I come from a white working-class mining community in the North East and was raised in a council estate in which bullying was rife and where being labelled gay was a staple insult for anyone who over-achieved or did not conform to gender stereotypes.
As a result, I didn’t come out to my family and friends until pupillage when I was fortunate enough to have Brie Stevens-Hoare QC as my pupil supervisor. From the first day of being in chambers, I felt that I could bring my authentic self to work without repercussion and it was only as a result of feeling comfortable with my life in London that I felt able to come out to my family. I will forever be grateful to Brie for supporting me when I made that decision and I will never forget the sense of relief when my family were overwhelmingly supportive and accepting of me.
Through my involvement with FreeBar, my goal is to ensure that the Bar is seen as visibly inclusive so that others can join the profession safe in the knowledge that they can be whoever they want to be and still forge a successful career. We still have a long way to go before everyone in our community feels welcome at the Bar and in society as a whole but the profession has taken positive steps forward with many sets committing to the FreeBar Charter and the Inns hosting LGBT+ dining events for the first time in history.