In this new column, business leader Ricardo Sebastián explores business trends, career hacks, and all the intersections of doing business as a queer person in the world. 

Ricardo Sebastián, creator of Too Queer To Fear. Photo Credit: Santiago Felipe

Hello. My name is Ricardo Sebastián. I’m a first-generation Mexican American, non-binary, pansexual, aspiring sex worker, trauma healer, business owner, content creator, executive-level corporate baddie, and now, writer. I’ve done my best to avoid identity politics, but the world we live in is obsessed with labels. So, I figured it’s best to start there so you can assume to know who you’re engaging with online. 

I’m excited to write my first column, especially with a groundbreaking brand and media source like Queerency. Writing has always been my best form of self-expression. Writing has liberated me from so much of what I believed to be true. Writing has healed me from so much of what I have endured. This column has been a long time in the making, so thank you to both Queerency and you, the reader, for allowing me to share my life experiences in an ongoing effort to shift workplace culture and help you unlock your limitless ability in the world of business today. 

Over the next few months, I’ll share a mix of real-time responses to industry trends and reflections on my seventeen-year-long career as a pioneering LGBTQ+ business leader. We’ll also explore business trends, career hacks, and all the intersections of doing business as a Queer person in the world. 

I have found solace in knowing my writing has already positively impacted some people in my life, both IRL and parasocial. To my Instagram community––those who follow my journaling journey––sharing my journals with the world has helped me become confident and strong. The kind words I have received from readers remind me that we each have a voice and a lived experience, both of which are unique in this world. And, yet, so many of us suffer in similar ways because of capitalism and white supremacy. 

The combination of these two structures is one and the same, one feeding into the other since the beginning of colonization, crushing entire communities generation after generation. Looking back on my life, I see how I’ve exploited myself to get to where I am. I see how capitalism and white supremacy have poisoned me. All this to say that part of this column is my retribution and liberation. The unfortunate reality is that capitalism exists in all places and spaces, affecting everyone. My greatest hope is that the impact of this column will help LGBTQ+ people and humanity at large to begin detaching from the oppressive structures in place. 

I’m excited to share some of my professional background for readers learning about me for the first time! As a sophomore in college, I joined my school’s international business club, ENACTUS, where my peers and I had the opportunity to take what we were learning in the classroom and apply it to real-world projects. The primary topics were entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental sustainability, and business ethics. This is ultimately what introduced me to the world of business. 

My first project was Reaching Sara, an Applied Behavior Analysis services business for children with autism. Shortly after this experience, I was recruited to become a nightlife promoter, leading me to develop my first business, Luxury Management, an event production company in Chicago. My initial focus was producing fundraisers for local nonprofits, which then led me into lifestyle events and producing fashion shows. Everything I learned through event production developed new skills like strategic planning, operations, marketing, client and talent management, and so much more. 

My scope evolved and I later rebranded Luxury Management to life by LUX, focusing on business development for LGBTQ+ creatives. Former clients include Julius LaCour, Gage John Lazar, and Jason Rodriguez. Eventually, Jason and I would become business partners and launch arraygency, a firm representing BIPOC LGBTQ+ creatives. 

Honestly, I slayed every single one of these opportunities and will spill all the tea in upcoming columns. The short of it though, is that I’ve spent the entirety of my career hiding behind the creativity of others. This is why my most recent venture RICARDOXSEBASTIÁN is all about me and what I’m bringing to the table.

Yes, after seventeen years of overall success, I still hesitate to call myself any kind of industry expert. That’s insecurity and imposture syndrome for you, I suppose. What I will say is I do consider myself an expert in navigating a world overrun by white supremacy and capitalism. A world in which the elite move the lines and change the equations every hour on the hour. This reality forces each of us to become experts in navigation. But even still, my expertise is often veiled by the privileges I carry as a light skin, English-speaking, college-educated, American-born male presenting queer person in the world of business. 

Each of these identities makes up the sum of someone who is an oppressed minority, yet I have had so much access by comparison to my peers. And I suppose that’s part of why I’ve started this column. In part to motivate people like me to explore and understand their privileges because having privilege comes with the responsibility of leveraging said privilege to empower and liberate those without.

With that being said, welcome to Too Queer To Fear: The Column.