Now Reading
David Baker: ‘When I started to question my sexuality I was removed from school.’

David Baker: ‘When I started to question my sexuality I was removed from school.’

David Baker

The three taboo topics in America are sex, religion, and politics. As a gay Mormon working in Republican politics, I have spent my career pushing against these taboos, sometimes by merely continuing to breathe.

However, I am only able to continue pushing for equality because I stand on the shoulders of LGBT giants who came out in an era where it was even more difficult to be gay.

I grew up in religiously conservative Utah and attended Brigham Young University, a private university owned by the Mormon Church. When, as a student, I started to question my sexuality I was removed from school.

Even after I graduated from another university, I wasn’t out in any meaningful way until almost five years later when I joined the Gayglers. The Gayglers is the name of the LGBT resource group at Google and over the course of my four years there, I finally felt comfortable enough to come out at work and stay out when I transferred jobs.

Leaders of the community like the Gayglers and Lord John Browne are championing coming out. Their example inspired me to be completely open about my sexuality when I applied to graduate school.

I am very blessed to begin my studies in the fall of 2015 at the world’s oldest institution of higher education, Oxford University. Oxford’s rich traditions provide a stark contrast to the progress we have seen over the last few years.

The Glass Closet I am proud to be assisting with my program’s LGBT organization. They will help train future business leaders around the globe about the importance of being inclusive in the workplace.

 If it wasn’t for the courage of the giants who had come before me, I wouldn’t have been able to be my authentic self in my graduate school applications.

My applications would have fallen flat, instead of being open about the struggles I have overcome through the years. Thanks to role models, I am in a position to continue pushing against the barriers to equality in the workforce.

Thank you Lord John Browne and to all who contributed stories to The Glass Closet. You made it possible for me to be here today and I am proud to add my story to your collection.

The Glass Closet is out now. Order here.