Bernardo's workplace story
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Bernardo's workplace story

 

Name: Bernardo
Role: Police Officer
Organisation: Metropolitan Police Service
Sector: Emergency Services

What has your experience been like as an LGBT person at work?

I work as a full-time police constable, having started as a volunteer back in 2011. I’m a trans man (FTM) and I started my transition process almost two years ago. My employer and my colleagues are extremely supportive – they’ve given me the time and support I’ve needed during this difficult time in my life.

My workplace LGBT network was vital during my 'coming out' process. I was introduced to people who knew what I needed to do regarding the legal aspects of my transition and HR matters, such as changing my name on systems. I’ve also made new friends from the network, have had the chance to help other people and have attended amazing events as its representative.

Do you feel comfortable being out at work?

Yes, I see it as a good opportunity for people to ask questions and get to know a little bit more about trans people and what the transition process involves. It's also good to show people that, as humans, we come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of us were born in our correct gender and some of us had to fight a long battle for ours. Being out at work also gives me the opportunity to fully be myself so I can focus on my career and my goals.

Why are workplace role models important?

Having role models at work can help people realise that you can still be successful in your career and be who you are. Role models can point people in the right direction, but mainly help them take that first step towards being themselves. It's about making people realise that if you went through it they can too, and that in the end it’s worth it.

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in your sector?

The police is like a big family – the main thing is that you return home every day safe and well. I’m a member of our team like any other officer and I’m respected by my colleagues.
Being LGBT also helps me when dealing with members of the public who are also LGBT. They feel good to know a police officer can relate to them and feel safer and more comfortable opening up.