News

IWD 2021: Being an LGBT+ Woman

As part of International Women's Day 2021, read Lucy's blog on being a LGBT+ Woman.

Published

By Civil Service LGBT+ Network

BEING AN LGBT+ WOMAN

Hello! Happy International Women’s Day!

I am Lucy Rylott and I am an OD Caseworker for the CPS. Embarking on a career in the civil service as an LGBT+ woman can be daunting.

Starting as an apprentice, I felt as though I was ground level worker in the organisation with the additional pressure of having to come out to my colleagues to be my authentic self. I found using more inclusive language such as my ‘partner’ helped me ease into telling my colleagues about my girlfriend.

One day, I brought a picture of us both and put it on my desk just to make the topic seem less alien. Although I was nervous at the time, I was welcomes with open arms and supported completely.

Once I had come out to my colleagues, I felt more confident to join the LGBT+ Network as an open member, only to find that it is extremely male dominated.

My experiences with this Network have all been positive but I sometimes feel like I am the only LGBT+ woman that attends any meetings at all! There are multiple female Allies which are always appreciated and welcomed, but to still feel like an outsider in a community I am part of is a very humbling feeling.

I wonder if it is simply a lack of LGBT+ women within the organisation, or if there is something wider with LGBT+ women not being confident enough to join the network. Either way, this is something I would love to see change.

I would love to see more LGBT+ women in the network even just to feel that comfort of knowing there is someone else there that understands you and your struggles.

The disparity in the struggles of LGBT+ men and LGBT+ women go through is something that can feel quite isolating at times.

My goal would be to have a wider outreach to LGBT+ women in the organisation and encourage them to get involved with important work that goes on in the community to make sure that the women’s side is considered too.