February is LGBT History Month so we spoke to one of our team about what it’s like working for Fostering People as a LGBT employee
I always knew from a young age that I was “different”, that I seemed to always feel more comfortable and attracted towards girls/women rather than boys. This made me feel very anxious and nervous, maybe something was wrong with me? I tried having boyfriends but I could only really relate to them as boy-friends. I confided in some of my friends how I was feeling when I was about 14, unfortunately due to a silly teenage fall out these “friends” decided to “out” me to the whole school… Most of the children responded in a negative manner shouting “Lesbo” and “Lemon” at me as I walked past and were generally very cruel… Luckily I had a few good friends who looked out for me and encouraged me to ignore the others. It was a very difficult and lonely time and the teachers were powerless to stop the bullies. Gradually though, I began to accept myself for who I am and responded with “Yeah and so what?” This took all the power away from the bullies and gradually the taunts stopped.
When I moved up and on to college I was nervous about coming out but the atmosphere there was so very different, everyone was a lot more mature about it and generally took the attitude, of each to their own and whatever floats your boat! The lads found it all very interesting and my only problem there was stopping any too invasive questions! I don’t ask questions about your sex life, don’t ask questions about mine!
I first came out to my parents as being bi-sexual at 14, but eventually I realised this wasn’t the case and I told my mum I was a lesbian when I was 16. At first she tried to tell me it was a phase I’d grow out of it, and would try to encourage me towards “good looking” boys, but eventually she realised this wasn’t a phase. She accepted me and supported me, I was allowed to bring my girlfriends home, but she was worried how other people would react, she didn’t want me to get hurt or for people to be cruel to me. When her friends and other family members made it clear to her that they didn’t mind and that times were changing and being gay is generally a lot more accepted now she began to relax.
Coming out in the workplace has always been a nerve wracking time for me, I have had some nice experiences and some not so nice… Working for Fostering People/Core Assets has only made me grow stronger and more confident. It’s a wonderful/open/supportive company. I immediately felt at ease when walking through the door and have never felt the need to hide who I am. I’ve had many jobs in my lifetime and worked for many different companies large and small and so far Fostering People/Core Assets is the best! We don’t just do amazing work in Fostering and Adoption/Children’s services but they’re great at supporting and encouraging staff and covering other issues too, as well as working with Stonewall and other organisations. It is because of all this that I feel confident enough to share my story now in such a public manner. Keep up the good work everyone!
My wife and I got married on September 20th 2015 my mum and dad love her like a third daughter. All my family attended the wedding. I am lucky that there is no homophobia in my family what so ever, our baby boy was born 15th October 2016 and we feel confident in the fact that he will be raised with two loving doting mums.
Don’t hide who you are. Coming out may not always be easy but staying hidden is a lot harder and you will only hurt yourself more than anyone else. The bullies could only continue to hurt me until I accepted me.
Love who you are – Always!