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How to Be a Good Ally to LGBTQ+ Colleagues with Isaac Rocha
Episode 427th October 2020 • A Seat at the Table • Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance
00:00:00 00:36:52

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“I was trying to make sure that none of my identities were distracting from the message and being able to represent my company well.” - Isaac Rocha

Diversity and inclusion does not begin and end with race. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are still in an uphill battle for protections and representation. Isaac Rocha is the Regional Development and Inclusion Officer for The Bama Companies. As a Hispanic gay man, Isaac has spent a lifetime navigating discrimination against the intersection of both of his identities.

Isaac is our guest this week on A Seat at the Table and explains covering behavior, misconceptions against LGBTQ+ people, and the idea of psychological safety in the workplace. He also discusses how movies and TV have helped humanize LGBTQ+ people and have led to greater mainstream acceptance.

Please listen to the episode for suggestions on how to be a better ally to our LGBTQ+ friends and colleagues.

  • (00:32) - Isaac's lived experience
  • (03:07) - Defining covering and intersectionality
  • (04:24) - Coming out within machismo culture
  • (06:49) - Bama Companies
  • (08:54) - Psychological safety
  • (12:00) - Good allyship
  • (13:12) - Transgender marginalization
  • (14:43) - The impact of COVID-19
  • (16:03) - Misconceptions and microaggressions
  • (19:12) - Building rapport with pronouns
  • (21:07) - Religious congruency
  • (22:25) - Egregious discrimination
  • (25:55) - The Will & Grace effect
  • (27:31) - Preparing for work
  • (29:54) - Announcing who you are
  • (32:07) - Learning resources
  • (34:04) - Humanizing a community

Isaac Rocha is a Regional Development and Inclusion Officer at The Bama Companies. He strategically helped align the company’s philanthropic giving, public and government affairs, foundation fundraising efforts, and community impact. Rocha executes Bama’s Inclusion & Diversity strategy reinforcing Bama’s commitment to multicultural intelligence and creating inclusivity for all team members.

Rocha currently serves on the advisory board of the national Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance. He is also a co-owner and managing partner of Black Rain Glacier, LLC which owns Glacier Confection, a high-end confection chocolatier, with two retail store fronts in Tulsa.

A Seat at the Table is hosted by Gerald “Gerry” A. Fernandez, the founder and President of the MFHA, an educational non-profit organization that makes the business case for developing cultural intelligence in the workplace. Gerry has been recognized for his decades of work in educating and advocating for the business benefits of cultural diversity and inclusion in the foodservice & hospitality industry. Gerry was honored in the Nation’s Restaurant News 2018 Power List among “the definitive list of industry leaders who are not only setting trends today but also shaping them for tomorrow."

You can find more information about the MFHA on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Learn more about the MFHA, their resources, and available training at

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Podcast episode production by Dante32.



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