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Diversity and Inclusion spotlight – February 2023

February’s update from the Analysis Function Diversity and Inclusion group

To celebrate LGBT+ History Month during February 2023, Curtis Bateman has written this blog about his experiences of coming out.  

“My earliest understanding of what it meant to be gay came from three very different sources; seeing Stephen Fry charm the public into acceptance on QI, watching Maxxie navigate his friend’s disapproval on E4’s Skins, and learning the horrors that the Nazi state submitted gay men to during the Holocaust. I understood from an early age that being perceived as queer carries a – potentially fatal – risk with it. And making yourself acceptable to society can protect you from that risk, even though denying yourself hurts. 

Over time, however, I’ve come to understand the benefits to being out. In my teenage years, I first experienced love; in my twenties, I found community; a few years ago, a colleague confided that, having seen me happy, safe and successful being out at work, after three decades in the company she was ready to do the same. 

Even now, despite how natural it has become for to me to be authentically myself, there are still times when my heart will be struck by that simultaneous jolt of joy and fear at being seen. 

Knowing the fear, I will never disparage those who are not out. But also knowing the joy of living proudly as who I am, and the positive impact it can have on those around me, I will always support people to be out and proud. I hope you will do what you can to help others let the go of the fear and embrace the joy.”