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Being out at work is liberating. It also means you can fly the flag for equality and ensure the rights of other LGBTQ+ staff are respected.
Having come from the sporting world, where it is often perceived to be highly homophobic, role models are essential to show others that sport is most often a safe and welcoming space for sexually diverse persons.
Listening and learning from different voices and experiences is central to making the University an inclusive and welcoming place where diversity is truly valued, where everyone can be part of making this a reality and feel the benefits.
I came to terms with being gay whilst at university, so after years of hiding this part of my identity from myself and others I feel it’s important to present my true self in the workplace.
The University isn’t just a job for me, it’s been a huge part of my life and I continue to enjoy every day here.
My experience of being out at Brookes has been a really positive one - people are sometimes surprised to find a married queer priest in the Multifaith Chaplaincy office but it’s a good conversation-starter.
I feel like we have a responsibility to make the LGBTQ+ community more visible and continue to normalise us within the modern society.
Brookes has always been an affirmative community; three colleagues in particular supported me through ‘coming out’, they were wonderful. I’ve tried to be there similarly for others.
I first walked through the doors at Brookes back in 2014 as a MSc student and have never once felt discriminated against or ashamed for being a gay woman.
As a university lecturer working with schoolteachers and other educational practitioners, I want to support and encourage LGBTQ+ role models in all educational settings.
I have always been out and proud as a gay man at Brookes and I am impressed by all the support, events, and initiatives that are now such an integral part of life within the University.
I feel a responsibility to be visible to everyone and play an active role in ensuring the future landscape is an inclusive one, where respect drives behaviour and shapes culture.
I think the main benefit of being out at work is the opportunity to represent a minority* sexuality and perhaps help to unpick some of the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding bisexuality which may have been learned from society – as well as generally raising awareness about the whole LGBTQIA+ spectrum!
Do not be afraid to be yourself, Brookes is an open and supportive environment and there are many groups and networks for you to join to help your move to Oxford.
My background straddles between the Eastern and Western worlds. More often, I do not fit in any of the worlds and the intersection of being LGBTQ adds to the challenge.