Clare’s story | Stonewall
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Clare’s story

Read about Clare’s journey from the music industry to the Prince’s Trust and being a member of the LGBTQIA+ staff network

Key themes: Media industry, music, The Prince’s Trust, staff network, running your own business

1. Tell us a bit about your journey through education and into work, and if you faced any challenges along the way? 

I was a teenager at school in the North of England in the 90s and from 1,500 pupils in a secondary school there was only one out gay male and no out lesbians. There must have been a lot of people in the closet in education during Thatcher’s Section 28 period (1988 -2003). This continued into sixth form and even at university to a certain extent.

Thankfully, now times have changed, and it fills my heart with joy when I see LGBTQIA+ couples walking to school openly holding hands. For me it was easier to just act straight and fit in, so I focused on my education and more so my career as a distraction which made me feel more validated.

I was lucky to work in the media after completing a BA in Media and Cultural Studies, starting off in local radio as a promoter and then moving into radio producing, presenting and plugging. This then led me to 12 years of being self-employed and running my own business in music PR and artist management in London. I found the music industry and the capital city much more open to LGBTQ+ people and as I was my own boss, I only had myself to answer too.  

2. How did you overcome these challenges? 

I overcame these challenges by being hyper focused on my career and doing what I loved. Music to me was freedom where people could express themselves.

I found the music, media and PR industry in London to be somewhere I could fit in, where anything goes and more LGBTQ+ friendly. I guess you find your people, and London has a higher LGBTQ+ population and bigger gay scene than the North of England.

3. Tell us a bit about what you do now

After 12 years of living and working in London I came back to a much more open LGBTQ+ Newcastle and my partner and I now happily live here. Today, I am a Youth Development Lead for The Princes Trust working on the Development Awards program. I award young people (16-30 years) grants to help them move on in education, training and employment.

I am also an active member of the LGBTQIA+ network ‘Pulse’ at The Princes Trust. Pulse works with staff and volunteers across The Trust to ensure we have the best possible environment for colleagues and young people from the LGBTQIA+ community. I can really recommend The Princes Trust as a very inclusive and LQBTQIA+ friendly place to work.

I chose to work here as I knew that among the many benefits they had also be voted as one of the UK’s ‘Best Workplace for Wellbeing’ by Great Place To Work.

4. What advice would you give to a LGBTQ+ young person thinking about taking the next step into the world of training or work? 

Do some research and try to choose workplaces that are LGBTQ+ friendly and have Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as a priority. You could also consider being an entrepreneur and starting up your own business, so that you make the rules and set the standards.

The Prince’s Trust ‘Enterprise’ programme offers young people support to do this and help to turn new business dreams into a reality.

Surround yourself with likeminded individuals and if there is an LGBTQ+ staff network group, join up. If not, start one up yourself.

Finally, try to do something you enjoy, be yourself and authentic! Be proud of who you are!

The Prince’s Trust has helped over 90,000 young people to start their own business – and you could be next. Find out about starting a business with The Prince's Trust.

If you're interested, find out more about working at The Prince’s Trust.

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