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Finding Her Voice – Misty's Story

Misty C. (She/Her): Area Coach, Taco Bell Corp.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. Today, celebrations include parades, picnics, parties, workshops and more – unifying millions of participants around the world for a month of solidarity. Not only is Pride Month a time to celebrate diverse backgrounds and unique experiences, but also a time to recognize the worldwide impact and accomplishments that LGBTQIA+ individuals have had and continue to have.

This year’s NYC Pride theme is “Reflect, Empower and Unite”. To honor this month and our people, we’re amplifying the voices of those in the LBGTQIA+ community who are growing their careers at Taco Bell.

Misty grew up in a non-traditional way, which led her down a path that felt like it didn’t “fit” her.

“I grew up in foster care, got married at 18 and had children. Nothing felt right; it wasn’t me. After walking away [from that relationship], I found my person, and she helped me raise my children, even though they were not biologically hers.”

Misty met her partner at a Pride event, and from their first date, they never stopped talking and have been together ever since. Then, years later, Misty’s partner ended up transitioning, becoming her husband.

“When I first got into the relationship with my partner, the people around me were not really accepting of us – so it kind of became a safety issue. It was a tough time, and I didn’t know how to take care of myself.”

That’s why Misty believes it’s so important to focus on mental health and safety when it comes to exploring one’s sexuality. One way she shares this is by telling others her story.

“It took me a long time to open up and be comfortable with sharing my past. Then I met Lori T. (a leader at Taco Bell), who supported and encouraged me through it all. I finally opened up and shared my story with others who had known me for 14 years, but never knew who I truly was.”

Since then, Misty has been able to grow and heal from her past in ways she never thought she would. From being able to speak her truth and finding a voice within her, she’s been able to foster an inclusive environment by building connections with others of a similar past or present. Now she’s a sounding board for her peers at Taco Bell.

So how’d she end up at The Bell?

“I found Taco Bell through an event I was working at as an owner and operator of another quick service restaurant brand at that time. In conversation, the employee asked me what I planned on doing when stepping out of that role. That conversation led to a meeting and the rest is history.”

Over the past 14 years, Misty has made some fond memories, including attending many recognition events like Golden Bell.

When it comes to those looking to get more involved in the LGBTQIA+ community, Misty shared that knowledge is key.

“The most valuable thing I can provide for those looking to get more involved in the community is the power of knowledge and educating yourself. The world is not always kind, nor can your family always be. It is super important to surround yourself with things that will help you in your journey. Knowing your resources and using them can be very powerful.”