I have been out since I started at the Bar in 2003, having previously been out in my first “proper” job as an academic. I was lucky: in both workplaces a senior, well respected gay man had been out for a number of years. Their actions made my openness possible and, frankly, pretty easy.
I try to repay my former colleagues’ visibility: by working pro bono in LGBT rights cases, by mentoring more junior gay (and straight) colleagues, and by always correcting the assumption that as a parent I must be straight. But visibility is as much personal as political. For me, being out undoubtedly means happier and more meaningful relationships with clients, barristers, trainees and my practice team.
Openness has also led to a fabulous network of LGBT colleagues, friends and allies, many of whom I met through bar networking groups.