"No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow." ― Alice Walker
Greetings from the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles and the fourth annual Proud Experiences travel show! As you can see, I brought the perfect dress for last night's welcome activities which kicked off with several panels of insightful speakers followed by a reception at The Abbey sponsored by West Hollywood Tourism. It was a blast! A real highlight was listening to Dame Kelly Holmes (double Olympic champion for the UK and a Colonel) reveal how she came out less than a year ago after earning so many decorations as an athelete and from her military career. I got to speak with her at the reception afterwards, and she's an extraordinary, charismatic woman. I was invited by Proud Experiences to this tourism event in support of the LGBTQ+ community and came to learn how I can be an even better advocate and ally for all my clients. I just take for granted everyone knows I work with LGBTQ+ clients as well as clients of all races, ages, backgrounds, you name it. But just listening to some of last night's speakers I realized I should specifically state that I welcome LGBTQ+ clients, always. What does that mean? When I work with same sex couples, I make sure the hotel or cruise line know they need one bed and not two, for example. I consider the safety and inclusivity of a country, city, and neighborhood for my clients. Being gay is illegal in almost 70 countries, which I knew, but last night I listened to how people have to self-regulate their actions, speech, behavior, etc. in public when they travel with their partners anywhere if they're not out yet. Coming from the performing arts world then transitioning to travel, my life's work's been in industries filled with members of the LGBTQ+ community, and it doesn't register to me as anything unusual at all. Most of my closest inner circle of friends are gay men and women which is neither here nor there to me. I just love them because they're incredibly intelligent, loving, funny, talented, conscientious people. But I'm learning at this event that it matters a lot to come right out and state that I welcome working with people who identify as LGBTQ+ because even though it feels so obvious to me, just the act of explicity stating that fact matters, a lot. Nine Muses Travel is a safe place to come to plan travel with all members of your family, all your friends, and with whomever you love. And I'd really appreciate your referring me to anyone you know in the LGBTQ+ community who needs the help of an experienced, compassionate travel advisor. I'm here to help EVERYONE feel the freedom and joy of traveling the world!
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