I've always believed that people are people, and you should treat them how you would like to be treated, no matter what race or religion they are or how they identify. 

I have immediate family members who are LGBTQ+ and, having seen how some members of the older generation can react to this, I felt I wanted to be more educated so that I don't unwittingly cause offence or upset to anyone. I also wanted to have an idea of what kind of problems might arise for my family/friends/colleagues and to have a better understanding of how best to deal with awkward or upsetting situations that people may create, not necessarily through malice, but possibly through ignorance.

People are finally starting to be able to be themselves openly now, which in many cases still takes a lot of courage, so remembering to be respectful of someone's identity and use their correct pronouns when chatting seems to me, to be a very small ask.

It's too easy to make assumptions about the gender of someone's significant other, even subconsciously, so taking just a split second to think before assuming they have a husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend and instead asking about their partner or spouse will avoid the awkwardness of them having to correct you. For me, having enough knowledge not to say the wrong thing and the courage to challenge comments that could be offensive or hurtful is a good place to start.

I don't hesitate when I speak about myself, my family or my friends in my workplace and it should be the same for us all.

Everyone has the right to be comfortable in their own skin and I think understanding people better has got to be a step in the right direction.


Debbie Robertson

Document Automation Specialist