RICS Coming out at Work event

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) regulate and promote the profession; maintaining the highest educational and professional standards in the industry. With offices covering the major political and fnancial centres around the globe, they are world renowned.
So FFLAG were very grateful to be invited to their “Coming Out at Work” evening panel discussion event on the 12th October in their prestigious headquarters building across the road from the Houses of Parliament.
Bruce Kent was able to attend and was delighted to see the rainbow flag proudly fluttering between the two RICS flags.
Professionals from across the industry were able to hear powerful testimonies from the panel of six as they related their own, sometimes harrowing, sometimes surprisingly easy, experiences of coming out at work. The true life stories were followed by an extended question and answer session.
It was clear that personal journeys vary widely and some have had painful opposition but the encouragement from the panel was that it was worth it for them and for those in future who will be following in their footsteps.
One panel member, a trans woman, described how terrifying it was the very first time she went to work in her new persona. It was difficult just getting out of the car on that first morning. The walk to the door and the ride up in the lift were full of dreadful thoughts about people’s possible reactions. She told us how she made it to her desk and breathed a sigh of relief but then later wondered if she dared get up and make herself a coffee mid morning. Who would she have to meet?
Every moment was frightening but she knew she had to make herself continue. It was two weeks of hell because of her own thoughts but, in fact, she found that everyone was amazingly accepting.
Testimonials like that are extremely encouraging and greatly appreciated.
Bruce was then able to tell them a little of the work of FFLAG, our vision and purpose. We aren’t yet, he said, at the place where we can pack up and go home saying “job done”. In fact, in the three months following the Brexit vote, reported homophobic crime has increased by a horrific 147%. So we want to become even more effective, working in partnership with others to support families and friends of all LGBT+ individuals and we are so grateful for the encouragement and support they give us.
A bucket collection for FFLAG was then taken up and the generous proceeds will be used to further our work in the months ahead.