“If I think back to when I was 17, a small town boy shaking in my mum’s car as I was about to come out, and who had never really met other people who were Iike me who I could relate to or talk to, things are a world away from that now. I wouldn’t have believed the journey that I would go on with Lloyds Banking Group or that I would be involved in organising our LGBT+ initiatives as Rainbow Pride lead.
I love our LGBT+ network and what it has to offer. It’s opened my eyes to issues I never even realised were still an issue and I’ve learned so much about our community. It’s also supported me in ways I never realised I needed. The most important part of the network at Lloyds Banking Group for me is the fact it’s driven by colleagues and their thoughts and beliefs and we’re given a platform for us all to shine, as well as a safe and inclusive place to work. So I can honestly say, I’ve reached the point now where I am ‘Always Proud’ – rainbow trainers in tow of course, and being part of the network I feel more empowered than ever to ensure that people know LBG is a true ally of the LGBT+ community.
That said there’s always more we can do. Last year for example, I saw the Rainbow flag at Pride that included colours to represent Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic as well as Trans communities. I had always thought that the rainbow flag was all-encompassing, but when my friend Anthony told me about the marginalisation these sections of our communities can still feel under the wider LGBT+ umbrella, I knew that we had more work to do.
So this year, we recreated our Rainbow network logo with those extra stripes, and celebrated Pride virtually with a series of events for colleagues spanning 10 weeks to recognise 10 years of the Rainbow network. We are an inclusive company and we want all people, customers and colleagues, to know that whoever they are, we are supportive and here to represent them. It’s the perfect way for us as a company to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our Rainbow Network and look forward to the next decade – and beyond! – of LGBT+ progress in the workplace.”