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Ben Pechey talks Pride Month & LGBTQ+ Advocacy

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For Pride Month, we've spoken to LGBTQ+ advocate Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style. 

June is of course Pride Month! As part of our celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, we've spoken to Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year-round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style.

Ben is pictured here wearing some pieces from our upcoming Rainbow Hearts Collection. The limited edition collection is launching on Thursday 17th June with 50% of the net sales donated to Mermaids.

Why we love Ben…

We’ve been big fans of Ben’s colourful, entertaining and educational content on Instagram for a while now. They’re a wonderful all-rounder: an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as a diversity & inclusion consultant, writer, speaker, style influencer and content creator.

Ben identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.


Why is Pride important and what does it mean to you?

Pride is often confused, and seen as an indulgent display of sexuality and ‘love is love’ messaging. The origins of Pride come from an uprising, a backlash to discriminatory behaviour. It’s not about who threw the first brick at Stonewall - no one knows anyway - it’s about seeing the missing rights that still exist in our society. We have come so far, yet still don’t have universal rights for all queer people. Trans and Intersex people are still suffering from poor governance, and terrible legislation.

So Pride to me is a very poignant reminder each year, just how much more work needs to be done. It has such importance to the community, but every year we must remember that until we’re all free- none of us are free.

For Pride Month, we've spoken to LGBTQ+ advocate Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style. 

Do you think the pandemic has impacted the future of Pride?

Whilst it is clear that the pandemic has halted the progress of physical events, and for many caused huge disappointment. Yet I have seen many people turn the lack of physical events into an opportunity to utilise digital advances, bringing the community together with online events and safe spaces that feel more impactful.

I do feel that the pandemic will remind people of the core values of Pride, its origins and the reasons to continue to fight for the rights of the whole community. If anything, once we can come together as a community in a post-pandemic world, we’ll be stronger and even more united!

For Pride Month, we've spoken to LGBTQ+ advocate Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style. 

How do you think Pride can evolve to be more inclusive and representative of its roots?

Corporate Pride has become a behemoth, with rainbow logos, and an unnecessary focus on constant consumption to show your loyalty to the community. This does very little for the actual needs of the community and creates a hyper-focus from media outlets outside of the LGBTQIA+ community, suggesting that all we want is a naff rainbow t-shirts.

I am all for participation in Pride, but for it to be representative of its roots, and more inclusive, the people involved have to understand there is just as much to fight for - if not more in the light of increased activity of organisations like the LGB Alliance - as well as the celebration.

Just as the first official Pride march in 1970 pushed gender non conforming people to the side - especially those that were black and POC - the current movement is just as exclusive, and this needs to change. We need to prioritise inclusion and acceptance - which is an LGBTQIA+ internal issue too. We need to recognise the power of a united community to allow us to evolve and create more change.

For Pride Month, we've spoken to LGBTQ+ advocate Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style. 

Why is it important for brands to be vocal about the LGBTQIA+ community all year round and not just during June/Pride Month? Does this affect your decision to purchase from or work with a brand?

This is such an important point and is relevant to all marginalised communities, not just LGBTQIA+. We’re queer all year round, our past trauma, current difficulties and uncertain futures are with us every day. When brands only focus on us during Pride season, it feels very tokenistic and suggests that it is only important to talk about if there is commercial success attached to it.

I am very wary of brands that give us a rainbow logo and no real commitment, and the community will vote with its feet - we see through the visage of ‘support’.

On a personal level, it does affect who I align my personal brand with. I have found in the last 12 months that brands are waking up to the idea of booking queer talent outside of Pride month to fully represent their full consumer base, but it is a slow process.

For Pride Month, we've spoken to LGBTQ+ advocate Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style. 

How does jewellery help you express your identity?

I think people are keen to dismiss how affirming the things we put on our bodies can be. Yet the things we choose to adorn our bodies with, have a powerful meaning and sense of control that we cannot always place on the wider world around us. Jewellery is the finishing touch, the polish and sparkle that shows the world that I regard myself as a precious treasure.

Jewellery has been something that has played a major role in self-expression for me. Lusting for the things that glitter in life is a powerful act of defiance, and also an act of self-preservation. They form part of my identity, but also provide energy to bring my full and truest self to every day I spend on this planet. Society has for too long downplayed the role of clothes and accessories in affirming personal narratives, but the LGBTQIA community has always known this

For Pride Month, we've spoken to LGBTQ+ advocate Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style. 

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

There are so many things I am working on behind the scenes, but the thing that I am most excited about is my upcoming debut book. This is such a labour of love and will be a much-needed resource for the non- binary community. It is very exciting to take my work outside the perimeters of the internet and online spaces.

I cannot wait for the world to see it, hoping that it will be in the world next year!

For Pride Month, we've spoken to LGBTQ+ advocate Ben Pechey about their thoughts on year round queer advocacy, inclusion and personal style. 

Check out Ben's website and follow them over on Instagram here.

Ben is wearing the Stevie Heart Earrings in Midnight/Emerald, the Stevie Hoops in Emerald, the Quinn Studs in Cream/Emerald - all available on Thursday 17th June.