21 June, 2016

Emma, Executive Assistant

“Pride is about not hiding in the shadows and is important as it shows others that being LGBT+ isn’t something we’re ashamed of – it can’t be used against us. I’ve been to Pride in Birmingham, Telford and Chester and enjoy the atmosphere surrounding them. They feel like safe places to be myself.”

Born in Solihull, Emma now lives just over the border in North Wales. She works in our Executive Office in Chester. Emma tells us that she has found M&S to be a strong supporter of inclusivity and she’s really pleased that we’ve become involved with Pride. 

“I don’t know how much has changed over the last ten years in terms of general attitudes but I know a lot of my negative experiences were in the first couple of years of coming out as a lesbian. Two of my friends had bottles thrown at them and I did get abuse shouted at me in the street. I’ve not had that in a very long time though.

“It took a while for me to come out and, rather than having one big push, I told different people on different occasions. However, I think I’ve learnt that you come out each time you meet new people. People often don’t realise I’m gay just by looking at me, so I have to essentially ‘come out’ time and time again. 

“I think being LGBT+ gives you more awareness of what is going on around you and the subtle ways that things display heterosexual relationships as being the norm”.

“I think it would be great for M&S to be involved with more Pride events, there’s always more that can be done to support this community. And while it hasn’t been an issue for me, as I was already comfortable with my sexuality before I joined M&S, I think people who are struggling with this may appreciate knowing that they have support.

“Pretty much all of my office know, but my sexuality has never been an issue and I’m viewed in the same way as anyone else I work with. It’s an inclusive environment where you don’t feel different because of your sexuality, everyone is treated the same. I would definitely recommend M&S as a place to work.”

 

Inside M&S