There’s nothing more inspiring than a mother who is super proud of her gay son and isn’t afraid to tell the world.
Vicki Evans works at UK gas and electricity company npower and decided she wanted to be a better ally. So she suggested they decorate the office in rainbows and photos of prominent LGBTI people for Pride season last year.
‘It was absolutely fantastic,’ Vicki told Gay Star News. ‘I went crazy and printed stuff out, brought flags in, brought some feather boas in.
‘I thought: “How far can I go? Nobody’s actually stopping me, this is getting a little ridiculous”,’ she joked.
She ended up turning her whole team section of the office into a huge rainbow-rammed room.
She also draped various flags around the office walls, like the trans flag and the bi flag.
Vicki said: ‘I actually had a gay person come over and say: “I’m really confused but what is this flag that’s like pink, purple and blue?” And I explained it’s Bi Pride.
‘So my colleagues were learning and then educating themselves.
‘As part of it, I wanted to showcase people in the LGBTI community who have been at the forefront of educating people,’ she said.
‘I just remember my dad actually walked off…’
Vicki’s always been aware of the LGBTI community and the community’s struggle for equality throughout history.
It wasn’t until her son Kieran came out as gay that she really stepped up her activism.
She said: ‘It’s just kind of always been something there and it does help in some respect to have a child who’s gay because you kind of feel more propelled.
‘You do have that extra push to really shout about the injustices because you have that personal contact. And you want to help people to understand why it’s a cause for literally everybody,’ she said.
Kieran came out as gay to his close friends at 13 and then his parents at 15.
He told Gay Star News: ‘When I came out to my family, it was the day before my grandma’s birthday and we went down to this pub.
‘I think it was one of mum’s friends who asked if I had a girlfriend and there was kind of an awkward silence. And then my sister said: “Go on, just tell them.”
‘So I said it. I just remember my dad actually walked off… and then he came back with a tray of shots,’ he said.
Vicki said she’s always known but was waiting for Kieran to feel comfortable enough to come out when he was ready.
She joked: ‘I told him: “Well, about time!”
‘For us, it was a case of, we don’t actually care – we just want you to be happy. It’s as simple as that,’ she added.
‘Everybody will be treated equally’
Kieran’s now 22 and actually works at npower alongside his mother. He started in October last year, but they’re on different teams.
They also went to Cardiff Pride two years ago together and wore custom-made shirts. Kieran’s shirt said: ‘My mum thinks I’m gay’ and Vicki’s said: ‘My son thinks I’m straight.’
While Vicki had some reservations about actually wearing it, it went down amazingly on the day of Pride.
Kieran said: ‘It went down really well.
Vicki added: ‘The number of people who stopped and took our photograph… they laughed at these t-shirts and thought it was absolutely fantastic!’
She actually wore the same t-shirt during the judging of the summer festival rainbow flag office decoration.
While Kieran didn’t start working at npower until October last year, he said npower is very inclusive.
He joked: ‘I’m out to everyone at work. It’s pretty obvious – it’s hard to not be.’
He added: ‘npower is probably the most inclusive place I’ve ever worked at. From management down, everyone is inclusive and embracing.
‘It doesn’t matter what your skin color is, what your gender identity is or what your sexuality is. Everyone is here to look out for you and your needs. Everyone’s very open-minded and very accepting,’ he said.
Vicki said: ‘Being an ally to the LGBTI community is so important because this is the future.
‘Everybody will be treated equally. Not should be. They will be – and that’s what we have to fight for. Because it is everybody’s absolute right to be accepted equally,’ she said.
npower is a proud partner of Gay Star News.