From being careful "not to give the game away" to being 100% authentic
2 February 2022
In the past as a gay person, if you wanted to get on in your career the general rule of thumb was “don’t tell”, watch your use of pro-nouns, play the straight game. I am thankful that today LGBTQ+ visibility has increased in all areas, including Banking. Being Queer is seen as a proud statement as opposed to being a put down. I do wonder sometimes who I would be if I had the same level of visibility growing up. What path would my life have taken? Would I be different?
From a young age I always wanted to work in banking. I recall now how exhausting it was to “not give the game away”, to tailor your language to fit in. One of the main reasons I joined Tesco Bank two years ago was their culture and commitment to LGBTQ+ equality. This allowed me to join the company being 100% authentic, and in being authentic I hope it gives others the space to be equally true to themselves.
I hope it’s easier now for everyone to be their authentic selves. Some do still struggle but it’s incumbent on all of us to create safe spaces where you can be your true self.
History has taught me that whilst my own journey has brought me to a positive place it’s all thanks to those who have fought for equal rights. It’s thanks to them that I can proudly say that I am gay without fear of judgement, have been in a relationship for 30 years, can get married if I want to, can have children.
LGBTQ+ History Month is an opportunity for us all to continue educating ourselves. As a member of the community I feel a responsibility to continue to educate myself on the challenges that we face and I would encourage you all to be inquisitive. To support colleagues with conversations throughout the month, Tesco Bank will launch a LGBTQ+ History Guide and the Tesco Bank LGBTQ+ Colleague Network will be coming together to run events like a virtual bingo and learning sessions for all colleagues to participate in.
By coming together, being inquisitive and educating ourselves we can ensure that when we look back in the future it continues to be in a positive light.