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In my first incarnation at Kingsley Napley (criminal lawyer 1997-2007) an LGBTQ & Allies Network was a speck on a faraway future horizon. I was not out at work. I was not out with my family. I don’t think I knew any openly gay lawyers back then. I did have an out gay brother. But still I was not open about who I was or who I loved.
I am the B in the LGBTQ spectrum. Sometimes thought of as the awkward one, not quite fitting in to any of the categories, not sure what you want or who you like, so best to keep your options open and go for both sides! When I had a boyfriend I felt able to be open about that relationship, talk about him in the office, to my Mum etc but not so when I had a relationship with a woman. The reasons were varied and looking back on it now it seems at odds with my character not to have been more open about it. But I didn’t see anyone else like me, so it was easier to go with the flow, be like everyone else, perhaps.
And now in my second incarnation at Kingsley Napley I am happy to say that I am an active member of the Kingsley Napley LGBTQ & Allies Network. A network set up by partner and role model Melinka Berridge. Role models are really important, and they really matter. Melinka and other members of the Network show that it’s ok to be yourself at KN, wherever you are in your journey and whatever letter you might identify with in the LGBTQ spectrum. I am proud that Kingsley Napley strives to be an inclusive and diverse employer and that our Network, along with other networks, is supported and encouraged.
But as the tagline on the website for Pride in London says – “we’ve come a long way, but there’s still a way to go. Equal rights do not equal equality”. It’s that fight for equality that continues and is why I will be at the Pride parade On Saturday, with my girlfriend, because #PrideMatters. It’s an opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with others, to be proud of who we are and who we love and allows us to shine a light on the fact that this parade is still vital in 2018. So, please add a rainbow flag to your England flag this Saturday and give both a wave whilst watching the football. Let’s hope England makes us all proud!
Linzi McDonald is the pro bono and responsible business manager at Kingsley Napley. She is a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion group and LGBTQ & Allies network.
Kingsley Napley are publishing a series of blogs to celebrate Pride and to raise awareness about the issues facing LGBTQ people in our communities. You can view our other blogs here.
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