Role: Teaching Lab Technician
Organisation: University of Bristol
What led you to share your story?
I publicly came out as transgender and non-binary in Autumn 2016 and I'm currently on the waiting list at a gender identity clinic here in the UK. I first started to notice that my gender didn't match my physicality sometime around 2007/8. Back then I spent a lot of time confused, but also secretly living a private life as a woman.
In recent years I’ve seen massive encouragement for openness about mental health, so I decided to take the step to start getting some help and embracing who I knew I really was. And now here I am! I write a blog called ‘Girl Brain, Boy Body’ about my experiences as a trans/NB person and my mental health.
In the workplace, do you think it’s important for LGBT role models to share their stories and experiences?
Workplace role models are important because they show that LGBT+ people are real, we hold down jobs and we contribute to our communities and workplaces, just like anyone else. Being LGBT+ still comes with so much stigma, so I'm proud to be trans and in a position to say 'hi, I'm here, I'm normal, just like you!'. I like to think that being openly trans in a team of otherwise cis-gendered people helps to broaden the team’s own understanding of LGBT+ people.
How has your experience of work been?
I’m lucky that the organisations I've worked for, at the time of my coming out and now, have been accepting and open places. Especially at the University of Bristol where we have a staff LGBT+ network, which I’m proud to be a member of – as their Trans Rep no less!
The network helps to raise the profile of LGBT+ people and provides support to anyone who’s having problems because of their LGBT+ identity. It also helps cement the organisation as a diverse and inclusive place to work and study.