Celebrating Black History Month: Proud to be black & LGBTQ+
Last editedOct 20211 min read
To mark Black History Month in the UK, we're sharing a series of employee spotlight interviews. In the second instalment, we talk to Rachel about being proud to be black, the value of embracing your heritage and being part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Proud To Be Black & LGBTQ+
What do you do?
I’m an Engineer within the Business Intelligence team.
How long have you been at GoCardless?
I’ve been with GC for two years and nine months.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you
I have five tattoos and am already planning my sixth.
Who is someone that has inspired you and why?
This might be a weird one but someone who has recently inspired me is Lil Nas X. We don’t have many gay Black icons and since his coming out, he’s been unapologetically queer and proud. Being Black (especially with a religious background) and a rapper is probably one of the most restrictive, hyper-masculine combinations there are but he hasn’t let anyone sanitise or downplay his sexuality. He’s also great at clapping back at all the internet trolls - a skill I wish I had growing up!
What is your favourite book or podcast?
I’ve read so many books I don’t think I can choose a favourite so I’ll go with podcasts - a fairly new endeavour for me. Again, really hard to choose a favourite but I enjoyed the accompanying podcast to LoveCraft Country, I also like the short and sweet episodes of Stuff You Should Know and have been recently getting into Munroe’s new podcast - The Way We Are.
What does the theme ‘Proud to be’ mean to you?
This year’s theme to me speaks about authenticity. Being proud of who you are. Too often in minority groups, we tend to continue being divisive and think that there’s one way to “be”, that everyone should fit into a certain mould. Where I come from for example, if you listen to certain music, dress a certain way, speak a certain way you’re not Black enough. You get teased for being “uptown” aka “White” or “Oreo”. Proud to be means embracing all the things that make you who you are without that erasing your heritage or your culture.