Growing up, gay and Indian meant I had no role models to look up to. No-one who was visible, proud and shown in a positive light. All I saw were the stereotypes on screen or heard stories in hushed voices within my community.
I promised myself that when I grew up, and once I had the safety and resources I needed to come out, I would be visible. And I would find the brilliant queer people of colour and share their stories. I knew they existed, and we should have been celebrating them for the adversity they'd overcome. Instead, they were unseen.
The problem with being unseen is that it's hard to imagine a future when you have no visible role models. The future can feel bleak and oppressive – which is why colourfull was created, to be the antithesis to a colourless future and instead to inspire queer people of colour to live a life that was vibrant and full of joy (aka a colourfull life).
Alongside colourfull, I could see society was changing rapidly. Britain is becoming more ethnically diverse, and young people are the most gender-fluid generation we’ve ever seen. So it's fair to assume that there will be more queer people of colour.
For queer people of colour, the importance of safety, resources and financial independence cannot be underestimated in shaping their futures - which is where work plays a significant role.
My own career played an important role in helping me build my confidence and become empowered. So, given my background and expertise, it made sense to (also) turn my energy towards building inclusive workplaces where anyone can thrive, especially queer people of colour.
Giving Something Back
Ultimately, colourfull is about doing more.
We want to create societal change that improves life for queer people of colour, be that working directly with them or the wider community to being visible and vocal on causes that affect us most.
So we're open to new ideas and partnerships where we can be helpful and importantly, accelerate change that empowers our community to be seen, heard and valued.
(he/him) is the founder of colourfull.
Having held leadership roles in HR and Internal Communications across organisations such as Transport for London, Santander, BBC, Net-A-Porter and Girl Effect, he's combined his insights in organisational behaviour, culture change and communications to inform colourfull's approach to inclusion and storytelling.
Celebrating LGBTQ People of Colour