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Six LGBTI Royal Mail employees tell us their stories for Digital Pride

Six LGBTI Royal Mail employees tell us their stories for Digital Pride

Royal Mail are 'delivering with Pride'

It might seem crazy that it’s 2018 and people still find it difficult to come out at work.

One in four people choose to stay closeted while 19% of LGB employees have experienced homophobic bullying from colleagues.

But Royal Mail is different.

The British postal service have made incredible steps to ensure LGBTI employees feel encouraged and supported at work.

So we traveled up to Royal Mail’s Birmingham Mail Centre to meet six incredible employees:

Geeta and Nadine

Nadine was working behind a bar in a hotel when she caught Geeta’s eye.

‘She had lovely green eyes,’ Nadine fondly looks back. ‘Obviously contacts!’

The two got close. Sadly, Geeta’s family disowned her.

‘It was quite a difficult experience, given the culture,’ she said. ‘But they met Nadine and…[eventually] accepted us.’

The two saw the advert to join Royal Mail and decided to apply.

They joined together on the same day.

Geeta and Nadine have now been together for 16 years, and are planning a wedding that will be a fusion of traditions from England and India, as well as having a bit of Disney thrown in.

‘Be yourself,’ they said. ‘You won’t get any backlash here.’

Jason

Jason started work at Royal Mail at 17, and he’s been with the same company for 30 years.
But he has only come out recently.

After meeting his partner, and dating for six months, he decided he needed to be open about his sexuality.

He told us: ‘My boss who I’d known for 30 years was the first person that I spoke to and I’ve been going through a lot of hard times, a lot of stress, a lot of pressure.’

‘Work was suffering, we went to have a chat as she knew something was not quite right, and I just told her everything. It was such a relief.’

Jason went to Manchester Pride – his first Pride ever – last year.

‘Once we got started in the parade it was amazing, the atmosphere was just great.’

Nicola

It was a Saturday when Nicola spoke to her bosses at work about how she wanted to transition.

Two days later, Nicola turned up presenting as female, finally feeling free to be herself.

While many trans women take weeks off to prepare for their transition, she wanted to jump straight in.

‘I’d rather somebody see me straight away than having time off and people having to mull it over,’ she said.

‘They didn’t really know how to take it or what to say to me in the first instance. But after a couple of days it all settled down and they’re just seeing me as a normal person now and I just carry on with the job.’

Nicola has grown in confidence since coming out.
‘If you’d asked me five years ago to come in and present myself in front of a TV camera – no chance,’ she said.

‘But now I’ve come out…, I can be more open about things.’

Alex

Alex has loved sport ever since he was a kid, especially cricket and football.

And now he will spend the winter in Australia playing cricket semi-professionally.

In sport, LGBTI people are under-represented.

‘I’m not in the eyeline of a massive target audience so I suppose it’s a little bit easier for me,’ he said.

‘It would be nice for everyone to be open and free to be who they are in a sport environment.

‘It’s a building block over the years. It’s getting there.’

So when he works as a team leader at Royal Mail, he loves the inclusiveness.

‘We’ve got a rainbow postbox badges at the moment. It’s great to work for. They’ve taken to it really well, like the fundraising activities. I couldn’t be more proud.’

Tanya


Tanya is deaf.

‘When I met my hearing partner it was online. I told her I was deaf. She said, “that’s fine, I’d like to learn sign language”,’ Tanya said.

‘It took time, of course it was, it was a slow process. She felt comfortable and the relationship got better…We could go to deaf pubs. It was great.’

Tanya is given an interpreter every Thursday evening to get up to date information on activities and benefits.

‘It’s helped me to communicate. Before I felt very isolated, very left out because I couldn’t understand what was going on,’ she said.

‘There wasn’t any interpreters and I felt very alone. Soon as the interpreters were brought in I could relax, I felt confident, it was like I could move forward and the interpreters are extremely useful.’

And every Friday, you can now see Tanya wearing her amazing rainbow tie for Priday.

‘Every Friday, people will wear these colored clothes and show how excited they are for the weekend,’ she said.

‘It’s a vibrant celebration.’