Robert Malcolm Povall

As someone who was relentlessly bullied growing up for ‘sounding’ and ‘acting’ gay, whatever that means, I cannot help but be amused by the fact that I am now part of a profession where my voice and character, public and exposed, are my greatest assets.

I decided when seeking a career at the bar not to hide who I am; being gay is part of my identity and not something to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, I often ask myself whether I would be in this position had I not succeeded academically. I’m not entirely optimistic about the answer.

There is space for us in this profession, but the fight is not over. We have a duty to not only occupy a space at the bar but to be visible in that occupation. For every offensive joke we hear or every comment, unintentional or not, which makes us feel lesser, we must speak out. After all, what kind of advocates would we be, if we didn’t?