PRIDE MONTH IS IN FULL FLOW...

We have been incredibly lucky this month to be joined by Rikki Beadle Blair for a bunch of talks and incredible LGBTQ+, diversity and self-acceptance workshops in the workplace. If you don't know who Rikki is, firstly you should! But if not then you can get to know more here.

One of Rikki's workshops for us has been 'Here, There, Everywhere - The LGBTQ+ History of the World', in which Rikki showcases just how much of our culture and society has been influenced and shaped by the LGBTQ+ community. But we wanted to scratch a little deeper, so we found some time to ask Rikki a few more questions. Enjoy!

LET'S TAKE IT BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...

Plato's Symposium, where Rikki begins his history lesson. Plato once said that same-sex lovers were more blessed than ordinary mortals.

Mark - You take us all through the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, right back to Greek mythology and talk about some of the most prominent and influential figures of their time and what they got up to. Who is your favourite historical figure from the LGBTQ+ community and why?

Rikki - Shakespeare. Because he was an actor, writer, director, producer, amazing teacher for the ages, brilliant philosopher and could write international characters for every gender expression. (check out Rikki here in his brilliant film FIT, talking more about Shakespeare)

M - In your talk 'Find the Fire Within' you speak a lot about feeling, and creating, ‘the love’, and all of us supporting one another to be the best versions of ourselves, regardless of our background. If you have a friend that is considering coming out, what are some of the ways you can support them and show them the love?

R - Let them come out when and how they choose. Don’t rush them. Don’t out them in advance even with the best motives.

Stonewall, where the origins of Pride Month began, back in 1969

M - What’s been your favourite Pride memory, ever?

R - Every time I’ve taken my mother (who is gay) on stage with me and heard the crowd roar for her. Growing up I’m sure that something she could never have imagined could ever happen.

M - What are some of the easy starting places for increasing the conversation internally around diversity, as well as LGBTQ+ matters, for companies who have perhaps struggled to do so in the past, or aren’t quite sure where to start?

R - Create an atmosphere of loving honesty. Make everyone feel equal and hurt. Give everyone permission to make mistakes with the best intentions.

M - Where do you think we stand in the UK at the moment in terms of making positive changes in attitudes towards LGBQT+ matters? Are we making good progress or is there still a way to go?

R - We have come an incredibly long way in recent years, but we do have a long way to go. When every couple can hold hands on any street without fear we will truly be getting somewhere. And I believe that day is coming.

M - Finally, I’m hoping this weather stays for the rest of the summer. I’m riffing on the classic dinner party here, but bear with me... If you could host a garden party with a group of four of your favourite singers, actors, writers, creators, figures from the LGBTQ+ community, both past or present, who would they be? Feel free to give us a little intel on each as well!

R - This one is hard! Okay, Elton John, James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Andy Warhol. Ask me tomorrow and it’ll be another four. There are so many incredible LGBTQ+ plus people past and present who have so much to teach the rest of us!

M - Thanks Rikki!

Rikki delivers talks for MobGroup on Diversity and Inclusion, LGBQT+ discussions, personal development and empowerment sessions. Get in touch if you'd like to know more for any workplace wellbeing events you might be running soon!

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