy which eventually died down. In 1992, John had told Rolling Stone magazine he was “quite comfortable about being gay”, after having come out as bisexual in 1976. In 1993, he be-

"I am quite comfortable about being gay" 21


"People should be very free with sex, they should draw the line at goats." gan his relationship with David Furnish, who is now his husband. On the 21st of December 2005, they were among the first couples to form a civil partnership in the UK. In 2014, same-sex marriage became legal in the UK, and so the couple made the move to marriage in December of that year, on the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership. In 2008, John had said he preferred civil partnerships to marriage for same-sex couples, but by 2012 he had become a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage. John and Furnish now have two sons together, Zachary and Elijah. Both of the couple’s children were born via the same surrogate, with Zachary being born in 2010, and Elijah being born in 2013. John also has ten godchildren, including Brooklyn Beckham and Romeo Beckham. Over the years, John has made comments about Jesus being a gay man and saying Jesus would have supported same-sex marriage, which have drawn criticism from the Christian community. He is said to have received death threats, and a man was arrested for making terrorist threats against him after posting a YouTube video saying that Elton John had to die. In 1979, John and Taupin reunited their duo, though they didn’t produce an album together again until 1983. Throughout the 1980s, John continued to have huge hits, including I’m Still Standing, and I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues. In 1985, John performed at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium, among many other superstar performers. The 1980s also saw him marry his now ex-wife, who was his friend and sound engineer Renate Blauel, though the marriage only lasted three years before they divorced. In 1987, John won a libel case against The Sun, who had published false claims about him having sex with rent boys. In 1985, John had his highest charting single of the decade. It was a collaboration with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, and it was called That’s What Friends Are For. It reached number one in the US, and raised funds for HIV and AIDS research. In 1994, John teamed up with lyricist Tim Rice and branched out in a different direction, working on several different projects. Together they wrote songs

for The Lion King soundtrack, bringing him his first Academy Award for Best Original Song. They also won a Tony Award for their musical, Aida, in 2000. Elton was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. On the topic of honours, Elton also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1975. In 1995, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and he was later knighted by the Queen in 1998 for his charitable work, officially making him a Sir. In 2020 he was appointed Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to music and charity. During the summer of 1997, John lost two close friends – Gianni Versace and Diana, Princess of Wales. He an Taupin reworked their 1973 classic song, Candle in the Wind, in Diana’s honour that same year, with the proceeds going towards a charitable trust which had been established in her honour. The song sold more than thirty million copies that same year. The 1990s were a difficult time for John personally, as he had also entered rehab in 1990 for substance abuse issues, particularly cocaine abuse, which is thought to have triggered epileptic fits. In 1992, Elton established his Elton John AIDS Foundation, a charitable organisation working to fight HIV and AIDS. In the years since the foundation was established, it has brought in more than $400 million to support HIV and AIDS programmes across the globe. The Foundation hosts an annual White Tie & Tiara Ball to raise funds for the organisation. Over the years, Elton’s music career has gone from strength to strength. Including soundtrack and collaboration albums as well as studio albums, he has released 41 albums in total, many of which have gone on to win him awards. He wrote the score for Billy Elliott on Broadway, winning him ten Tony Awards. In 2019, Rocketman, a biopic about his life was released. He was played by Taron Egerton, and the film was premiered at the May 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It had excellent musical scenes and unflinchingly portrayed his life and sexuality. He followed up with a publication of an autobiography, Me, later that year. 23

"Music ha 24

as healing power" Elton John


Diversity & Inclusion

BEYOND PRIDE MONTH: HOW BRANDS CAN AUTHENTICALLY SUPPORT THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY Lydiah Igweh is the Director of Enterprise Support at Oxford Brookes University. With over 17 years of C-level Business Development, Marketing and Strategy experience, Igweh specializes in innovation, entrepreneurship, organizational change, leadership and digital transformation. She’s committed to championing women in business and advancing race equality. Lydiah enjoys writing, mentoring future young leaders with EY Foundation, public speaking and presenting. BY LYDIAH IGWEH


Branding is one of the intricate marketing platforms that organisations use to progress their client base. Several brands have shown great leadership in supporting various diversity initiatives and movements and have increasingly aligned brand messaging and multiple strategies to core diversity attributes. During June, there is reflection, education, and celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. Organisations continuously seek innovative ways to join in the conversation and demonstrate support for LGBTQ+ causes in a more visible, meaningful way. This article outlines some strategies brands can use to engage in and beyond Pride Month authentically. Representation: organisations committed to showing support for Pride Month can participate in various community based or local Pride parades to demonstrate solidarity. By doing so, organisations create a sense of connectedness and belonging to their LGBTQ+ employees. It's, however, more authentic to extend year-round support to progress inclusion and exhibit a more genuine commitment to external Pride initiatives. Show credibility by joining the conversation: to show authenticity in support for Pride Month, go beyond showing rainbows on brand logos and websites alone. Creating time and space to engage in discussions towards enhancing the LGBTQ+ community further shows meaningful engagement. Additionally, augment brand messaging with resource allocation and support a cause or a community aligned to Pride Month. A great example is the #REFORMTheLockerRoom brand partnership between PUMA and The Trevor Project, a New Program to Champion LGBTQ Youth Athletes with mental health support. Promote inclusivity through holistic engagement: Making support for the LGBTQ+ community part of the organisational mission shows genuine care and support. In a May 2021 article, ABC News listed “17 brands supporting LGBTQ pride in style’. These brands include Fossil’s limited-edition Pride watch collection, with 100% sales from its watch case and straps proceeds going to LGBTQ+ progression projects. Another example is Absolut, who have been supporting the LGBTQ+ community since 1981. The company’s ‘Equal Love’ campaign goes above and beyond in support of the LGBTQ+ community and zeroing back in on the core concept of the freedom to love absolutely anyone. The company also donates a percentage of sales proceeds to various Pride champions such as Stonewall (a long-established UK LGBTQ+ charity). These are just a few examples of authentic and meaningful actions ingrained in solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community and corporate strategy. Integrate the experiences of Racial and Ethnic Diverse members of the LGBTQ+ Community: The experiences of racial and ethnic diverse members of the LGBTQ+ community can often be misunderstood and based on assumptions and prejudices. They can seem entirely erased from LGBTQ+ stories, according to the Stonewall Charity.

report. Glassdoor also reported that ‘Lloyds launched a new colleague volunteering programme, forming official partnerships with various LGBT charities, volunteering over 1,000 hours and raising £30,000 for them throughout the year.’ Lloyds also supports ‘Bi Awareness Day and Transgender Day of Visibility, with new training tools, social media campaigns and by flying the bisexual flag and transgender flags at 35 of their key sites.’ Re-evaluate the organisation's commitment towards Pride inclusion: The needs of staff and the communities that organisations serve will forever change and evolve. Thus, continual policy enhancement is necessary to improve the working environment and experience of the diverse workforce - including the LGBTQ+ community. For example, the UK Government Equalities Office LGBTQ+ Action Plan commits to improving the lives of the LGBTQ+ community, including the appointment of a national LGBTQ+ health adviser to reduce health inequalities that LGBTQ+ people face. Additionally, EY has a guide titled “Making It Real – Globally” to advance LGBTQ+ & D&I worldwide. The company indicates that while this document was for international practice, many of the concepts and recommendations are applicable for extending LGBTQ+-inclusive practices in a company’s home territory, from the main hubs to local hubs — to Leeds from London or to Mumbai from Delhi, for example. Employee Resource Groups: through employee resource groups (ERGs), organisations provide the much-needed environment for employees to speak up about and discuss their issues. ERGs are a great platform during Pride month to drive the LGBTQ+ agenda and show support for the Pride community. By keeping the internal LGBTQ+ conversation going, employees feel welcome and engaged. Organisations like McKinsey & Company are a great case study for these D&I groups. In 1995, the company launched GLAM, a ‘vibrant worldwide network of LGBTQ+ colleagues who are committed to one another's success and to attracting exceptional LGBTQ+ individuals into the McKinsey community.’ Pride month offers an opportunity for organisations to champion, engage and support the LGBTQ+ community and to demonstrate commitment to embracing and advancing the lives of those who identify as LGBTQ+. The challenge is for organisations to ensure their efforts are sincere and sustainable and not driven by commercial gain or an impulse to ‘jump on a trend’. Proof of authenticity and genuine commitment to D&I is not just a corporate goal. It’s a corporate responsibility that must be authentic. As Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, rightly says: “While there is a broad understanding of the fact that inclusion of authentic LGBTQ representation in advertising promotes positive social change, we first must transform corporate cultures and secure commitments from top management to create meaningful inclusion.”

To ensure a sustainable move towards LGBTQ+ equality, it is essential that brands listen to the voices of racial and ethnic diverse LGBTQ+ communities who've historically been excluded from this community. Organise internal and external events in support of Pride month: Organisations through engaging events can shine a light on and enhance the inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community during and after Pride Month. A good example is ‘the PWC Shine Network for LGBTQ+ professionals, organising a Pride-themed trivia night, fundraising for cross-country bike tour AIDS/LifeCycle and streaming a Pride webcast’, as indicated by the Human Resource Executive 2020



5 Books Centred Around the LGBTQ+ Community by Lola Sherwin

Detransition, Baby – Torrey Peters, £14.99 (Buy here)

Described as the ‘first great trans realist novel’ by The Guardian, this book makes trans culture accessible to all. It's a fantastic novel which goes into some of the more complicated nuances of gender transition, while also being incredibly funny to read at points. Add this to your basket straight away!

Fairest – Meredith Talusan, £20.99 Fairest is the memoir of a young boy with albinism from a rural Philippine village who grows up to become a woman in America. Talusan shares poignant and powerful episodes of desirability and love, and her reflections will shift your perceptions of love, identity, and gender.

(Buy here)

This is the story of David and Giovanni’s passionate love affair, which is broken up upon the return of David’s girlfriend’s return from Paris. David finds himself unable to admit the truth and Giovanni’s life descends into tragedy. A story of all of love’s different forms.


Non-Binary Life – Jamie Windust, £12.99

(Buy here)

Giovanni's Room – James Baldwin, £7.99

In Their Shoes: Navigating

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Jamie Windust combines light-hearted anecdotes with their own wisdom from life experiences in this fantastic book. This is the perfect book for anyone who is trying to navigate the world and their evolving identity, as it helps you work out how to do so in any situation. A must-read book for non-binary celebration.

We Are Everywhere – Leighton Brown & Matthew Riemer, £30 (Buy here)

This is an essential history of the fight for queer liberation, brought to you by the curators of Instagram account @lgbt_history. The wellresearched narrative and carefully curated photographs look at the history of queer liberation through the lens of protest, power, and pride.



In his new book, A Voyage Without My Father, Dexter Moscow is seeking to help people who have experienced the death or loss of a parent when they were young. At the age of 10 he was unable to say goodbye to his Dad as children were not allowed into hospital wards in the 1950s. This is a situation which in this age of Covid-19, many have experienced, and due to the pandemic, they have not been able to be there to hold their relative’s hands as they passed. His mission is to highlight the ways it can adversely affect our entire lives when left unprocessed as well as offering strategies for overcoming its debilitating grip. Written for men in particular, he relates his personal experience of growing up without the guiding hand of a loving parent. He explores the ways that trauma negatively impacts people’s lives and relationships and shares the mechanisms that he still uses to put this ever-present spectre to rest. Why men in particular? Because men don’t talk about such things. Here's what Ian Claffey MA Psych and Award Winning International Executive Coach said: "I hope that by reading Dexter’s story it will create clarity, offer consolation and help people realise that those sublimated feelings should be aired. Men need to know that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. The pain we carry with us should be acknowledged. Doing so empowers us. It does not diminish us. Dexter’s father died of coronary thrombosis at a time when stents and statins had yet to be used. This tragic event that had a profound effect on him. The impact of which he still carries with him almost seven decades later. Dexter’s journey of discovery, which is told sometimes with humour, and at other times with poignancy, illustrates that he reached a point in his life where he needed to face his fears,” continued Ian Claffey MA Psych and Award Winning Interna-

tional Executive Coach. “He enables us to realise that we are not alone, and it is OK to show our vulnerability. I hope his book will help others to find the courage to change.” A Voyage Without My Father is for those who have lost and have struggled to come to terms with that loss. It is also for their partners, so they can better understand what their husbands, wives and partners are going through and help them to get through it. His book’s narrative style mirrors that of a disaster movie taking us not from chapter to chapter but from scene to scene. It is told over 7 decades and is not only a personal history but also illustrates social change and attitudes. Firstly, it introduces us to the cast of characters, the family, a period of joy and light. We then experience the disaster itself, the of loss of the parent, and the impact that is had on the lives of the family. Finally, to the denouement of the story, how they came through it, the lessons of life learnt, and the coping strategies adopted to overcome this devastating loss. A Voyage Without My Father is available from 15th June on Amazon, Kindle and soon to be as an audio book. 31


Health & Wellness


LEARNING TO LIVE PROUDLY AS YOUR TRUE SELF Martina Coogan is better known as the Metaphysical Monarch. With over 20 years' experience of teaching ancient lineage healings and tools of power which balance the human energy fields, mental and emotional bodies, she specialises in empowering people to achieve inner peace and opening and developing spirituality. Reach her at her website. When I hear the word Pride the first thought that always comes to my mind is to be so proud of oneself, and when I think of Pride Month this is always my first thought, and I am so proud of all the men and women who stand proudly in who they are as they celebrate their expression of self. We are all so unique and so different and each one of us, while scientifically proven to have a different imprint, we also have a totally different expression, and a totally different journey in life to live and experience. No two people are the same, and while we share many similar qualities and experiences in life, we are indeed totally unique in ourselves and in our unique expression. We are each born into the world and as we breathe our first breaths, our body awakens and the spirit and essence of who we are is given the opportunity to express itself all by itself. Due to this opportunity, we can be so many expressions of our true authentic self and there is no one way for us to be, and thankfully there is no one way that is the right way. It is our innate nature to express itself as we choose in that moment in all areas of our lives. As we live, we are socialised to be certain ways; education, religious beliefs, family systems and cultures all influence us to be who they want us to be or to who they believe we should be. We are made to fit in and told what the acceptable and approved ways are to live, from our jobs to our homes, partners and sexual preferences. We can all too often feel suppressed, depressed and even become anxious when this happens to us as it is taking us away from who we truly are deep within our true essence and spirit. It’s disempowering, it’s exhausting and disheartening, it breaks our spirit and we become disempowered and dethroned.

Many men and women come to me when they are at their lowest moments in life and know that they have to eliminate what is not working in their lives. They come to me to find their true expression and their true path to follow, regardless of what is required or expected of them as the pain on not being true to oneself is too severe. On a personal growth journey, all areas of life are unravelled and most often it is when one finds their true self and gives oneself power and authority to express themselves authentically that they gain personal power and freedom, inner peace and honesty and the sense of knowing oneself most intimately. It is only when we look at ourselves on all levels from within that we can sense that depth of understanding of who we truly are, we can stand proud in who we truly are, and we can have the deepest sense of pleasure and satisfaction in our own skin. In order for each of us to be at peace within ourselves, we must do our own inner work and decondition ourselves so we can truly live as our true selves with joy, peace, fulfilment, and satisfaction, and so we can live as we truly choose with the power and authority to change as one chooses in all areas of life, including sexual expression. Unless we do our own work, we are unable to experience the love of another or the ability to truly express ourselves in a relationship; instead, one hides and blames and shames their partner versus holding their own light for themselves and their partner which is required for the relationship to grow and evolve. The more we personally grow, the better, richer and brighter our lives become and the more purified and at peace we are to live each and every day. If you are interested in evolving your life and growing the unique beautiful being you are, then it would be my privilege to guide you, simply contact me anytime at martinacoogan@outlook.com


Beauty & Fashion


PRIDE IN DIVERSITY Cristina is a Brazilian hairdresser from Rio de Janeiro. She graduated 8 years ago from Adam & Eva Skolen in Oslo, Norway, and is now the salon owner of C² Cris Christensen, specialising in keratine treatments. Cristina won the Best Brazilian Hairdressing Salon in Europe award in 2020. Pride, diversity and inclusion are topics which are very important in day-to-day life. In the month of June, we commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride across the world. Do you know where that acronym stands for, and where it came from? Why June? In June 1969, there was a police invasion in a bar called Stonewall Inn in New York’s East Village. Stonewall Inn was popular with the LGBTQ+ community, and the attack by the police provoked the Stonewall Riots against the bad treatment they had received at the hands of the police. The Pride Flag was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978, when there was the Gay Liberation in San Francisco, California. The original flag had 8 colours; pink represents sexuality, red represents life, orange represents healing, yellow represents sunlight, green represents nature, turquoise represents magic and art, indigo represents harmony and serenity, and violet represents the human spirit. The acronym is representative of all of the gender identities and sexual orientations. The Gay Pride parades take place for reasons which are far beyond just showing that love is love. They represent equality and diversity, and they reject any phobia or hate; the core message of the parades is the inclusion of anyone and everyone, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. It's not news to anyone that even today, at the height of the 21st century, there is still a lot of prejudice in the world. Professional, marital, civil and legal rights are rights that everyone should have with no exceptions. We should respect people’s human rights. The fight for LGBTQ+ equality has been going on for over 50 years. The fight is against the violent and abusive prejudices that the community faces just because they don’t fit into the rules and standards that our society has created. Straight people, gay people, lesbians, allies, bisexuals... whatever group you belong to, the most important thing should be mutual respect. I'm sure at this point you’re asking yourself, but what does this have to do with hair? The answer is a lot of things! Hair


has been a key part of representing diversity and identity throughout the course of world history. And there is no better time than the Pride parades to express ourselves! Colourful wigs, short or long hairstyles, braids which can be made with coloured extensions, lush hairstyles, vibrant colours and lots of shine! There's so much freedom! We can play around with all the options. Don’t forget to think of your look before you decide on the style or colour that you’re going to have your hair. If you’re going to wear clothes with a high collar, make sure to choose a high hairstyle, perhaps a colourful ponytail or a high bun which gives you freedom of movement, especially in June when countries in the northern hemisphere are starting to get warm, and summer arrives in full force in July. If you’re not planning to change your hair with permanent hair dye, you can opt for a coloured spray. There are all sorts of colours as well as glitter sprays that you can buy, and they come out when you wash your hair! Long hair, short hair, Afros, it doesn’t matter what hairstyle you have. All hairstyles can represent identity and battle! The Afro hairstyle, for example, represents Black Power and the history of freedom of expression and fighting for equality. Use your hair to represent your personality and celebrate your identity with pride in diversity. Long live freedom!

Beauty & Fashion


BaByliss PRO Ionic Hot Air Styler You shouldn’t be without this hot air styler! After drying your hair, use this styling brush and your hair will always be ready for any occasion.

BaByliss Turbo Power 2200 Hair Dryer Using ionic technology, this hair dryer dries your hair without making it frizzy, leaving your hair smooth and silky. Several speeds and temperatures are available.

Moroccan Oil Blow-Dry Concentrate Nobody should be without this fantastic product! Use it before you use your styling brush. As well as making your hair silky smooth, this is perfect for hair which is difficult to manage. Enriched with antioxidants and argan oil, this concentrate will leave your hair healthy and with a soft fragrance.

Moroccan Oil Dry Shampoo Light Tones This dry shampoo is perfect for light hair. It removes oiliness and reinvigorates the hair with a fresh look and a nice aroma. Formulated with UV protection. As well as protecting your hair from the sun, it has argan oil in its formula too.

Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo and conditioner, perfect for dry hair. They bring back the softness of your hair and restore the fibres of the hair. I definitely recommend it!


Beauty & Fashion

BY RENATA ARON Renata Aron is 2020’s winner of the Fashion category at the Best of Brazil in Europe Awards. She is the founder of Nothing To Wear Image Consultancy and the NTW app, as well as being on the board of AICI Portugal and having created the Impulse Method.

GENDERLESS FASHION Historically, fashion was not always so guided by gender, but as the centuries went by, the Western wardrobe slowly started to adapt to the roles that men and women had in society. If in the 20th century, women were reclaiming the right to wear certain things, in the 21st century humanity appears to be moving towards a future in which everyone dresses the same. Gender is a cultural construction related to what society expects from women and men. Within that concept there is clothing which is traditionally associated with men and other clothing which is associated with women. But that is starting to change! Fashion has always been a way to show your personality and identity to the world. A lot of the time, we don’t feel represented by the norms imposed upon us by society, but luckily there is a new movement surging among modern fashionistas. Big brands and stylists are beginning to adhere to this new movement of genderless fashion. The genderless movement maintains that people are free to dress however they want and however they feel comfortable, free of the social chains around gender. It's the freedom to wear whatever we want without being targets of judgemental norms. Designers like Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Louis 36

Vuitton, Versace, and even department stores, have all started adopting genderless fashion in their collections. A lot of the time you can’t even tell if catwalk models are men or women anymore, which is exactly the intention: gender should be irrelevant. The change in mindset comes from the younger sections of society, and the support of the fashion industry for genderless fashion is essential for battling the injustices and preconceptions related to sexual and gendered options and identities. Fashion without gender has a social appeal and it reinforces the role of fashion as a social instrument of expression. Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith, is one of the figureheads of the genderless movements, and has formed part of a spectacular campaign for Louis Vuitton. When we go into the actual design of genderless clothing, it’s not just about making oversized clothing in neutral colours. It’s about creating a garment that was created for people, and not for a man or a woman. Genderless fashion is about choosing clothing which makes you happy and which suits you, irrespective of whether it’s a dress, a skirt, a tuxedo or a tie, for example.


Oscars by Denny Silva



Denny Silva is a producer, photojournalist, and PR professional living in the United States. His press credentials are APA/IAPP/ABII/ASI-FENAI/ANI, 914-490-6912, NY-USA.

100 Interns from U.S. and Abroad to Participate in Second Virtual Programme.

Participant, Shout! Factory, Streamland Media, United Talent Agency (UTA) and WarnerMedia.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is proud to announce commitments from 25 partner companies in the fifth year of its Academy Gold Rising programme. Gold Rising, formerly called Academy Gold, is an entertainment industry internship enhancement and mentorship programme for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities. The summer programme will be virtual for the second time, enabling interns to participate from anywhere in the world.

“Over the past five years, the Gold Rising programme has steadily evolved and grown, ushering hundreds of alumni into the start of their careers. We are eternally grateful to our incredible partners who help open doors to a more inclusive field and bring dreams closer to reality for this talented group of young people,” said Academy governor and Education and Outreach Committee chair Wynn P. Thomas. “Along with my fellow members of the Academy, I look forward to meeting and mentoring this new class as they begin their journeys.”

Alongside the Academy, participating partners include AMC Networks, Annapurna Pictures, The Black List, BRON Studios, Circle of Confusion, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), DTS (part of Xperi Corporation), The Walt Disney Company, Dolby Laboratories, Evolve Entertainment Fund (Mayor’s Office), Formosa Group LLC, FotoKem, Fremantle, Illumination Entertainment, Monkeypaw Productions, Moving Picture Institute, NBCUniversal Filmed Entertainment Group, Paradigm Talent Agency, Paramount Pictures,

“During a time with so many unprecedented challenges for artists, filmmakers and young professionals looking to explore their futures, the Gold Rising programme will continue to offer participants meaningful, relevant and hands-on experiences to help them find their way in our industry,” said Academy COO Christine Simmons. “As we continue to push towards equity and inclusion across all aspects of the Academy and greater film community, we’re excited to support new and past Gold Rising interns throughout their ca-


reers and can’t wait to see how they make their mark on the future of filmmaking.” This summer, 100 students (including six interns placed within the Academy and the Academy Museum) from across the United States and abroad will participate in Gold Rising. The eight-week programme, which concludes with a graduation ceremony on August 7, offers participants networking opportunities with Academy members and industry professionals, a variety of panel discussions on every aspect of filmmaking, and career preparation sessions. Each of the partners will sponsor up to three of their interns for the programme, which kicked off on June 16, with a two-day orientation that includes Academy governors, members and other industry speakers, studio and agency panels, virtual tours of the Academy’s Film Archive, Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, and a look into the Oscars® and Scientific and Technical Awards. The programme also has a production track with online technical workshops and masterclasses for students interested in cinematography, costume design, film editing, production design and sound. The 35 participants in this track are from California State University Northridge, Exceptional Minds Academy, Los Angeles Film School, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, New York Film Academy and select local community colleges from the Academy’s Community College Film and Media Arts Consortium. Gold Rising interns will hear from more than 120 panellists and speakers over the course of the program. Highlights include: Social Justice in Film Panellists: Arthur Dong (writer-director), Laura Kim (EVP Marketing, Participant), Dawn Porter (director-producer), Marjan Safinia (director-producer) Moderator: Rosalina Jowers (Senior Manager, Social Impact Communications, Participant) Authentic Storytelling in the LGBTQIA+ Space With GLAAD’s Associate Director of Transgender Representation and documentary film producer Alex Schmider Getting to the Soul of “Soul” Panelists: Matt Aspbury (cinematographer), Pixar Animation Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter (director-writer), Ian Megibben (cinematographer), Kevin Nolting (editor), Kemp Powers (writer-director), MontaQue Ruffin (animator) Moderator: Audrey Cleo Yap (multimedia journalist) Let’s Talk About It: Hollywood and Mental Health Presented by Shaina Gonzales (licensed clinical social

worker and founder of Therapeutic Bridges) Moderator: Dana Richie (filmmaker, producer, and founder of Backlot Productions) Upon completion of the programme, all Gold Rising interns will be paired with an Academy member for an eight-month mentorship. This past year, members from every branch volunteered their time and support to the programme, including such mentors as Khadija Alami, Ruth Carter, Nicolás Celis, Jon M. Chu, R.J. Cutler, Hugh Jackman, Yong Duk Jhun, Meg LeFauve, Tom McCarthy and Virgil Williams. Gold Rising affords top film entertainment, technology, production services and digital media companies an opportunity to recruit and educate a nationwide pool of diverse talent. To date, there are 365 past Gold Rising programme participants. The 2021 class is from 45 universities and is composed of 78% underrepresented racial/ethnic communities, 61% women, 43% LGBTQ+ and 17% with disability. Gold Rising, led by programme directors Bettina Fisher and Niti Shah, is a part of Academy Gold, a global talent development and inclusion initiative that provides creative individuals of diverse backgrounds with access and resources toward achieving their career pathways in filmmaking. Programs under the Academy Gold umbrella also include Gold Fellowship for Women, the Student Academy Awards, and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. All past participants and award recipients of these programmes become a part of the Gold Alumni Programme, which provides networking opportunities, access and career advancement services and offers affinity groups for Black and African American, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+ and women alumni to network with others who share similar identities, backgrounds and experiences. The program also tracks participants’ career progression and successes through a database, offering a diverse talent pipeline for the industry. Academy Gold Rising is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Walt Disney Company, Gucci Changemakers, and the Ruderman Family Foundation. The Academy Gold Rising Production Track is made possible in part by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund. Other funding is provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Critics Choice Association in honour of Chadwick Boseman, and Leon Silverman. For more information about the Gold Rising programme, visit https://www.oscars.org/gold-rising. For more information about Academy Gold, visit https://www.oscars.org/academy-gold/about-gold and follow on Instagram (@AcademyGold), Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Oscars by Denny Silva


Denny Silva is a producer, photojournalist, and PR professional living in the United States. His press credentials are APA/IAPP/ABII/ASI-FENAI/ANI, 914-490-6912, NY-USA.

ACADEMY NAMES SHAWN FINNIE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBER RELATIONS AND AWARDS The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has promoted Shawn Finnie to Executive Vice President, Member Relations and Awards, Academy COO Christine Simmons announced today. Finnie will report directly to Simmons. Finnie will lead engagement and outreach initiatives for the organisation’s global membership of more than 10,000 artists, filmmakers and executives and will oversee Academy Awards® processes for submissions, rules and voting. He will lead a team of more than 20 staff and work closely with the Academy’s Office of Representation, Inclusion and Equity and the Branch Executive Committees on member representation and inclusion efforts. “Shawn is a unique and innovative leader. He brings to this position the collaborative, solution-oriented and engaging style that has driven results throughout his time at the Academy,” said Simmons. “His efforts to foster greater representation and connectivity among the glo-


bal membership, expand how we serve our members and strengthen relationships within the greater film community have been and will continue to be invaluable to the organization and the industry as a whole.” An Academy staff member for the past eight years, Finnie most recently held the position of Senior Director, Member Relations and Awards. In this role, he was responsible for member outreach and engagement, industry relations and amplifying the Academy’s initiatives in representation and inclusion. He oversaw branch committees and membership initiatives for Actors, Casting Directors, Marketing and Public Relations, Artists’ Representatives and Associates. Finnie played a key role in such events as the Governors Awards and the Academy Women’s Luncheon and led efforts to deliver a personal and seamless experience for each Oscar® nominee. Last summer, as part of the Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, he also helped launch “Academy Dialogues: It Starts with Us,” a conversation series focused on race, ethnicity, gender, history, opportunity and the art of filmmaking.


Culture & Society


10 LGBTQ+ PEOPLE FROM HISTORY Marsha P. Johnson, 1945-1992 Marsha P. Johnson was an African American gay man, drag queen and trans rights activist who played a big role in important events in LGBTQ+ history, including the Stonewall protests. Marsha and her good friend Sylvia Rivera founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) to support gay and trans individuals who had been made homeless, often after being kicked out of their family homes. In 1992, Marsha went missing, with her body being found six days later. The death was ruled a suicide, but those who knew her contested this, given that attacks on gay and trans people were common at the time. The case was reopened in 2012, and the cause of death was changed to unidentified.

Sylvia Rivera, 1951-2002 Sylvia Rivera was a Latina American gay man, drag queen and trans rights activist who later in life considered herself transgender, and who, alongside Marsha P. Johnson, played a huge role in LGBTQ+ history. She too participated in the Stonewall protests, as well as working with Marsha to found STAR, an organisation which supported gay and 42

trans people who had become homeless. In honour of her activism in the gay and trans community, The Sylvia Rivera Law Project was established in 2002, an organisation which provides access to legal aid for LGBTQ+ people, as well as teaching leadership and advocacy skills. She also established the Gay Liberation Front around the time of the Stonewall protests.

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, 1825-1895 Karl Heinrich Ulrichs displayed what he later called signs of queerness from a young age. He gravitated towards clothing and activities which were deemed feminine by wider society, and it was this which informed his discussion of queerness and how it is exhibited in men. At the time, queerness and paedophilia were viewed as being largely the same thing; an experience of sexual abuse by his riding instructor aged fourteen is thought to be a driving factor in his overwhelming desire to separate the two from one another. In 1857 he was dismissed from his job for his self-awareness of his sexuality, but he did not let this stop him from being comfortable in his identity and sharing this with his family. As he continued to write and self-exa-

mine, he concluded that love between two men was natural, a pioneering thought at the time. In 1867, he became the first queer person to publicly speak in defence of his queerness.

Lesbian Documentation and Historical Archives Center (CDAHL) was named in her honour.

Bayard Rustin, 1912-1987

Simon Nkoli was a gay activist and anti-apartheid leader from South Africa. He lived openly as a gay man, and his tireless anti-apartheid work helped to shift the anti-gay opinions of many of those within the anti-apartheid movement. He came out aged 20 to his family, who took him to priests, traditional healers and psychiatrists in an effort to change his sexuality. Aged 19 he met Roy Shepard, a white bus driver who became his lifelong partner. Shepard’s family had accepted his sexuality, but the discovery he was dating a black man was something they did not want to accept. The two vowed to commit suicide if they could not be together, which was when Nkoli’s mother finally came to accept her son’s sexuality. Nkoli was detained during a protest in 1984, and whilst in prison he taught his fellow prisoners that nobody should be discriminated against. He was later released and acquitted. In 1988, he founded the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) which was anti-apartheid and strongly political. In 1990, he and a fellow GLOW member organised South Africa’s first Pride parade. The same year he helped found the Township AIDS Project, seeking to educate gay people about the disease. Nkoli died due to HIV-related illnesses in 1998, and was buried with a Pride flag draped over his coffin.

Bayard Rustin was an American civil rights activist who was an advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. and who was the main organiser of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin was a gay man, and in 1953, he was arrested after being discovered having sex with a man. His sexual orientation led to him taking on a less public role in the civil rights movement, and as such his significant contributions are often ignored. In the 1980s, Rustin became involved in the gay rights movement. In 2013, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 2020 he was pardoned for his 1953 conviction.

Nancy Cárdenas, 1934-1994 Nancy Cárdenas was a journalist, playwright, stage director and radio host who became the first lesbian public figure to come out in Mexico. She came out as lesbian in a 1969 television interview, marking a historic moment for queer people in the country. She also became a pioneer of the queer liberation movement in Mexico, and in 1974 she founded the Gay Liberation Front (FLH), which was the first LGBTQ+ organisation in Mexico. In 1978 she chaired the country’s first Pride parade. The Nancy Cárdenas Latin American and Mexican

Simon Nkoli, 1957-1998


volunteering for underground gay organisations. Aged 19 he founded the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organisation (PGLO), which had to be officially registered in Norway as it wouldn’t be recognised in Iran, and he networked with doctors to provide HIV testing. The laws against homosexuality in Iran forced Parsi to keep his work secret from family and friends, until in March 2005 he realised the police were looking for him, and he fled to Turkey, where he stayed for 13 months before moving to Canada. In 2006 he founded the Iranian Queer Organisation (IRQO) in Toronto, later leaving to found the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees in Toronto in 2008, where he works on queer asylum cases.

Gilbert Baker, 1951-2017

Ifti Nasim, 1946-2011 Ifti Nasim was a gay Pakistani American poet. As a teenager growing up in Pakistan, he felt isolated and ostracised and was unable to live openly as a gay man. Aged 21 he moved to the United States to escape persecution for his sexual orientation. He eventually became nationalised as an American citizen. He established Sangat, an organisation which supported LGBTQ+ South Asian youths, before reaching international fame for the publication of the poetry collection Narman. Narman is a word which means half man, half woman in Persian. It was met with widespread controversy in Pakistan and was distributed underground. Despite the controversy, he inspired a younger generation to write honest poetry, which later became known as narmani poetry.

Arsham Parsi, 1981-present Arsham Parsi is a gay Iranian LGBTQ+ human rights activist who is living in exile in Canada. After having felt isolated growing up in Iran, Arsham found solace on the internet aged 15, and began 46

Gilbert Baker was an American artist, gay rights activist, and the creator of the rainbow Pride flag which is now symbolic of LGBTQ+ communities the world over. During his time in the U.S. Army, he lived as an openly gay man. Upon leaving the military, he learnt to sew, a skill which he then used to create banners for gay rights and anti-war protest marches. He was also a member of the gay drag activist group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. In 1978 he created the Rainbow Flag with a collective, and in 1994 for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots he created the world’s largest flag at that time. In 2003, to commemorate the Rainbow Flag’s 25th anniversary, he created a Rainbow Flag that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean in Key West. He then sent sections of this flag to more than 100 cities worldwide.

Munroe Bergdorf, 1987-present Munroe Bergdorf is a transgender English model and activist. She has walked for many major fashion brands at London and NYC’s Fashion Weeks and was also the first transgender model in the UK for L’Oréal, although she was later dropped after a racial row. Bergdorf campaigns tirelessly for transgender rights, and has held positions including LGBT advisor to the Labour Party, the face of Illamasqua’s Beauty Spotlight campaign which concerned gender fluidity, and most recently, she was appointed to L’Oréal’s UK Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, which was set up after Bergdorf called them out on Instagram during the worldwide BLM protests when they posted about standing in solidarity with the black community, as she noted that they had never apologised to her for her dismissal from the company a few years prior.


Culture & Society


A DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER AND CHIPS CHANGED MY LIFE Entrepreneur Pierre Coombes is considered a leading authority in Sales & Marketing. He recently featured in BBC One’s show ‘Call That Hard Work?’, where he showed what it’s like to spend a day as a Telesales person in his award-winning B2B lead generation agency Big Wolf Marketing.

There’s a famous adage that reads along the lines of ‘success comes from overcoming challenges’, and I think it's so true. Oddly in life sometimes the greatest challenges are hardship, insecurity and close mindedness. The biggest obstacles in the way of our own success are simply ourselves and the way we think.

fine of course to like what you like, but if you never think outside the box, if you never take the door to the outside, you will always be defined by the confinement of the box you put yourself in. My friend would reply to me when I suggested a Chinese or Indian meal, ‘I wouldn’t like it’. ‘How do you know, when you’ve never tried?’ I would ask.

We’ve all known people who ‘like what they like’, perhaps that's you? Someone who, for example, only eats certain foods, shops at certain places, never travels to new places but simply sticks to being safe. Sometimes easy options give us a sense of safety because ‘they have always been the way’, we are hardwired to not be adventurous and stick to what we grew up on or with.

This illustrates more than food choices; when it comes to life, for example, many people fear going outside their comfort zone. They may stick to having friends in one social group, not wanting to associate with people they may wrongly feel are below them, because of what difference, a difference in the amount of paper we call money. For others it may be age, they may reduce people over 70 to a box in their mind labelled ‘old’ and not take them seriously.

A friend of mine from school would only ever eat ‘English meals’, e.g., roast dinner, sausage and chips, English breakfast and so on. When it came to suggesting an Indian takeaway, it simply wasn’t in his comfort zone. I would often try with friendly jest to remind him of the century we lived in. It's 48

This is one mindset I overcame as a young man. After I left school and made many young mistakes, I felt unable to communicate these with my peers due to fear of judgement, and so I would find myself

a walking mine of questions. One day, of all places, I was in Burger King, and having bought a meal and sat down to eat it, I saw an elderly gentleman walk in with a cane. The gentleman struggled as his somewhat frail arms reached for his pocket and as he brought out his little purse of coins his finger shook as he slowly and carefully counted the coins to buy himself a burger. I looked on, saddened by this, thinking how age was cruel and pondering the life questions that we all at some point ponder.

from inner insecurities. Whatever the reason and to whomever it is aimed at, it is important to work on ourselves to eradicate it, because the only thing hate consumes is ourselves.

The cashier carelessly threw his tray on the counter and foreseeing the challenge, I left my seat and asked if I could help him with his tray. He nodded and whispered, ‘thank you’. He then asked whether perhaps he might sit with me and eat together. I agreed, my young ‘over concerned about how I looked’ ego out the window. And for the next hour, he changed my life in some small way, by changing my viewpoint and challenging my perceptions. He told me how he had recently lost his wife a few years back, and how she was his everything and how he wasn’t even all that keen on hamburgers, but they were her favourite and ever since he would, despite the growing pain of arthritis, make the journey into town to enjoy a memory in his mind.

As an entrepreneur I see this hugely relates to business also; if you live within comfort zones, if you build prejudices, you set limits for yourself. If you dare to think differently, to explore opportunity with a focused and wise mind, you can achieve great things. No great individual ever got to where they are by simply taking the safe road. Quite the opposite, the greatest innovators, leaders, money makers, educators, they all push and cause friction in the direction of positivity, often they go up against difficulty to bring about change.

It brings me to tears writing this, how powerful that was to me and what it taught me, multiple lessons in one. Over the course of the hour, he told me about his life, asked me about mine and gave me countless pieces of advice, not condescendingly, just with the pure compassion only many years could bring.

If you choose to step outside of the box of hate and see the world and all the differences in it as something to explore. You will soon see the beauty in culture, in difference, you realise how monotone your vision has been all this time.

With all this in mind, I challenge you to have the inner talk with yourself, realise your weaknesses, your pre-set ways of thinking and challenge yourself to have a different viewpoint. Wherever you are, whatever you do, it might just change your life and you may change others and that might just change the world.

What he had done that day, is change the way I thought of old people; it made me look up to them with their experience and knowledge, and also made me grateful for the aging members of my family and their feelings and life stories. I’ve been very fortunate to have met some great people in my life like this. I was also welcomed into the home of an acquaintance, a barber who wanted me to feast with him and his family after dark on Ramadan, and this experience gave me insight and I was very thankful. It was amazing of him to do this, on such a personal level, with the only aim being to show his friendship and give me understanding. Of course, difference goes far deeper than just age and religion. We have a huge problem with the likes of racism, homophobia, and other such issues, and while we live in a modern time, and while we may well be moving in the right direction, there is so much more that need to be done by way of awareness. Hate tends to come from two places: firstly, it comes from uneducated naivety and secondly, it comes from jealousy which usually grows like a bacterium 49

Culture & Society


THE INCOMPLETE, SINGLE STORY Wanja is an avid reader and writer who lives in Nairobi. She’s a PR Assistant and Blogger at GuidedPR. She holds a Bachelors in Mass Communication from JKUAT and has worked in print media and in academia. When she's not researching current affairs, you'll find her on social media, keeping up with what's hot! “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” I recently came across this quote on an Instagram post and it’s been vexing my mind, particularly given the diversity and inclusion focus of this month’s issue. Could it be that the reason inclusion is still a hot button issue today is because we’ve neglected to be kind, and must have rules and policies dictating how we behave, relate and talk to each other in different social, political and economic spaces? For instance, in my country, many women are terrified of vying for political seats. I mean, the rough and tumble characteristic of the campaigns is outrageous especially given that insults and labels thrust upon the female aspirants by their male counterparts and majority of the electorate is often part of the package of running for public office. In many cases, such women are labelled loose, unmarriable, manly and disrespectful; never mind that some of them are very good daughters, friends, wives and mothers. Their stories, facts and real background in most cases are clouded by the rumours, online trolling and propaganda that are common in our issue-deficient, yet narrative-led political discourse. It’s amazing how people are experts in judging others. How we conjure up opinions about lives we’ve not lived; places we’ve not been; and it’s always funny until we’re the ones on the receiving end. When trolling others online and taking the low road on issues affecting other people’s lives, we’re really just exercising freedom of speech until we become the subject of discussion or people close to us and then all of a

sudden, we become advocates for people to mind their own business; to live and let live. Maybe next time, before engaging in public discourse where people’s personal lives are concerned, we should have at the fore of our minds that the more than 7 billion people in the world are unique and deserve dignity, regardless of the fodder of discussion about them in the public domain. More importantly, is that their lives are made up of many stories, both negative and positive; happy and sad; adventurous and unexciting; bold and cowardly; good and bad, all of which we’re not privy to. Nobody’s life should be reduced to a single photo, a single post, a single tweet, a single story! On the TedTalk website is a list of the 25 most popular talks of all time. On this list is my all-time favourite talk by accomplished author and storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, with over twenty-seven million views. It is called “The danger of a single story.” In her speech, she candidly describes different instances in her life when she was exposed to only one story about certain people and places and how that created a distorted perception of her reality with regards to these subjects. Knowing just one story about these subjects left her to fill in the other parts with assumptions, extrapolations and generalisations, never facts. I don’t blame her. I have been there myself and I know you probably have too. We’ve all likely fallen to the trap of pre-analysing and trying to understand people we’ve never met or interacted with through stereotyping. Is going out of our way to research beyond the predominant narrative about them really that difficult? Chimamanda aptly hammers the crux of her talk when she says, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they’re untrue, but that they’re incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” When the story of your life is discussed, would you rather a lopsided judgement based on this one time you messed things up or didn’t live up to society’s expectations; just one story in the anthology of stories that are your life or would you rather people were kind, because they knew nothing about all the other stories where you in fact are the hero, not the villain?



Culture & Society


HOW CLOTHING CAN PRESERVE OUR CULTURE Ragne Sinikas is the Founder of World Women Conference & Awards, which is is the foremost international gathering of women leaders designed for women to share their opportunities and experiences in a number of areas. She is also the Founder of Starpreneurs TV, a digital marketing platform, as well as being a speaker and award-winning podcast host. Our current social paradigm promotes the value “novo philia” - the love of something because it is new – to an unimaginable extreme. Within such a society, we cannot change behaviour without first changing our values and perception. It is time to start talking about those values – those we should be putting first, not those that rule the market, but values that help us discern what is truly important for us and for our planet’s future.

As fast as we are losing traditional cultures, we are also becoming disconnected with our past and what we aspire to as human beings. The Ethnic Indian Tribes don’t need to hunt for their food, sew their clothing or sing their tribal songs to teach the next generation about their culture. They can buy their clothes, order their food from any online store, let the iPad babysit and teach their kids.

Today, the fashion industry is one of the worst global polluters, second only to the oil and gas industry. Many brands manufacture cheap, throw-away fashion that isn't designed to last for more than a season; others use fabrics manufactured exclusively from non-renewable, petroleum-based products that wear out quickly but won’t biodegrade for centuries. Still others employ cost-cutting manufacturers who outsource production to sweatshops with awful working conditions and poverty-level wages. In a perfect world, we could provide the highest quality natural fabrics, milled ethically, sourced responsibly, and still compete with the cut-rate competition for low prices. But the reality is that ethical branding comes with many trade-offs and requires big perspective shifts.

Let's be honest here, this is a tremendous loss to the world. Nobody can deny that we all love the cultural diversity and unique beauty in each time-honoured tradition around the world. Our stories and fairy tales are filled with it. It is heart-breaking to see the loss of that. According to Wikipedia, “Cultural universals are found in all human societies; these include expressive forms like art, music, dance, ritual, religion, and technologies like tool usage, cooking, shelter, and clothing.” The clothing we wear preserves culture and diversity. The clothing we wear simultaneously connects us with community and identity. What we choose to wear has impacts deep within the psyche and as far reaching as the communities we are a part of. And every single day we make a choice what this will be.

Today, more people are aware of the crafts, artisans, and the imperative to revive, sustain and nurture them. As the demand for sustainable, contemporary fashion increases, we must ensure both the authenticity of crafts and the empowerment of rural artisans. Creating designs that are global but at the same time embracing their roots should be the way of interpreting contemporary fashion. Reimagining the craft by synergising modern designs with ancient handcrafts should be the contribution to an enhanced awareness about the ethnic nations and the craft history. We as a community need to promote sustainable ethical fashion. Harnessing the talents of rural women also empowers their families and communities. I see those talented women as custodians and transmitters of traditional knowledge, designs and manufacturing techniques. Their craft tells a powerful story.

I came across a beautiful concept by Kusuma Sparks (a fashion designer and environmentalist who fought the urge to create beautiful things with textiles) about the considerations we make when faced with ‘What to wear?’. Those are emotional (what we want to communicate), psychological (self-image and self-esteem), physical (the laundering requirements, etc.) and moral (How we feel wearing this garment impacts others adversely or positively. Alignment with personal ethics of manufacturing and conduct, etc.) considerations.

Preservation of culture — cultural sustainability — is perceived as the ‘luxury pillar’ of the sustainability movement. Cultural sustainability is defined as the preservation of culture — beliefs, practices, and heritage among other aspects. “What happens to culture when we are done dealing with the more pressing sustainability issues? What if there is no culture left to preserve?”

What is worn should reflect and convey a truthful essence of what is inside. Beauty and happiness do come from within. And yet, we all wear clothing. Across every culture in place and time, humans have adorned themselves distinctly, artfully and often, lavishly. Why? Clothing is part of what makes us human.


With every choice, there are very private and personal impacts as well as social impacts. For example: how will others perceive us? How will we be treated? Will I feel safe?


5 Gifts for Your LGBTQ + Family & Friends by Lola Sherwin

Love Wins Rainbow Mug, £10.90 (Buy here)

This mug is a beautiful way of showing your support for the LGBTQ+ people in your life. It would also be a fab gift to buy yourself to demonstrate your allyship for the LGBTQ+ community – being an ally is important! Show your support with this cute mug.

The Official Pride Gin, £29.99 (Buy here)

This Pride Month, why not help your LGBTQ+ friends and family celebrate with a bottle of the official Pride gin? What better way is there to celebrate Pride than with Pride gin? Get the party started with this gin made from the finest botanicals.

LGBT Pride Rainbow Bracelet, £5.99 (Buy here)

Give your LGBTQ+ friends or family members this lovely little rainbow bracelet as a way for them to show their pride in who they are to the world. It's a great choice for younger relatives or friends who are LGBTQ+, so why not get them this as a token of your support for them?

Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement, Transgender Pride Dangle Earrings, £4.85

Matthew Todd, £30

(Buy here)

(Buy here)

These transgender pride dangle earrings are a great little gift for any transgender people in your life. Perfect as a stocking filler or a little gift for Pride, these earrings are a fab way of helping your friends show their pride in being trans.

This book is a great gift for anyone who wants to learn more about the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. It documents the milestones in the history of the LGBTQ+ equality movement, and is a unique celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, with essays by key LGBTQ+ figures.









5 Great Gadgets You Need to Buy

by Lola Sherwin

Apple Watch Series 6, £509 (Buy here)

Everyone needs a smartwatch, right? Apple's are some of the best out there, especially if you are an iPhone user, as the integration between the two is seamless. The Series 6 is fantastic, with GPS and cellular integration, as well as measuring your blood oxygen, daily activity and much more. The perfect gift!

ColourJets USB Dancing Fountain Speakers, £27.80 (Buy here)

These fabulous dancing water speakers will dance to the beat of the music they are playing – it doesn’t get much cooler than that, surely! The rainbow LED display will brighten up any party, and the sound quality on these speakers is also excellent, which is what you want!

MURLIEN Massage Roller Ball, £6.99 (Buy here)

This massage ball is fantastic to buy your partner as a way to help them destress and relax. This massage ball works on several different points of the body, from feet to back to shoulders, so it’s a great little gift to help relieve the stress of the day.

Stainless Steel Beer Bottle Cap Opener, £6.49 (Buy here)

PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless

This automatic beer bottle cap opener is a fantastic little gift for a partner who loves a cheeky beer. It makes opening beer bottles easier than ever before, and anyone who receives it will be certain to thank you for making their life that little bit easier!

Controller, £60.15 (Buy here)

If you or your partner are one of the lucky few that got their hands on a PlayStation 5, then you’ll know the importance of having the right accessories. This controller includes a built-in microphone and more, allowing you to discover a more immersive gaming experience.



5 Must-Have Pieces of Furniture

by Lola Sherwin

Cream Faux Leather Dining Chairs, £95.99 (Buy here)

These stylish dining chairs are the perfect addition to any home. They are simple and neutral, meaning they will fit in anywhere. They are comfy, with extra-thick padded seats and perfectly angled designs to sit comfortably and relax.

Ergonomic Computer Chair, £65.99 (Buy here)

Absolutely everyone who spends any time sitting at a desk should have a chair like this one, and the best part about this one is that it’s reasonably priced! It's also comfy, durable and breathable, meaning your home office is about to level up.

Industrial Bedside Table Lamp, £24.99 (Buy here)

In keeping with the largely industrial theme of this list, this bedside table lamp is a great way of completing the look. The industrial style is designed to suit a modern industrial décor, and the naked bulb style allows for maximum lighting potential.

Industrial Coffee Table with Metal Mesh Shelf, Set of 2 Side Tables, £49.99


(Buy here)

(Buy here)

These modern and industrial side tables will add a cool edge to any living room. The round tops and geometric bases will catch everyone’s eye, and you can be sure that people will be wanting to know where you got these gorgeous tables from!

This is a great table to match your new industrial side tables! The wooden design is stylish and eye-catching, and the metal mesh shelf underneath expands the usable space on the table, making it even more practical. The perfect industrial-style table.





PRIDE IN YOUR WORKPLACE Naeem Arif is a Director of United Carpets and the founder of NA Consulting, a Retail & Hospitality Consultancy in Birmingham. He is the Chair of the Midlands Retail & Hospitality Forum, a Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Forbes Business Council. Naeem is the author of several best-selling books including ‘Customer First’ and ‘Customer Experience’. A key element in the success of many businesses is how your employees behave and operate. We all know people who treat work simply as a job, but as a business owner I am always on the look-out for employees who go beyond this. I want employees who show passion and pride in what they are doing, because this will always lead to a happier customer. For me, it is about the culture of your workplace. Culture is the lifeblood of top performing companies. If you want to get your employees to take more pride in their work and treat it more than just a job, I would recommend creating a culture of RTR. Let me explain this acronym in more detail. It starts with Respect. If you can show respect to your team in terms of their contribution and their opinions, it will encourage an environment of mutual respect. Staff do not want to just be a number; they want more than just money for their time. In an environment of mutual respect, you find better team cohesion and a better chance of higher levels of performance. Team members care about each other, they support each other, and they ulti-


mately work for each other. Once you have respect, you should next work on Trust. Old fashioned rituals where managers were ‘bean counters’ with clipboards measuring attendance and output should be replaced with delegated responsibility where employees are able to take responsibility for how they deliver their work. If your team want to be measured on their results and not their method, give them the chance to show you. Thirdly, Recognise your team’s contribution to the overall performance of the company. Sometimes I see staff being called out for poor performance, but not acknowledged for good performance. Remember to give credit for good performance and also celebrate the individual achievements of your team. As a business owner, I want more sales and more profit. I am reliant on my staff to help me continue to grow both of these; I cannot do it on my own. I am huge fan of creating an RTR culture, where my team can perform well and succeed together. I believe all business owners should try this approach in order to have a successful business!

Marketing & Branding


CAPTURING THE SPIRIT OF PRIDE Sahar is a video editor who studied in Lebanon, and now has over 4 years' experience. Her clients include SME businesses, influencers, fitness gurus, and many more. With over 1 million views across YouTube and social media, Sahar helps clients grow their social presence and stand out in a competitive market. June is, of course, Pride Month, so it is fitting that I started the month in Brighton, England, a place where the Pride flag is present all year round along with a constant festival feeling. As with most things, Pride celebrations will have to be more subdued this year - the big festivals and parties of years gone by will be put on hold, however the spirit and support for members of the LGBTQ+ community has never been stronger. Over the past 5 to 10 years, consumers have increasingly expected businesses not only to deliver the things they want to buy, but also to align with their ethos, and celebrating Pride is the perfect opportunity to show your viewers that you support equality and happiness in all its forms.

Capturing the party spirit of Pride When someone says Pride, the first thing that comes to mind is often the festivals and parades - think of Britney Spears playing at Brighton Pride in 2018, or the famous festivities that take place in San Francisco every year. This party atmosphere is a great way of showing that your business celebrates those in the LGBTQ+ community, whether as a member, or as an ally. Bright colours with quick cuts and upbeat dance music, accompa-

nied with shots of people dancing, couples kissing, and everyone just generally having a good time.

The other side of Pride Of course, there is more to Pride than just parties and festivals. The reality is that most members of the LGBTQ+ community will have faced discrimination and difficulties in their lives. Increasingly space is being given to voices in the community who are speaking out about their experiences. Perhaps this is a route that you feel would better connect with your audience. From an editing point of view, some of the techniques used in Channel 4’s It’s a Sin act as a perfect example. Music associated with the LGBTQ+ scene can be reworked into poignant moments, or there can be nothing but silence, enabling the words to speak for themselves. Dimmed colours may give a stark backdrop to the story, whilst bright tones can usher in optimism.

Ultimate spirit of Pride Ultimately, the spirit of Pride is about togetherness, with everyone coming together to celebrate who they are and the journey they have been on. If you can make your viewers finish your video with that feeling, then you can build a strong connection with your brand and the ethos that you want to support.


Marketing & Branding


DIVERSITY AND REVOLUTION IN DESIGN Nicole is a senior graphic designer and the “boss lady” of Green House Media. She is based in South Africa, but has worked with businesses across the world. Nicole is passionate about animal welfare, and her dream job is using graphic design to help animal charities to promote the work they are doing. From 2020 to 2021, the trends in design have changed to include the challenges we all faced during the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are changes for all, not just for a specific group or belief or culture, but to inspire all. The struggles and achievements you have experienced are beneficial for any graphic designer. The way you design is like your unique thumbprint, the only labels in design are what type of designer you are now, and there are at least eleven types of categories you can fall into. In the past, designers could only fall into limited areas, which where animation in 2D and 3D, graphic design (mostly for printing), web designing (who was assumed to be a web developer, too), and artist. With the smartphone revolution, social media, Internet, design software, augmented realities and so much more have come into play. Graphic designers have evolved dramatically and have become the most important investment to a company and their brand. If you do not put time, effort and even money into your branding, it may result in an unsuccessful business. The design is what will set you apart from your competition and will help you garner the desired emotion or feeling from customers. Most people feel they can do their design themselves or they say they do not have the money for a designer. Your logo and brand are the first things your prospective clients and custo-


mers see, so a proper design is an important investment for your company. Good design is about so much more than simply creating a good-looking product. It is about creating a positive experience for users at every touch point and with every interaction. Design influences what we think, the way we feel, and the decisions we make. When design is exceptionally well done, good design is virtually invisible. Designers from all over the world are stepping up to the plate to contribute their talents for the betterment of their community. We have seen this in the rise in creative hand-lettering which delivers messages of unity, responsibility, and advice. It comes in the form of protest art. It comes in illustrations that personalise mask-wearing. Whether through charity work or personal design projects, 2021 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for design to get involved in. This year, designers are less concerned with traditional borders. 2021’s graphic design trends are putting people first. Each year graphic design trends always bring chance with them, and it is the designers who will determine whether that is for better or worse. As a designer and with my art background, I always say that the more unique you are, the better you will rise and stand out, so don’t hide, there are no judgements in the design world.


Film & TV

FILMS AND TV SHOWS CENTRED AROUND THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY BY LOLA SHERWIN It's a Sin, Channel 4 It's a Sin was released in 2021 by Channel 4, and it is one of the most fantastic series I've ever watched. The show follows a group of young gay men in London in 1981, and how their lives become challenged by the devastating illness that is HIV/AIDS. It is a five-part series, and every episode, without fail, is likely to bring you to tears. As well as having completely heart-breaking moments, the series has moments of real hope and friendship and love, making it uplifting as well as devastating. A truly incredible show. Pose, Netflix Pose started in 2018 on Netflix, documenting New York City’s African American and Latino LGBTQ+ drag ball culture scene in the 1980s and early 1990s. LGBTQ ball fixture Blanca starts her own house, soon becoming mother to a gifted dancer and a sex worker who is in love with a yuppie client. The ballroom culture provides the LGBTQ+ community with an escape from the violence and prejudices that many of them faced in their daily lives, providing them with support and family where some of them had nobody else. Paris is Burning, Prime Video Paris is Burning is an iconic documentary from 1990, focused on drag queens living in New York at the time


and their “house” culture. The “house” culture gave these gorgeous and flamboyant drag queens a community and support in a time where they were shunned by parts of society. The documentary touches on the issues of race and poverty, whilst also giving insight into the extravagant balls, voguing and ambition of the drag scene in 1990s New York. Queer Eye, Netflix Netflix’s Queer Eye is a reboot of the original series, with a new Fab Five who are just as fabulous and just as fun as the originals. The five style experts forge relationships with people who have different world views and beliefs from their own, allowing for moments of social commentary interspersed with fabulous style advice. It's fun, emotional and endearing, and is a show which will be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, Netflix The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson documents the life and death of the famous gay rights and trans rights activist, Marsha P. Johnson. In the documentary, activist Victoria Cruz probes into the suspicious circumstances surrounding Marsha’s death, which was ruled a suicide but was contested by those who knew her in life. The investigation serves as the framework for a sobering look into the ongoing battle for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.


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