One thing that has never really helped anyone is pressure to change their sexuality or gender identity. The shame, stigma and trauma that have been placed on people like me, who are not heterosexual simply because our sexual orientation makes others uncomfortable is a legacy that our society is now rightly seeing as unacceptable, and we can all welcome these changes. It is a good thing that we are no longer in the 1950s when it comes to sexuality.
The truth is, no one has ever been helped by being excluded or shamed. The only thing that helps any of us is love and acceptance. By creating environments of safety and support, we allow people to tell their own stories and make their own way through life. In industry, we know that building an environment where people feel that others are on their side and are supporting them unleashes great employees. Doing the same in the rest of the world creates great people.
It is also the case that there are a lot of different ways that people understand their own sexuality and there are any number of factors that go into that understanding. The family we were born into, the friends we associate with, the beliefs we hold all will be factors in the decisions we make when it comes to relationships and sexuality. When we know and understand one another, we can know and understand each other’s goals.
Personally, I have made choices that many people don’t understand. I am a gay man who fell in love with and chose to marry a woman. The people who have helped me most are the people who were on my side – people who wanted the best for me. This didn’t always mean that they had no opinions about my choices, but it did means that they put me, and my well-being, ahead of those opinions. That has made all the difference, and it is part of what I want to offer the world.