Associate at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
The most daunting thing I’ve ever done is come out. I was at a single-sex school where the only insult other than “gay” was a reference to “your mum”. Homosexuality was the butt of every joke and there wasn’t a single gay role model to challenge that. The prospect of openly admitting to people that I was homosexual was so intimidating that most of the time it seemed like it just wasn’t worth it – couldn’t I just stay in the closet forever?
Yes, I came out at school, but that wasn’t the end of it. I also came out at university, at work, at home, and I come out again every time I get to know a new person. It became easier and, with the support of allies, I found that I enjoyed the freedom and felt empowered by being honest about who I am. Feeling comfortable being myself at work is very important to me, and I think everyone should have that freedom.
Whether or not a person wants to come out is a personal decision. Being openly LGBTQ+ should not be imposed upon anyone, but it should always be an option that is available, and it shouldn’t carry with it a risk of prejudice or exclusion.
Events like DiversCity in Law are a great way for students to find out more about firms like BCLP, which are inclusive and want to recruit people from all walks of life. You’ll have the opportunity to hear first-hand advice, gain insights into the recruitment process and begin to build a network of LGBTQ+ lawyers. I hope to see you there!
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