Srishti's story | Stonewall
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Srishti's story

Read about Srishti’s experience of moving to the UK as a teenager, discovering their asexual identity, and working as a care coordinator in the NHS

Key themes: School, discrimination, coming out, asexual, NHS

1. Hi, can you introduce yourself?

Hi, my name is Srishti Jean Baburaj. I spent my childhood in Mumbai, India, teenage years in the UK, and 6 years of my adult life in Shenyang, China, studying Medicine. Before you ask, yes, I can speak Chinese (Mandarin) but only enough to order food and food-related terminology. 

I love to try new cuisine and anything food-related in general. I also like watching horror gameplay (and playing them too), read manga, like to pet cats I see on the street, and organising things, whether that’s parties or my living space.

I am currently studying for the ‘PLAB 2’ – an exam that will (eventually) allow me to practice as a doctor in the UK, while working as a Care Co-ordinator in Hounslow.

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

My high school was in Ashford. It wasn’t an academically great school but to me, it was amazing. I experienced what it meant to be part of the LGBTQ community through my friends. My friends were publicly out – they openly dated partners of the same gender. I thought that was so cool. They also got horribly bullied for it, which I never understood. I tried standing up to the bullies, but they never really stopped. Despite this terrible atmosphere, my friends taught me a lot about standing up for myself, being proud of who I am and not tolerating any abuse.

I never had any interest in dating or sex, and always felt like a sore thumb of sorts. Although I learned what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and pansexual through my friends, I never had anyone tell me anything about being asexual, aromantic and on the “non-sexual” side of the spectrum.

During my time in China, I read a lot about being LGBTQ+, about why I felt uninterested in relationships, especially sexual contact, and realised I was asexual. It was a relief to have a name for what I felt, and that I wasn’t abnormal for feeling the way I did. LGBTQ+ Instagram pages really helped me because they presented information in easy-to-understand chunks. It was also a nice way to connect with people from the ace community because they are all part of the page.

3. Tell us a bit about what you do now, and what it’s like being LGBTQ+ in the workplace

I work as a Care Coordinator in Hounslow Health and love my job (most days lol). I am open about my preferences and don’t necessarily feel the need to “come out” as such – if someone does ask me what my sexuality is, I do of course tell them. However, I think the way I live my life is evidence enough of my sexuality/preferences and that should be enough.

I do think it is generally easier on me in the workplace being ace, than if I was openly bisexual or gay, as although many people (including myself until recently) do not know about asexuality, in my experience it is still more acceptable than if I said I was lesbian or bi.

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

I think you should go for whatever it is you want, and if you feel you are being unfairly discriminated against because of your sexuality, then definitely raise a complaint. If such things are not highlighted or brought to attention, then they are often swept under the rug so to speak, and people who have such attitudes go on to believe it is okay to treat others unfairly.

I know it may not always be safe to come out or be visibly LGBTQ+. Don’t feel you are alone and somehow being untruthful or lying about who you are, because it is important to be safe before you can come out and comfortably express who you are. Try to find support groups or groups at your workplace/college and if you’re at school, speak to a trusted adult like your class teacher, or headteacher. This sounds like boring info but trust me it is important to speak to someone you trust, even a close friend or your parent, about what you are feeling and if something or someone is bothering you.

Find out more about a career as an AHP at Reach For The Stars With AHP Careers and Heroes of Health and Social Care.

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