Takeyla Benton is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Analyst by day and revolutionary poetic bodhisattva soul every other day.
She has over 15 years of experience in banking management and career mentorship. She's a life coach, mystic, and guided meditation coach helping Black and Brown women find their purpose through the pain. She's a mother, writer, and activist for transformational growth from within.
Takeyla is speaking at the Parents and Leaders as Allies track on the Pride and Joy Summit about Corporate Allyship.
Isabella Armour (she/they) is a Digital Marketing Specialist who serves LGBTQ+ owned and inclusive small businesses.
They focus on normalizing queerness within digital spaces, like Pinterest and Instagram and they push to make the online business world a place that is human-first and trauma-aware.
She is speaking on the Coming Out Early in Life track at the Allyship, Communication, and Boundaries Panel about "Supporting your Fellow Queer People".
The LGBTQ community is having a collective realization and it involves you.
My daughter and I were driving in the car when the Dixie Chick's song Gaslighter came on. She asked what it meant and I explained that gaslighting is what happens when someone hurts you, but when you call them on it, they refuse to apologize.
Instead, they say things like "You're being really sensitive!" or "You took it that way, that's not my fault. I wasn't intending to be hurtful." Or the BEST is "I never said that. I think you're imagining that."
Overall, gaslighting creates a sense of confusion, of not being able to trust your gut or the validity of what people say and mean. If you notice your LGBTQ co-workers, family, and friends, looking at you a little strangely, there's a reason.
We're having a collective moment of realizing that while 80% of our nation says they support us, 50+% voted the opposite of that. Their words and their actions are not adding up.
So we're questioning everyone...
As a lot of you know, I am a pretty open-minded individual. I would go as far as saying that I am probably one of the more socially progressive people in most of the local groups I volunteer with, my small circle of local friends, my lifelong friends from childhood, and even my immediate family. I mean, one of my favorite shows on TV right now is "We're Here". It's a series on HBO about three drag queens traveling around to small, conservative communities with hopes of opening the minds and hearts of the folks who live there, to be more accepting of people within their communities, who feel like they don't belong. It has ALL the feels and the best cast! I'm also an empath, I'm learning how to be a better ally, and I always pull for the people who feel like they don't really fit in. Mainly, because I know that feeling all too well.
I have very short hair, I have broad shoulders, not much to speak up for hips, I wear a t-shirt or hoodie every day and I rarely go without...
It takes insight and intelligence to know our ‘self’. Not everyone dares to discover it and embrace their real whole self. Because it takes immense strength too.
As a straight ally, I have tried to know the puzzle and pain one has to go through in the process of finding one’s ‘self’. It is quite a baffling state of existence where you don’t identify with the terms society has attributed to you. Because for the majority of the society, sexuality is something to be attributed to a person based on the biological or physical appearance they can interpret. For them, everything is either black or white, no greys in between.
Coming out for LGBTQ people would have been an easier process if their society would start to understand that sexuality never exists in binary. It’s a spectrum of different shades.
I have friends who ended up in forced marriages against their will and got...
One of the most beautiful things about the Pride and Joy Foundation is that it is “striving to build self-awareness within and safety for LGBTQ+ families and their allies.” Let’s take a second to talk about how important allies are (hint: so freakin’ important!) to the LGBTQ+ community. Let’s think about it this way - even if every member of a marginalized community banded together to fight for their cause, they would still be up against a majority, making change near impossible. For any marginalized community, having strong ally support is integral in the fight for equality because allies allow for the community to show up in numbers and to prove that their cause isn’t only their own.
But what does it mean to truly be an ally? Queer sex educator and trauma specialist Jimanekia discussed in an Instagram video post her position on allies. Though her post specifically references non-Black allyship within the Black...