Wow, Pride Month is here again!! A time to celebrate identity, equality and diversity! Here’s a thing, at the age of 45 I’d never thought I would be ‘coming – out’ again… This might come as a surprise to a few people reading this post, to others not.
I ‘came out’ first time around during my second year of University in 2004, to say I was nervous, worried and scared would be a fair summary of how I felt at the time. A housemate from Uni made a point of taking me to the LGB Society, it was more the fact she marched me into the meeting and got me settled! Here I met new friends, Raoul, Dino, Paul, Jez, Anth & Juice! I soon came to be more comfortable with who I/we all are.
My parents and brother were accepting without any hesitation or question – I recognise I am very fortunate.
Here I am now, 45 years old, sharing my story with you online - my ‘second outing! Very rarely in my professional life do I talk about ‘my other half’ [for those who are reading this post and know about my partner Mark, you’re one of very few who know I am gay]. The question I find I am asking myself is, why have you not shared with everyone who you are?… I guess, fear of the unknown [response] and how accepting. It’s a strange notion, fear of the unknown, as humans we don’t take well to rejection.
You’ve probably seen images of organisations logos such as IHEEM, BA, NHS Grampian and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust emblazed in the pride colours to help show their support and commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. As the head of an organisation and a member of the LGBTQ+ community I had to think why is the Water Hygiene Centre not resonating with equal pride in declaring support and commitment…
During my career, I can count on less than two hands the number of colleagues and clients I’ve worked with where we’ve been open about our sexuality and orientation, sadly not many. June 2021 is the time for recognition and commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.
The Water Hygiene Centre is a small, dedicated, hardworking and committed team I am lucky to have such great people providing support to each other and clients. Everyone within the team know that I’m gay and live with my partner Mark [and our two little pooches ‘Charlie’ and ‘Bert’]. Mark and I have been together 21 years and are due to get married this October [having already postponed from last October, fingers crossed for this year]!
This is my story, did I need to come out again, I’d say ‘yes’ because there should be no shame and no fear of being who you are! #thisisme #loveislove #happypride
Daniel Pitcher, Managing Director, Water Hygiene Centre.