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Embracing the fact that it costs nothing to let people be who they are.

If you glance at the kitchen in a hotel, that’s characteristically a very male, leading zone. It’s dissimilar than if you’re employed at the front office. There are nevertheless places where being LGTBQ isn’t as comfortable as it should be, which is to say: it shouldn’t ever be a problem at all.  So, what should be done for the community to be more all-encompassing? It’s an imperative question. The first step is to make everyone feel like they are welcome to enter the hospitality industry in the first place.
Bhutan recently sent its first delegate Tashi Choden to the Miss Universe 2022 pageant, held in New Orleans, US, on January 14, 2023, where India’s Harnaaz Sandhu crowns her inheritor. Gorgeous, opinionated, intellectual, poised and a proud member of the LGBTQ community, Tashi is exhilarated to represent her country at one of the world’s leading global beauty pageants. She sees this as an occasion to learn from her colleague representatives and most prominently to exemplify Bhutan on an international stage. Born to a Bhutanese mother and a Tibetan father, Tashi was raised in Nagaland, India until the age of three. As an industry, the world of hospitality needs to be more open on vocation pages; and not just say something broad like ‘we welcome diversity’, but truly state that ‘we welcome all from the LGBTQ community’. It’s a minor, humble change, but just by calling out precisely, it shows that the company actually means it, and that the community will be secure in that company.

Miss Bhutan Tashi Choden

Hyatt’s ‘World of Care’ platform pledges to progress Equity, Inclusion Diversity, and Responsible Business Practises and the Hyatt Regency Kolkata under this umbrella recently partnered with Pt Ravi Kichlu Foundation to initiate project ‘Hriday’ in support of the LGBTQ Community. Caring for the communities is central to Hyatt Regency Kolkata’s drive of caring for people so they can be their best. “The happenings of the last year have highlighted the importance for organisations to tackle communal and society issues with understanding, clearness, and answerability. Our ‘World of Care’ deepens Hyatt’s commitment to caring for our people, planet, and communities. With this association, we will build on Hyatt’s ‘Change Starts Here’ commitment to accelerate DE&I within with hotel’s workforce”, affirms Shobhan Kumar, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Kolkata. Going forward Hyatt Regency Kolkata also aims to highlight DE&I with ability training and engaging more members of the community throughout the unit so that as a company they can truly reflect the diverse communities it serves and contribute to a more just world. In addition, senior leadership from the hotel will also visit the shelter and provide mentorship and training to hone their existing skills or to teach new ones. As a business, uniquely positioned to provide meaningful career paths for people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, Hyatt will continue to prioritize creating career pathways for Opportunity Youth of the LGBTQ community through its Rise HY program, to support young adults to help them identify and reach their full potential. “We strive to come together and make a positive impact in the communities we work with and the environment we operate in”, adds Shobhan.

Ananya Som at work at Hyatt Regency Kolkata

Rayan Sher from Howrah, Andul joined Hyatt Regency Kolkata on 12th July’ 2022 as a housekeeping intern. “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be associated with a brand like Hyatt to begin my career. I was familiar with tailoring and stitching tasks so I was assigned to tailoring room and was later transferred to laundry. Prior to this I was associated with the Banking sector. In past few months, I have worked as a Laundry Valet and I feel very grateful that I have got opportunity to meet so many guests and interact with them. Hyatt Regency Kolkata has given me a chance to be independent and self-sufficient. I see a very bright future in the hospitality industry with the World of Hyatt”, shares Sher.
Ananya Som from Habra, North 24 Parganas was seeking an opportunity to work in a professional world. “Through my NGO, I got an opportunity to train in housekeeping department of Hyatt Regency Kolkata from 12th July, 2022. I was assigned as a uniform room intern and I was responsible for assigning lockers, uniform and organizing the area. Since July, I have learnt so much about the industry and I love interacting with people working here. Hyatt Regency Kolkata has groomed me as a person and has made me industry ready. I aspire to reach a position where I will be able to motivate many others from my community to join the Hospitality industry”, smiles Som.

If you want to support the queer community, just engage with people in conversation and create a sense of inclusivity. Just hang out with them as you would with anyone else, which shows how important it is to approach people and make them feel embraced. Don’t try to navigate away from definite topics or conversations. You can also make contributions to LGBTQ charities as well. If you want to do something to help towards acceptance, take a look at your local community and understand if there are any organizations that help out.

In India, the first pride parade of the LGBTQ community called the ‘Kolkata Rainbow Pride walk’ took place in 1999.

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