3 Questions with Rachel Heseltine, VP of Consumer Growth

Trader Interactive has made championing the LGBTQIA+ community one of its missions through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts. The company believes it is important for every employee to have the opportunity to be his, her, or their most authentic self.  As such, in honor of Pride month, we asked our VP of Consumer Growth, Rachel Heseltine to share more about what this time means to her. 

“People can struggle for years to figure out who they are as there’s a lot of fear and trepidation about opening up to the world when you do get to that point,” stated Heseltine. “For me it took 50 years.” This June will be the first Pride month she’ll be authentically herself allowing the world to see her for who she truly is. 

So with that in mind, we asked Rachel a few questions to shed some light on Pride month and what it means to her since she recently came out publicly as a transgender woman.

What does Pride Month mean to you? 

Pride month is a way to highlight the LGBTQIA+ community, to remind folks that we exist, and to celebrate our accomplishments and achievements. It’s also to give others that haven’t made the next step of coming out to others or themselves, the courage to see that there is hope and the potential for a good life on the other side when you accept and embrace who you are, and the person that were meant to be. 

If there is one thing you could educate others around Pride Month, what would it be?

People you know may be members of the LGBTQIA+ community, your daughters, sons, friends, uncles, aunts, neighbors, etc.  They’re deserving of living their lives in peace, just like any other members of society.  Showing them support, and understanding doesn’t hurt you, and can be the difference between life and death for them.

What does it mean to you to be able to show your most authentic self at work?

When I came out to Trader Interactive’s CEO, Lori Stacy, last October, I wrote the below poem to put into words what that meant to me. 

Coming Out

Should I?
I was hesitant

Could I?
So reticent

What if?
Crossed my mind

Why not?
Courage to find

We started talking
On one other topic
Did she already know?
Was I being neurotic?

At topics end
A question she asked
Was there anything else?
The die was now cast

I opened my mouth
My secret to spill
And out it all poured
As she sat there quite still

When I was done
She smiled and she spoke
I’m proud that you told me
I’ll tell no more folk

My shoulders they lifted
As if weight off just dropped
All of my doubts
Right there they just stopped

Why had I been so scared
My truth to reveal
Now going forward
I’ll share it with zeal

Who I truly am
I’ll no longer hide
To all that I meet
I’ll announce it with pride

Heseltine added that she’s grateful that she’s had a great deal of acceptance and encouragement from her co-workers and leadership team at Trader Interactive. “I know that others aren’t as lucky, or aren’t in as good a situation, so I’m thankful for how I’ve been received here, and I hope that others can find a place where that’s true for them too.” 

So do we.