I can scarcely believe it, but 2019 marks fourteen years since I stepped into the Stonewall offices, as a fresh-faced new employee in the policy team.
It marks five years since I became Chief Executive – an honour that has made the past half-decade the most exciting, challenging, humbling and rewarding time of my life so far.
It’s time for someone else to lead this fantastic organisation and take it into the next chapter.
It will also mark the year I leave Stonewall, as I have decided it’s time for someone else to lead this fantastic organisation and take it into the next chapter. The next six months will be my last but six months is not a short amount of time, and I’m determined to make it count as much, if not more, than any other.
The Stonewall of today is very different to the one I joined, and I’m proud of the part I’ve played in that journey. Our work to support LGBT equality in education and to empower LGBT individuals to act as role models in institutions and businesses has grown exponentially. We are now a serious voice working to stamp out homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sport, and our ambitions to support the work of human rights defenders internationally is growing at a pace.
Since 2015, we have been a proudly trans-inclusive organisation, and our work with trans communities to tackle the discrimination they face on a daily basis has been one of the major focuses for myself and our board of trustees over the past five years.
Chief Executives get a lot of the spotlight in campaigning charities such as ours. But there is a whole team of committed, passionate people behind what I do, and a board that has a steely focus on making the biggest difference they can for every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person here and abroad. I have no doubt in my mind that the board will find an exceptional new CEO to champion, develop and expand all of these streams of work.
That’s why - while of course leaving is difficult and I will miss being immersed in this world 24/7 - I know that there are great things to come for Stonewall, and great things we as a wider equality movement will achieve together in the coming years. And that is something I will continue being a vocal and passionate part of, as I hope you will too.