Name: Anthony Flynn
Role: Application Developer
Organisation: Allstate Northern Ireland
How does your identity relate to your work?
I’m a young queer man who’s passionate about fighting for his rights, as well as those of his family and community. My identity informs the bonds that I make with people at work – I’m an active member of my workplace LGBTQ group and I am currently working to make my workplace better for young queer people coming after me. I want to ensure that Allstate supports us, encourages us and employs us.
Do you feel comfortable being out at work?
I feel very comfortable being out at work – Allstate has given me all the support I personally need to be who I am at work.
In my experience, the technology sector is more accepting of LGBTQ people than most. While this may not be the case everywhere, I do know of many organisations in my sector that actively support their queer workforce. I am lucky enough not to have faced any barriers to progression in my career thus far – my own experience has been emphatically positive.
However, it is important to remain mindful of the experiences of others, as they may be totally different to my own. That’s why we must do everything we can to enact positive and progressive change in our workplaces, to make them more accessible to all LGBTQ people, so we’re able to bring our whole selves.
How do you think being LGBT relates to other parts of your identity?
Being LGBTQ is an important part of my identity, particularly as someone from Northern Ireland and Belfast. Our history as a community here has always been one of difficulty. Our lives, our identities, our history and our culture are not widely accepted. But we have always fought battles, even after winning rights for others in our society. We are a collective and we are proud.
What advice would you give to an LGBT person at the start of their career?
Be proud of who you are – don't shy away from openly talking about your life, discussing your experiences and sharing these with your colleagues when the time is right. Though, be smart, know who you can count on and who you can trust in the workplace.