A video message from Mark Gray, the LGBTI Champion at the Crown Prosectuion Service, for Civil Service PrideON.
Hello, I’m Mark Gray the LGBTI Champion for the Crown Prosecution Service.
When I took over this role one particular statistic that really struck me was that 60% of LGBT people who are already out to friends and family go back into the closet once they enter the job market. That’s a real shock and I think that suggests though the movement has won huge front ground in terms of the legislative victories that it’s won over a relatively short period of time - the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to be protected against hate crime.
There’s still a long way to go in terms of societal attitudes and attitudes in the workplace and I think, you know, the fact that people still feel they need to kind of feel not bring their full selves to work to try and avoid being in a difficult situation, or really perhaps damaging their career prospects is very sad and makes me feel really angry and everyone really should feel comfortable in the workplace whoever they are. And certainly, in the CPS, that is something I really want to make sure that everyone who works for our organisation feels able to do.
With regard to Pride, you know, of course, pride won’t magically make everyone comfortable and similarly it won’t magically make everyone think about the impact of their behaviours and how they act on others. But what it can do is help to challenge perceptions, help to change attitudes and help to drive different thought processes into people across the whole of society. And so, this year therefore, the combination of having to cancel lots of events in the community and of course the general challenges of social distancing can make this a particularly tough time for LGBTI people in general and work colleagues in particular.
So, if you are one of those people, please do reach out for support you’re not alone. If you are a colleague, please do think about how your behaviours, your actions might be impacting.
Thank you and however you end up celebrating in these strange and uncertain times make sure you have a safe and Happy Pride 2020.
PrideON is a programme of digital events and content across the month of June to help celebrate Pride in the Civil Service. Do you have a digital event or content that you want us to share? Contact us.