Here at Beehive we recognised that in previous years as part of The Nottingham we had not done enough to celebrate or educate our teams about Pride and this year we have made a change and are excited to learn much more about the LGBTQ+ community, the members of that community that sit within our own teams and how we can support and help to raise up this community. Our internal teams including our CEO Sue Hayes have shared their personal stories internally about being connected to the LGBTQ+ community,. We've lit our head office up in rainbow lights, made significant progress with our team members being able to add pronouns to their email signatures and are running a bake sale with all proceeds going to Mermaids.
We caught up with transgender activist, ambassador and speaker Scarlet Marie all about her journey coming out, firstly as a gay man and then a transgender woman in the corporate world and why we need Pride. Scarlet kindly worked with us to provide a virtual 'Cuppa Tea with Scarlet Marie' session to tell our teams all about what Pride means to her and how to be an amazing ally. We have also donated £1,000 to Scarlet's charity of choice - NSPCC due to a percentage of children needing the charity due to being disowned or outcast by their own families or guardians when they've come out.
Let's hear more from her... "Hi I’m Scarlet, an Activist / Transgender Ambassador / Blogger / Spokesperson / Public Speaker and I’ve been working with Beehive Money this Pride Month to answer some questions all around Pride!"
Beehive: "Why is Pride so important to you and the LGBTQ+ community?"
Scarlet Marie: "Pride is so important to myself and the LGBTQ+ community because it is still so needed. Awareness is needed, equality is needed. We are closer than we ever have been before but without Pride we wouldn't have made the progress we have with equality, for example, there might not be gay or lesbian marriages. We would possibly still be classed as a minority. Whereas marches, Pride events and celebrations around the world help us celebrate who we are as individuals."
Beehive: "Why does Pride happen each year?"
Scarlet Marie: "Pride happens each year to let people know that things aren't getting easier. Pride month is still needed. Until we get equal rights we will march and we will not stop."
Beehive: "Where are some resources where we can learn more about the LGBTQ+ community?"
Scarlet Marie: "The Stonewall website - Stonewall is the original place of knowledge for the LGBTQ+ community. There are also websites and charities such as Mermaids and Rainbow Mind. There are resources all over Instagram and Facebook, too."
Scarlet - before and after her transition.
Beehive: "Can you tell us one of the biggest things you’re fighting for as a transgender ambassador?"
Scarlet Marie: "As a transgender ambassador I'm fighting to live freely, authentically, without having to apologise or make excuses for who I am. I just want to walk the streets and be happy knowing that I'm not in danger of persecution and discrimination."
Beehive: "Have you felt prejudice in your career throughout your journey?"
Scarlet Marie: "Massively. Prejudice towards women in general is something that is still being fought over. When it comes to prejudice towards trans women, many people believe my voice shouldn't be heard as much as other women until they have equal rights. But, unless we're fighting for everyone there's no point."
Beehive: "What’s your favourite thing about being a transgender woman?"
Scarlet Marie: "Being different and celebrating it. Being transgender there are not many people like us and we are superheroes, we are able to don our capes and own who we are, celebrating authentically."
Beehive: "Thank you so much Scarlet for sharing your experiences and knowledge with us!"
If you'd like to know more about the LGBTQ+ community or receive support for your personal journey, head to the resources that Scarlet has recommended above. Stonewall, Rainbow Minds, Mermaids and the NSPCC if you are under the age of 18. Happy Pride everyone!