Did you know the first Pride flag was designed by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978? Today, more than 17 variations represent the different facets of the community. Baker was a revered drag queen and an openly gay man who later revealed that Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, appointed him to create a gay pride symbol.

If you’re getting ready for Pride 2024 (or planning to observe International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on May 17!), here are some of our top LGBTQ+ speakers 🌈

LGBTQ+ speakers for Pride

Dame Inga Beale

Gain insights into business motivation, management, finance, and diversity with Dame Inga Beale, speaker and former CEO of Lloyd's of London. When Dame Inga became CEO of Lloyds of London in 2014, she was the first female to do so in its 326-year history. She was also the first leader to move the company from paper-based to digital. And she was openly bisexual. Of connection, Dame Inga says: "It sometimes takes more effort to engage with people not like you. My shoulders are more relaxed and I’m more positive when I’m in a room full of women, rather than men. But we all have a responsibility to reach out, and it is really enriching."

Learn more about DameInga

Ben Hunte

Develop your team's understanding of the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community globally and empower them as allies with Ben Hunte, speaker, who was the BBC's first LGBTQ+ correspondent in 2019 and now a senior reporter for VICE. Ben sat down with The Frontline podcast to discuss In this episode of The Frontline, the relationship between the media and LGBTI issues, why some stories get all the attention to the detriment of others, the rise of anti-trans voices in newspapers and broadcasting, and ways we might get the real diversity of LGBTI stories picked up.

Learn more about Ben

Charlie Martin

Discover how transitioning enabled race car driver Charlie Martin to become her most authentic self and ultimately achieve the impossible. Charlie is a legend in her own making, starting her racing career in France, solo! Of visibility, Charlie told Fia Formula E, "The fact that people like that were missing when I was growing up was sad but the power of your own visibility is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. Even if you inspire one or two people and that causes change – that can be a powerful thing. I wanted to try and do that and there’s a part of me that enjoys that. I love what I do and I want to take people on that journey and communicate. Social media gives us the tools to do that."

Learn more about Charlie

Zing Tsjeng

Get an insight into arts, culture, and identity with Zing, a speaker, executive editor of VICE UK, journalist, and author of Forgotten Women. Th Forgotten Women series of books that uncover the lost herstories of influential women who have refused over hundreds of years to accept the hand they've been dealt and, as a result, have formed, shaped and changed the course of our futures. She says, "I subscribe to the Riz Ahmed school of thinking—diversity is about representation, as in representing what society genuinely looks like."

Learn more about Zing

Matt Lindley

Embrace the power of positive culture change and inclusive leadership with Matt Lindley, speaker and inspirational leader with a compelling personal journey in the Royal Air Force. Matt says, "Do not be limited by the straight jacket of conformity, instead channel your energy at being the very best at what you do. If you have a dream make it a goal and strive to achieve it."

Learn more about Matt

Charlie Powell

Open up meaningful dialogues on LGBTQ+ advocacy and mental health with Charlie, radio icon, speaker and media advocate. Charlie is a host on Capital Dance, delivering tasty breakfast beats to start your day right. When asked by Nonchalent, an indie magazine for queer women and allies, about the best advice she's ever been given, Charlie said, "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once you can master that, there is no limit in what you can achieve."

Learn more about Charlie

What are the benefits of a Pride speaker?

Hiring a pride speaker or IDAHOBIT speaker for LGBTQ+ events can bring significant benefits to brands. It's a powerful way to showcase an organisation's commitment to diversity and inclusion, demonstrating that they value and respect the experiences and perspectives of LGBTQ+ individuals. This can help improve the company's image both internally among employees and externally among customers and partners. By embracing diverse voices, it contributes to a more inclusive corporate culture that can ultimately benefit society as a whole.

💡 Would you like to mark Pride (June) or IDAHOBIT (May 17) with an engaging speaker? Email hello@getapeptalk.com, and we’ll find the perfect expert for your team.

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