IDAHOBIT Day 2020

I am an Ally

17 May 2020

This Sunday marks International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.  On this day, over 130 countries around the world draw attention to the various forms of discrimination and violence that the LGBTQ community continue to experience. It serves as a reminder each year of the work which is still needed to achieve LGBTQ equality.  David Sleight, a Partner and ally, at Kingsley Napley shares his experience below.
 

At Kingsley Napley, we have a mixed-gender touch rugby team and an LGBTQ+ and Allies Network.  As a proud member of both groups, I decided that I would wear rainbow laces for one of our rugby matches to demonstrate my allegiance and support. A true ally, I thought.

In truth, I also thought the colourful laces would make me stand out on the pitch.  They did. I scored two tries and after the match one of my colleagues, who identifies as LGBTQ, told me she was “really impressed” and particularly appreciated that I had worn the laces.  I must admit, at the post-match debrief in the pub I was feeling pretty smug.

The next day I went to train at my local rugby club.  As I approached the club gates I suddenly remembered the rainbow laces.  OMG I hadn’t taken them out!  What would my laddish, all male team mates think if they saw me wearing rainbow laces?  Would they think I was gay?  Would they take the p**s?  How would I deal with “the banter”?  Maybe I should just put my normal laces back in before anyone sees?

And then it hit me.  I had just had a tiny glimpse into what the LGBTQ+ community have to deal with every day.  I was worried about seeing my team mates, who I have known for years, at my own rugby club, because of what they might think of my rainbow laces.  I had had the narrowest of insights of what it might be like to be judged for your identity and sexuality, and I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like it because I wasn’t sure how people would treat me.  I didn’t like that it made me question myself and what I stand for. I didn’t like that it made me feel like a fraud who had been exposed: A fair-weather ally.

Thinking of the disapproving look of my previously “impressed” colleague, I decided to keep the laces on and tentatively stepped on to the pitch. Much to my surprise no one said anything at all, the entire evening, not even “nice laces”.  If someone had said something homophobic, even jokingly, I would like to think I would have called them out on it.  But would I?  It’s definitely easier when you are not the one in the spotlight.    

This small insight gave me pause to reflect on my ally status.  Am I someone that just talks the talk when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights and issues, or do I truly walk the walk?  

This Sunday, I intend to stand (albeit remotely) alongside my LGBTQ friends and colleagues for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.  It’s a chance to call out inequality, wear your rainbow laces and be proud to be part of the LGBTQ community, no matter which team you play for.

LGBTQ bulletin board

LGBTQ bulletin board

Drag queens and activism: a story of political realness

Read the blog

Coming out? How to support your friends and family members when they come out to you.

Read the blog

When the arch of the rainbow actually casts a shadow on you.

Read the blog

Three years on, the UK Government is still ‘’dragging its feet’’ about banning gay conversion therapy.

Read the blog

"They will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am.” - The rise of queer artists and the importance of visibility

Read the blog

Visibility, Unity and Equality: out and proud in the legal sector

Read more

Pride 2021 blog series: Things not to say to same-sex parents

Read blog

The importance of LGBTQ+ spaces on International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

By Emily Elliott

READ BLOG

The lionesses: how female footballers are tackling equality with pride

Read blog

Network members attend seminar on gender-neutral drafting, sponsored by InterLaw

See Guide to Gender-Neutral Drafting

Kingsley Napley listed in the “Top 25 in the Legal Sector” of the Workplace Equality Index 2019

Read more

Letter to a Homophobe

by Melinka Berridge

Read blog

Kingsley Napley's LGBTQ+ Blog Series 2020

Read our 2020 blog series

Hidden Flags

By Mary Young

Read blog

Pray the gay away: cull conversion therapy worldwide

By Sameena Munir

Read blog

#IDAHOBIT day 2019

Two thirds of LGBTQ people still being harassed at work: IDAHOBIT is a timely reminder of the work that still needs to be done

Read Stephen Parkinson's blog

LGBTQ & Allies Network members attend (and win) quiz in support of The Outside Project - the Uk's first LQBTIQ+ community shelter and centre

Kingsley Napley Pride lanyards #Pride2019

More rainbows, but also more hate crime: why Pride is still so important in 2019

By Emily Elliott

Read blog

Share insightLinkedIn Twitter Facebook Email to a friend Print

Email this page to a friend

We welcome views and opinions about the issues raised in this blog. Should you require specific advice in relation to personal circumstances, please use the form on the contact page.

Leave a comment

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility