Due to my mixed background, I spent most of my early years living in both Asia and Europe, and surrounded by different cultures. No matter where I was in the world, my mother would remind me to implement core Thai values in my daily life which are to be respectful, kind, and good.
The Thai culture is very warm and welcoming which is why the country has earned the title "the land of smiles". I was immersed in openness and acceptance from the start of my life. As a child, I remember watching the Miss Tiffany's Universe competition in Thailand, which is a beauty contest much like Miss Universe but for Thai transgender women, and I remember wishing I could be as beautiful as the contestants.
My mother would often say to me that "you cannot choose to be born as that is fate's doing, but you can choose the type of person you want to become". I was taught there were only two options: you could grow up to either be good or bad. It did not matter where you are from or who you are as long as you are a good person. Or as they say in Thai "pen kon dee".
My mother's words and the Thai culture have instilled a value within me to be open and kind and not to judge people by who they choose to love but instead by their actions.
Since actions speak volumes, I know that doing nothing when there is still so much discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is not good enough.
I am therefore proud to work at Withers which has a strong active LGBTQ+ allies network, for example the firm has equipped its sports teams with rainbow laces as part of its partnership with Stonewall, to increase LGBTQ+ support and visibility in sport.
I am honoured to stand by my LGBTQ+ colleagues so that we can work together to educate, breakdown barriers, and spread the word that #LoveisLove.
Be proud. Be you. Happy Pride everyone.