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Pride at Certitude

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To mark this year’s Pride Month, colleagues share their stories of working with Pride at Certitude.

Rob Pride Blog 01

Rob’s Story

I have been working at Certitude for the past 3 months in the role of Assistant Director of Operations and Improvement. I previously worked in the charity sector for almost 20 years, starting my career in homelessness and mental health services.

Deciding how and when to come out is a very personal decision and everyone who has done it has a unique story to tell about how it happened and what the effect was on their relationships and quality of life. There will always be the fear of rejection from loved ones and once you have come out, it is not possible to go back in!

That’s why coming out at work is a big decision. How your employer and colleagues respond can have a huge potential impact both emotionally and financially. That is why I believe visibility is so important and why I am sharing my experiences here. While I was applying for my current role, I noticed some posts on Certitude’s LinkedIn page with blogs, like this one, from LGBTQ+ colleagues and from one of our Trustees. Their visibility made me feel reassured that I would be able to bring my authentic self to work. It gave me confidence in the words that I had read on the website about Certitude’s values and approach to equality, diversity and inclusion.

I am delighted to be able to say that my experience in my first three months at Certitude, in terms of being ‘out’ at work, has been positive. I have felt genuinely welcomed and valued as a person and witnessed real consideration for LGBTQ+ and other minority groups in my day-to-day work. I have joined the Pride@Certitude network which meets regularly. I’m sharing my experience to reassure anyone who is thinking of coming out at Certiude and to encourage anyone from the LGBTQ+ community to join our Pride@Certitude network meetings.

Richard pride blog 01

Richard’s Story

I have been working for Certitude for over two years. The best thing about my role as a respite support worker, is the trust, togetherness and support. We make each other's day and that makes the job easier, maybe that's why I like working here so much.

I always knew I was playing for a different team. At school, constant humiliation was part of everyday life for me. When I started working at a very young age, I noticed that some of my colleagues were targeting a young, gay man. I stood by him, protected him from others with different views. My weapon was humour. This worked so well, that overtime there were more and more of us in my workplace, strengthening our little team. By being ‘out’ in the workplace, I gave others the opportunity to live out their own identity too. Today, together with one of my cats, I write a blog that helps other gay men accept themselves by putting myself in humorous situations.

I have never had a workplace as accepting as where I am now, we are diverse and multicultural. We all represent different religions or political views and yet we work together cheerfully, I know they accept me for who I am. Because I feel safe as an LGBTQ+ person at work I can concentrate better on my work and this means everyone wins, especially the people we support.

We are a 'big family', A perfect place for an LGBTQ+ person to take a deep breath and step out into the rainbow light. We will spread the glitter around you with a smile. It might get in your eyes, but we’ll take the glitter out together. This is Certitude where you don’t need to be afraid to be who you've always wanted to be.

Nick pride blog 01

Nick's Story

I have been working for Certitude for 16 months, supporting people in the borough of Ealing. I will be joining others later this month to represent Certitude at this year’s Pride in London parade alongside a couple of people we support, to ensure they too can be part of one of Europe’s biggest annual parades.

I have been living and working as a gay man for nearly forty years and I have seen many changes over that time span, including supporting people in the eighties during the horrendous period of the Aids breakout, and the social attitudes of that time. 

I have never ‘come out’ in any job - being regarded as a good person is enough - then people can assume! Also, Certitude has a great number of policies and resources to support people we support and colleagues to live their best lives. So, I hope the day is a successful one for all of us attending. We’re looking forward to being part of the group on the day, joining other people we support and colleagues from across Certitude. It will be a lot of fun.