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Lifetime Member - Chris King: "Actions speak louder than words"
Lifetime member

Lifetime Member - Chris King: "Actions speak louder than words"

Jamie Wareham
Jamie Wareham
Lifetime members secure the future of our work, by paying upfront for 20 years of membership, and in return get access for life. We write a profile piece about them, as a membership perk and thanks.

When what we need doesn't exist, it's inherently queer to go out and create it.

Showing the change is possible, when no one seems to care, is built into the roots of our community's heritage.

Chris King, CEO of luxury travel and lifestyle recruitment firm Lightning Travel Recruitment, did just that. Frustrated at being told "to stop ramming diversity down people's throats," King (they/them or she/her pronouns) set out a new vision.

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King hadn't ever worked in recruitment before. But they created a company to sidestep the cultural issues they saw working alongside it.

"The best way to describe the industry we work in is one that is glamorised at all costs, including its people," King tells QueerAF. "It's an industry that should be diverse and celebratory, but unfortunately trying to get the industry to admit it has a diversity equity and inclusion problem is half the struggle."

King, had spent years trying to fit in. In their quest to improve the industry's inclusion approach, they faced great pushback. Told they only brought things up to get "attention." And worse, faced hateful comments like being called the "man in the dress."

I'd love to see some epic trans representation.

"I'd spent years trying to fit in, so if anything this made me want to speak up more, but I was being too aggressive about it. What I've learned is people react best and are willing to listen when you are being your authentic self. Speaking from experiences and the heart. Since I've started doing this people have begun to stand up and take notes."

Modelling the change counts. By doing this we can act as the carrot, rather than the stick. But in an environment that is tough, it's difficult to see how this changes things. It's a long game.  

"Being the change we want to see is so important, as fundamentally actions speak louder than words. All too often people think 'one good PR campaign' is their good deed for the year. We should all be fighting for a better world for everyone all year round. It's important to be that change so others can take note."

There is rarely a 'silver bullet' in anything, but in DEI, there is one that counts every time. Hire us, to represent us - because only then will you understand us.

"It would be epic if we were given a seat at the table, that's what I'd see as a positive change."

While in mainstream media, where King says gender remains a taboo subject, they'd like to see the same. It's why they've joined QueerAF.

"I'd love to see some epic trans representation. It's my belief that we should be the change we want to see. QueerAF is that change."

Jamie Wareham, he/him, gay queer disabled - A note from me:

I started QueerAF to fund queer media careers.

Behind the scenes, we are supporting underrepresented and emerging queer creatives to kickstart their career.

This, while we build a community-centred platform that works for our community, not advertisers. We commission content for our free weekly newsletter because it counts, not for clicks.

We need to support a new generation of queer voices who can go on to change the media.

Will you join lifetime QueerAF members like Chris King, and comedian Joe Lycett to make that possible?

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