I was called to the Bar in 1995 and somewhat later it was openly made clear that gay and lesbian people hoping to be judges should not feel obliged to declare their sexuality under the heading of a matter which might embarrass the Lord Chancellor.
It was for me a very welcome signal of ‘permission to be’. Sometimes the saying of something is necessary to make it feel real. Even then it took a kind colleague nudging me before I considered it might be possible to have a judicial career at all some years later.
Invisibility and disempowerment, so often self imposed, are evil twins. I think that we must always remind ourselves of the need to stay visible and to believe and encourage others to believe that where the will to be our genuine selves is strong, the future often follows confidently in its footsteps.