Name: Danielle Knox
Role: Police Officer
Organisation: Cheshire Police
Sector: Emergency Services
How does your identity relate to your work?
I am a lesbian police officer, currently working in the Criminal Investigation Department for Cheshire Police.
My identity doesn’t affect my day job, but it does gives me a great opportunity to work hard for the LGBT+ community. I’m the LGBT+ Network Lead for Cheshire Police, which means I work with the senior leadership team to ensure a greater experience for LGBT+ staff, as well as better engagement with the LGBT+ community.
I’ve found being involved in the network very personally rewarding too. It’s allowed me to make a stand about who I am and take part in events that make me proud to be me.
Do you feel comfortable being out at work?
I feel very comfortable being out with my colleagues, because I have a very good team and working environment. I’ve become more open about my identity with the public through my public-facing work, but it can still be a challenge.
Being a lesbian means I sometimes get the 'you don't look the stereotype' reaction, because of people's perceptions about how we look. It means I regularly come out to different people. I think that gives me a different perspective on being a woman as well as being LGBT. I don't fit into standard boxes, which even our own community has – that’s good because it challenges people's perceptions.
Why are role models important?
In the workplace, role models show everyone that LGBT people can be themselves and be proud of themselves. Taking part in Stonewall’s Role Models Programme propelled me to be the active LGBT network member I am today. I got to really see the importance of being yourself and the impact that can have on others. When you can be yourself, you’ll work to your full potential and it gives others the courage to be themselves too.
Why are allies important in the workplace?
Allies make it possible to be comfortable to be yourself in the workplace. They are there to be your support when you are not there and show others that being yourself is supported, no matter what your identity.