Rewriting the Narrative: Deon Pillay talks with Penna and Stafford-Long by Marcus Bateson
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Written by Marcus Bateson
As I sit down with the LGBTQ+ advocate and campaigner Deon Pillay for Penna and Stafford-Long’s Pride Talk on Zoom, I wonder what he will say about Pride. Will he pat us all on the back and reward our rainbow lanyards with some feel good platitudes about inclusion and feeling proud? Walking around the City of London adorned with rainbows and mottos proclaiming love for all, it would admittedly be easy to feel a sense of complacency. In the midst of a June heatwave, all signs point to a corporate world that has fully embraced the values of diversity and inclusion for good. The old guard has hung its hat. Hate has been retired to a museum display in Kings Cross. Every morning, I pass the glimmering glass façade of an office painted with the words “Banking with Pride”, and for a moment the battle seems won.
As the talk begins and Deon recounts his inaugural experiences of prejudice and exclusion, it becomes clear that he is here to tell us something altogether different. I am grateful. It takes incredible courage to speak from the heart; To candidly and unapologetically denounce institutional homophobia and bigotry no matter where it is found. Read the full story here Penna | Rewriting the Narrative: Deon Pillay talks with Penna and Stafford-Long