I work in Learning Resources and my job is to teach and assist library users in accessing resources for their studies. I’m also a member of the LGBTQ+ Forum Planning Group. While in full time employment, I’ve always been out to my colleagues. Thankfully I’ve never experienced any discrimination or “hate” for being me. This made me more confident in being myself in the work environment.
It was not always like that. As a teen, I was more careful about who I disclosed my sexuality to, fearful that I might be met with hostility. That’s why I believe having role models is important. They can show that it doesn’t matter which gender you find most attractive, you can still accomplish great things in life.
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. I’ve found there are more people accepting than you realise. Oxford Brookes has fostered a friendly and inclusive environment, and I feel proud to work here. I’ve found a lot of support from staff, and have forged genuine friendships with many. Oxford itself has been a very welcoming place, and I’ve been on a few pride parades both here and in Swindon representing Brookes.
My message to any newcomers is to get involved. There are discreet and supportive groups here, and the University is a great place to be open and to be yourself.
“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.”
Aaron Worsley, Academic Liaison Librarian