What’s the great thing about people? Well, we’re all different, we are all unique, we all have our own story to tell. Our life experiences are what make us diverse. So, we’re opening up.
Inclusion and diversity is the belief that every single individual matters. And that’s why by opening up and sharing our stories, we can celebrate difference and uniqueness that bit more.
Every February in the UK is LGBT+ History Month. At Colt, we reached out to our employees and offered them the chance to open up and highlight an LGBT+ person in history and what they’ve done.
Today we spoke to Mikaela Rego, our Canadian-born Business Partner Marketing Executive, based in London.
Q: Hey Mikaela, thanks for taking the time to open up to us. Can you sum up what LGBT+ History Month is?
A: Every year it is a month that celebrates raising awareness of the history of LGBT+ people’s rights and to promote an inclusive society.
Q: Why is it important to the LGBT+ community?
A: By educating ourselves and providing insights into the history and other areas (whether identifying as LGBT+ or an important ally), we can continue to address the issues that this community faces.
Q: What does LGBT+ History Month mean to you?
A: A chance to continue to stand up for our community and work together with our allies. While we’ve come a long way, there is still much to be done around discrimination, prejudice and ignorance in many countries and workplaces. We can learn, educate and encourage understanding and acceptance together with our allies, and pave the way to continue equality for all.
Q: Do you think we need to do more to talk about LGBT+ history and why?
A: Absolutely, it is also a chance to help the new, younger LGBT+ generation be inspired to do the same for generations to come. I have been on my own journey and knowing this type of awareness month helped me when I was growing up and finding out who I was. It’s okay to ask questions and learn, it is not okay to stand by and do nothing.
Q: Who is your role model in LGBT+ history and why?
A: Megan Rapinoe. She is a great model, not only for lesbians in the LGBT+ community, but also as an incredible athlete and sporting females role model in football (soccer for the US) to breakdown gender discrimination and inequality across the sport as well.
Q: Do you have a specific quotation that resonates with you in your life?
A: “It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and human rights are respected, all over the world.” – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. Why is it an issue what my gender is or who I am attracted to or love? I am kind, I work hard and I am just the same as you, trying to live my life as best I can and as happy as I can.
Q: If you could encourage people to do one thing this LGBT+ History Month, what would it be?
A: Educate yourself in our history and understand the issues we have faced. Whether you identify as LGBT+ or as an ally, we can all educate each other and learn together going forward. Please speak up more in workplaces, family homes, schools, social groups etc.
For more information about inclusion and diversity at Colt, have a look at our I&D page.