Reintroducing our CEO: Thea Bardot ⚡️

So if you didn't already know, Lightning is 100% trans owned, by me. I identify as trans non-binary and use they/she pronouns, have been presenting femme for the past few years and am one of LinkedIn's top LGBTQ+ creators 🏳️‍🌈

And on Sunday, I made a huge and completely unplanned decision to re-introduce myself to my company, my friends, Linkedin and pretty much anyone who would listen to be honest! This is such a big step for me on my journey & feeling all the emotions right now, but most of all I feel truly free & at peace for the first time in my life.

I wanted to share the email I sent around to the company this weekend to reintroduce myself as Thea, to make a topic as big as this one super accessible, so here goes:

Subject: Re-introduction⚡️Thea Bardot

Hey Y'all,

SO in some very exciting news, i'm in the process of officially changing my name via deed poll to Thea Bardot (short for Theadora, new tagline: Theadora the explorer 🎒),

You've obviously known me as xxxxx 100% of the time, so there will be an adjustment period here, all I ask is that you make a conscious effort to get it right, correct clients/candidates & apologise if you get it wrong and move on.

Q&A's below for ease:

Q: So do we just not refer to you as xxxxx anymore? 
A: Correct, that name has now been officially retired - RIP & is now referred to as my dead name.

Q: What about your last name, is that legally changed too?
A: Yeppp it will be via deed poll, this is less common amongst the trans+ community, but it felt correct for me.

Q: How did you choose your new name?
A: Thea is a name i've had written down for over a year now that i'd never heard before until I saw a contestant on a reality TV show with it and was like THAT'S THE NAME. I've then spent a while finding a last name that compliments Thea and had a few options, but Bardot was the winner! #2 was Thea Nomi, after the epic trans character in Sense8, my favourite show, but Bardot just sounded better (Have spent days saying Thea Bardot in the mirror haha) and of course Brigitte Bardot - iconic!

Q: Are your pronouns still they/she?
A: Yes!

Q: In changing your name to a female inspired name, does that mean you now identify fully as a woman?
A: Nope! I still identify as trans non-binary, but the full name assigned to me at birth no longer fit with my gender identity.

Q: Does that mean today is your new birthday?
A: Nope! I'll always be part of the crab crew (Cancerian 4 lyf!) but my official trans birthday is 20th January, when I started on HRT. But this is person specific amongst the trans community.

Q: Are you worried about this affecting your business profile / people not knowing it's you?
A: No! I'm the same person, just re-introducing myself. People change their names all the time and this is about me and my happiness =] Life is too short to worry about what other people will think/say.

Q: So is this your forever name?
A: Who knows! One of the best things about being trans is that you don't have to play by anyone else's rules - this is the name that represents me right now and brings me joy, but who knows what the future holds!

First course of action: changing the name you have for me in your personal + work phones =]

Stay awesome,


Ps. First email signing off as Thea!! I'm not crying, you are 🙃


I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the outpouring of love on all platforms, it's truly overwhelming and unexpected. This trans person feels oh so loved right now.

However, the chances are there are yet more trans+ and non binary people in our amazing industry that would LOVE to be able to come out, but don't feel safe to do so. We owe it to the community to continue to educate ourselves to be allies in and outside of the office, so please do get in contact if you would be interested in trans inclusion training. 

In the meantime, please enjoy this incredible panel from Pride month of Underrepresented voices ft Thea on the importance of being LGBTQ+ inclusive and why:

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Thea Bardot

15th August

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