Felix Ly is a Project Coordinator for National Geographic’s Marketing Creative team, where he supports the promotion of Nat Geo’s television and streaming content. Felix earned his degree in mass communications, public relations, and advertising from Towson University, and began his career at the National Aquarium in downtown Baltimore, working as an Advertising Coordinator.
1. During your time at National Geographic, what has been your biggest accomplishment and your biggest challenge?
My biggest accomplishment thus far has been working on projects supporting Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Pride Month. Working on projects that hit so close to home feels different. I felt a responsibility to speak up for people that are often unheard. I felt the power to give my opinion and I felt so accomplished when I saw my friends and family react to pieces that were created. My biggest challenge has been finding my voice. For a long time I have always tried to stray away from the spotlight so when it comes to speaking up I often do not, but due to those two projects I am learning to find my voice and understand the impact of sharing my opinions during the creative process.
2. June is Pride Month. What does this month mean to you?
Pride means freedom to me. It’s a month full of expression and love. You can be yourself and see everyone celebrate their true selves. No facades, no boundaries, and no judgement.
3. Who is your LGBTQ+ role model or inspiration?
I feel like the LGBTQ+ group is underrepresented but if I had to choose someone it would be Lady Gaga. Her 2009 run definitely impacted me in many ways. I remember feeling the freedom to express myself through hair, clothes, and makeup and stopped caring about how strangers viewed me. As long as I liked myself that was all cared about. She literally wore a meat dress and didn’t care what anyone said — how inspiring is that!
4. How does being part of the LGBTQ+ community inform your work at National Geographic?
I think that it gives me the responsibility to take on projects such as PRIDE so that I can ensure that a LGBTQ+ voice is heard during the creative process. I think that it also pushes me to take on projects that deal with groups that I am not necessarily apart of but am an ally of. I want to understand and connect with everyone because I want everyone to understand and connect with me as well!
5. After working from home for the past year due to the pandemic, what has been the silver lining for you?
Getting to see my baby sister grow up. I’ve gotten to witness her learn to crawl, walk, and speak. Seeing these milestones were really important for me and since we get to work from home it has been awesome working and spending time with her.