Light, Camera, Action! Charty Chonlakarn, Senior PR Associate, Pomelo, Trans Woman Behind the Glitz and Glamour

by | Jun 24, 2022

Almost 4 years ago, stepping out of college as a trans fresh grad, Charty Chonlakarn Meesub was unsure about what the future held for her. With a background in production but a strong passion for fashion, she took a leap of faith and joined Pomelo as an intern.

Four years down the line, she is now Senior PR associate for the PR consumer team, having worked extensively to build Pomelo’s audience to what it is now –  working with our strong influencer network and establishing the coveted #PomeloGirl community across the world.

Today, she sits down with us to take us through her journey at Pomelo, and what it means to be a trans woman finding her place in the world of fashion. 

Tell us a little about your foray into the world of fashion

Being a trans fresh grad, I felt unsure about what the future held for me. However, looking back, when I was young, I always had a strong passion for fashion. Although I graduated with a background in production rather than PR, I saw this job as a way for me to explore a new career path, as well as step into the world of fashion. Grabbing this opportunity was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From being an intern, I transitioned to a full-time employee making it my first full time job. Today, it’s been almost 4 years with the company. I attribute this to the amazing work environment at Pomelo – here, I always felt and feel so comfortable being myself. What I like most is that there’s no hierarchy or seniority system that limits what junior employees can do or say. I loved that even when I was in a junior position, I got many opportunities to voice my opinions and was responsible for challenging tasks that really allowed me to learn and grow. 

What does your role at Pomelo look like?

As part of the PR consumer team, I act as a bridge that connects companies and brands to the consumer whether it’s via new collections, collaborations, or upcoming trend specific campaigns. We do this mainly through influencers, as they’ve proven to be a strong marketing tool that connects consumers to brands we work with. 

Compared to just 3 years ago, Pomelo’s brand awareness was quite low. This made building public awareness for the brand a long and challenging process, especially since we began with such a small team. Today, I’m proud of the reach we’ve attained and how far we’ve come.

What does #Pride mean to you?

Fundamentally, in this day and age, when we say the word ‘pride’, it reflects the belief that people can and should be who they are without any judgment from society. And personally, as a transgender woman, I see the word ‘pride’ as undeniably associated with the word ‘proud’ and ‘acceptance’.

When I put it like that, it might sound overwhelmingly positive, but I feel like a big part of Pride is also to be proud, and accept both the good and bad that have happened in our lives – all the roads we’ve been through. Because pride, for me, stems from within rather than something we gain from the external world. 

Did you have a queer role model growing up?

Growing up, my role was An Thongprasom, a Thai actress I’ve watched on Thai drama series since I was a kid. I would say I look up to Thai actresses in general, not specifically queer people, because I see myself as an ordinary woman. 

Do you have a favorite Pride song or queer anthem?

For me, it’s Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce. The song is all about celebrating the power of femininity and makes me feel confident about the femininity in me.

When it comes to the LGBTQ+ community today, what common misconceptions do people still have?

Most people tend to assume that all members of the LGBTQ+ communities are the same. Most think that everyone has to associate with Pride because they shared the same journey and struggle, which is not fundamentally true.

There are also things that more people can understand about the community. I want people to see humans as humans, not just as one specific gender or sexuality. Because most of the time, the public still likes to remember LGBTQ+ individuals based on these attributes while disregarding any other aspects of our lives.

How can non-LGBTQ+ people become better allies?

Just treat us based on who we are, not what we are. Some things that people should also stop saying or doing is use the wrong pronoun with us. If you’re not sure, just ask. Don’t use negative words to define or describe my gender. And don’t devalue or misinterpret our skill sets based on our gender. 

How would you define an ‘inclusive workspace’?

For me, an inclusive workplace is a space where people are treated equally regardless of their identities or background. It is a community where people have their own freedom to express themselves while respecting one another. With that as a foundation, the space will naturally become a comfort zone for everyone to feel at home.

What’s the best part about working at Pomelo?

At Pomelo, we have a very diverse team in terms of gender, age, nationality, and skills. I found that this diversity encourages not only an inclusiv,e but also a creative workplace where people with different backgrounds have their unique ideas to share. Fortunately, I can say that I have never been judged or treated differently because of being a trans woman. I can fully dress the way I want and feel, which is quite rare in Thai society where we still hear a lot about gender discrimination in the workplace. This inclusivity is definitely one of the main reasons I’m still here after 3 years. 

Finally, if you had a #Pride message for the world, what would it be?

To all LGBTQ+ people, you can be whoever you want and wish to be. Don’t ever negotiate who you are for anyone or anything. Be fabulous, and happy Pride Month!

*For Pride Month, we are shedding the spotlight on 3 passionate Pomelo LGBTQ+ staff to share their personal journey, deep dive into what this month means for them, and tell us their story: loud and proud. 

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