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01 / 06 / 2022

launching the LGBTQI+ division

written by
Charlotte Lord

Launching the LGBTQI+ division.

1 in 6 Gen-Z adults identify as LGBTQI+ and therefore it is increasingly significant that the LGBTQI+ community are equally represented within our industry. By casting identifiable LGBTQI+ models and actors, brands can provide inclusivity and allow audiences to further accept LGBTQI+. We must champion demographic changes and community diversity.

This is why we have launched the LGBTQI+ division, representing the best male, female and non-binary talent. 

 

BELLA GLANVILLE

Bisexual Model Bella

Bella tells us "I think that no matter what your sexuality is, roles should be given based on merit and talent. That’s it. It shouldn’t matter whether someone is gay, straight, transsexual etc. What matters is that they are right for the role and that the audience will love them. That is why I am so glad that the industry is acknowledging a gap in LGBTQ+ talent".

Can you tell us about your experiences as an LGBTQI+ Model?

"It’s been awesome to see how much the industry is now embracing the LGBTQ+ community. I have been able to take part in some really important campaigns, my most recent being a video for Dr Botanicals for their new LGBTQ+ skincare range. I got to tell my story and explain how stigma can and will be reduced in the community. I’ve also been cast in acting roles before that explore the challenging aspects of being gay in the modern-day. I am so glad that the arts have started to embrace the queer community more but this is only the beginning. I will be able to step down from campaigning as soon as there is an equal balance of everyone in the industry. It shouldn’t be a case of ‘this is our queer campaign’ or ‘this is our rainbow range’. The moment that people from all backgrounds and identifications have equal balance and it is no longer specialised, we will know that the industry has come full circle and finally neutralised itself for everyone".

Can you tell us why you're proud to be part of the LGBTQI+ community in this industry?

"There are so many actors and models who are part of the queer community but felt as though they had to hide it for so many years. I feel so free and happy to know that we are now being embraced and open about who we are! I never felt the need to come out to my parents because, in my view, you don’t need to come out as straight so why should you have to make a big deal out of any other sexuality. I am so proud to be exactly who I am, without any labels. And it’s great that I am able to finally express who I am in the industry".

View Bella's page here

 

MARCO DE MARLO

Gay Actor Marco

Actor, Marco says "I love representing our community through LGBTQ+ roles and would love to do so much more but I am also very aware that while things are improving in terms of LGBTQ+ visibility, there is still a long way to go and I want to be part of the revolution!"

What makes you proud to be part of the LGBTQI+ community? 

"There’s nothing more rewarding than being part of a community that is founded on acceptance. While it is not in any way a perfect community, it is continuously evolving and it is a great example of how accepting one another can only elevate us and help us move forward on our never-ending journey of self-discovery. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or are simply an ally, there’s space for everyone to thrive through acceptance and kindness". 

Could you share your opinions on the industry representing LGBTQ+ talent?

"The industry could do so much better, from the casting stages to production, crew and on-screen visibility. Break the cycle and bring change. Give us LGBTQ+ Disney characters (or even princes/princesses), superheroes and main characters. Stop having us being the sidekicks and please go beyond the telling coming out stories. We usually just come out once, people! There’s more to our existence than coming out. We are strong, resilient and keen. Why can’t I save the world and go home to my husband afterwards? Let’s give kids the representation we didn’t have growing up. And stop thinking whether or not people will go see a film if it doesn’t have a cis straight white lead. We have plenty of proof that “diverse” films work. Let’s expand on that".

View Marco's page here

 

CALLUM OLVER

Gay Model Callum

As a gay model, Callum says; "Working within the industry has helped me be the person I am outside of it. Being able to express myself through images and create characters for photoshoots has given me the chance to explore new fashion and looks as well as meet many more queer people within the community".

Can you tell us why you're proud to be part of the LGBTQI+ community in this industry?

"I’m proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community working in the modelling industry because I get the chance to share my story with others while inspiring people to become their true selves and live in pride and authenticity".

Who is your biggest role model within the LGBTQ+ community?

"Billy Porter, due to his extravagant fashion choices and fabulous character. For years and years, he has been an activist within the LGBTQ+ community sharing love and pride everywhere he goes and inspiring young and questioning people like I was when I was a child. Seeing people as charismatic as Porter when growing up is vital to feeling welcome in the community and finding confidence in yourself".

View Callum's page here

 

GRACE GRAY

Bisexual Actor Grace

Grace says she has had some of the most incredible experiences while representing the LGBTQI+ community on set; "I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community in so many ways. I'm proud of what we continue to achieve politically, not only for ourselves but for other causes as well. I am so happy I get to immerse myself in the sheer talent, creativity and art of so many members of the community".

Can you tell us about your experiences as an LGBTQI+ Actor?

"Working with teams who are dedicated to showcasing diversity, meeting other like-minded people and being able to immerse yourself in queer talent and art makes you forget you are even at work. I have had some of the most incredible experiences while representing the LGBTQI+ community as an actor".

Can you tell us your thoughts on Sandra Reynolds Agency launching the LGBTQI+ division?

"I think it is time for the community to have representation after everything it has poured into our industry from the very beginning and it is so exciting to see". 

View Grace's page here

 

STUART DUNSTAN 

Gay Model Stuart

In 2009, Stuart was told by somebody in the industry to 'tone it down', he stayed true to himself and now tells us he is working more than ever! "I am so proud to be able to show the real Stuart and embrace my own uniqueness now! This industry now shows real-life whatever your sexuality, gender, sex, race and long may it continue."

What has been your experience of being an LGBTQ+ Model?

"Since taking a break from modelling and returning in 2017 I have had huge success in the LGBTQ+ field. I have been in several high profile campaigns for print advertising and television commercials. I have appeared in runway shows modelling androgynous fashionwear. I also began properly acting in 2017 and have had amazing success in television, parts in films, adverts and even theatre whilst embracing my true self".

Who is your biggest role model within the LGBTQ+ community?

"Boy George was a huge pioneer for me. He has his flamboyant side and his tough side which inspires me".

View Stuart's page here

 

RUBY BRIDLE

Pansexual Actor Ruby

Ruby says she is proud to be part of the LGBTQI+ community within modelling because it gives validation and visibility to those who are disenfranchised to arise, grow and be heard. “I am who I am, I exist and I am worthy of everything I am and anything I want to be".

Can you share your experiences of being an LGBTQ+ Model?

"Speaking from a place of high privilege within my community (I am white, cisgender, able-bodied and non-neuro divergent), my personal experiences will differ from a lot of others within my community. I have had positive and welcoming experiences but it is important to remember that this is not the case for all. Many of my queer peers and non-binary friends who don’t conform to a gender binary have received hate speech and have experienced homophobia within the industry.

It is incredibly important that we acknowledge this and the current scale of privilege within the LGBTQI+ community as WE MUST equally support EVERYONE whilst being understanding of the hardships that one person may face whilst someone else may not".

Who inspires you within the LGBTQI+ community?

"My biggest role models have to be all my amazingly beautiful and unique queer peers. I am so lucky to have the inspiring LGBTQI+ friends that I do! Their continuous support has provided me with some very essential lessons, validation in all that I am and a true sense of gratification and love, which I am so privileged to have been surrounded by from a very young age".

View Ruby's page here

 

LEWIS HERRING

Gay Model Lewis

Actor, Lewis is proud to be part of the LGBTQI+ community and represent the community in the industry. He tells us, "I’m so proud that I can walk the streets of London and be who I am".

Please would you share your experiences as an LGBTQI+ Actor?

"When first starting out, the industry expected me to act with a “straight” persona and that’s something that I always try and switch on for most of my modelling and acting work but things are moving forward, allowing the queer community to be more authentic, express who they are and not be as linear".

Can you tell us why you're proud to be part of the LGBTQI+ community?

"I’m proud that I can walk the streets of London and be who I am. I am proud that so many young gay men are able to come out sooner to their parents. I’m proud of so many things but mainly not having the fear of being beaten for being who I am... I have just returned from a Muslim country that has the death penalty for being homosexual, which makes me proud to be a part of a country where it's legal".

View Lewis' page here

Browse our diverse LGBTQI+ division here

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written by Charlotte Lord

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