Training as a barrister in the 1990s, I stayed firmly in the closet – I still remember another student’s casual comment about “left footers” which, whilst not malicious, didn’t inspire openness. Joining the Government Legal Profession as an employed barrister, I remained hesitant to mention my sexual orientation – even an after work drink in a gay bar with a colleague felt scary. But working on projects like the Gender Recognition and Civil Partnership Bills not only changed the law for the better, it also changed me: inspired by colleagues, I gained the confidence to be open about who I am.
Now, as a Senior Civil Servant, I aim to be a visible role model, to reassure others that being an out gay Government lawyer isn’t just safe but brilliant! I am proud of the Government Legal Department’s diversity – we all perform better when we are free to be ourselves at work.