A responsibility to embrace all

LGBT+ History Month is a powerful reminder: being a gay woman has not always been easy. However, when I look back, I have been lucky to have a family and friends who have always accepted me for who I am. 

There is still much to do to ensure that people perceived as different from ‘normal’ are treated in an equal way. 

I worked in London for many years in a male-dominated organisation and was once told, “well, you only got promotion because you are a woman and gay”.

No, I got them because I deserved them! 

During the 2015 election campaign, I was asked if I thought it was suitable that I should be a councillor. I attempted to understand why I was so unsuitable, but gave up when it became obvious the lady was not for turning. 

We all have a responsibility to ensure that whoever we are and whatever our beliefs they are respected. 

I have two gay portfolio holders. Are they there because they are gay? No, it’s because they are the right people. 

We have moved forward a lot in my lifetime, but not enough. Young people still have to fight for their rights. I often ask myself, why do we have to fight for gay rights? 

The acceptance is skin deep, and that needs to change – not just in local government, but throughout our society.

As councillors, we have a responsibility to embrace all, so we get to a point where we are not defined by our gender, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. 

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