Pride at work
Grant Thornton, for the third year running, will be marching in Pride across the UK.
I have been marching in Belfast Pride for over 10 years. I used to march with my rugby team (I'm a former international rugby champion, don't you know?! LOL) and then with friends and family. 2018 was the first time I ever had the opportunity to march with colleagues, supported by Grant Thornton UK. I didn't realise how special this was until I arrived outside the office with my fiancé and kids to see colleagues with their families and friends and all of us wearing Grant Thornton #countusin t-shirts, rainbow make-up, rainbow laces and carrying GT Pride flags. It was great!
I march in Pride for 2 reasons. The first is to acknowledge those who went before us; those brave people who stood up and fought for the rights and freedoms that I enjoy today. Every year, I get to say a small thank-you by marching. The second reason is that I am not ashamed. Being gay is as much a part of me as my eye colour, my height and my poor sense of direction. I was bullied at school for years, called every homophobic insult under the sun (before I even knew what those words meant) and have come out the other side. Those people tried to make me feel bad about something that is part of me and, for a while, they succeeded. But not anymore. Now, if one person can look at me or any other marcher at pride and realise that they shouldn't be ashamed of who they are then Pride has been a success.
The party atmosphere on Pride Day last year was fantastic and the weather held (my sun-kissed head is testament to this) which helped. Whistles, music, street-dancing, photos and boomerangs, camaraderie, friendship and love were flowing all day! I look forward to march once again side-by-side with my colleagues, friends and family this year.