I’ve always liked Marriott hotels, except for their penchant for never having Diet Coke (most places are Pepsi only). Nonetheless, I’ve stayed at probably hundreds of them through my business career, even in other countries (and I will almost certainly be at the Manchester Marriott in England next month). But now I have additional incentive to patronize them.
One of their spokespeople for their campaign is transgender model Geena Rocero, who is our lead photo for this article. Video interviews of her and others posing for the campaign photos can be found at this link here.
In fairness I should mention that other hotel chains are stepping in to attract LGBT customers:
Since its start in San Francisco in the 1980s, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has been at the forefront with its support of community organizations advocating for the LGBT community.
But many other hotels have followed suit.
Preferred Hotel Group launched the Preferred Pride program in 2011 with more than 120 gay-welcoming independent hotels and resorts in 20 countries. OUT NYC has called itself the first gay hotel in New York City. Hilton Worldwide has a gay travel package and a website dedicated to helping LGBT guests plan their vacations.
If you haven’t heard of TED Talks, they are a series of videos and podcasts which feature inspirational speakers from the fields of science, technology, education, social issues, and entertainment. The sponsoring organization is nonprofit and limits the speeches to 18 minutes or less to make them easily digestible. They are typically done in front of an audience and sometimes with props or performance art.
At a recent TED talk model Geena Rocero “came out” to the audience as a transgender woman (my understanding was that her status was previously known, although not widely), whereupon she was greeted with cheers and a standing ovation.
Rocero then announced the launch of Gender Proud, a campaign designed to bring awareness to the fact that only a fraction of the world’s countries allow transgender individuals to update their gender markers without first having to undergo forced sterilization or other forms of genital surgery.
It’s an inspirational speech, and I recommend watching it and checking out Gender Proud to learn about the challenges our sisters and brothers face around the world.