I’ve always been out and proud, but to feel comfortable at work is a blessing – not every company is as inclusive and supportive of their LGBT+ colleagues as Lloyds Bank is.
Just weeks before lockdown, I’d made the decision to move to London from Glasgow. It was tough to find myself instantly stuck at home and unable to enjoy the LGBT+ life I’d envisioned in the city. To get through it, I scoured the internet for questions and hosted regular quiz nights for friends and family. My quiz master jacket and bow tie showed everyone I was taking it seriously!
I’m the events lead for the Lloyds Bank LGBT+ colleague network, Rainbow, and this year we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. We had big plans for Pride 2020 but these had to adapt quickly. When lockdown was announced we began thinking of new ways we could stay connected and come together virtually.
We knew that staying connected would support the wellbeing of our colleagues, particularly those in more isolated spots; some colleagues live in more rural areas and have really lost a lifeline in terms of connection to the LGBT+ community during lockdown. We wanted to offer them a virtual space for support and a few laughs. That was where my bow tie came in!
Learning more about our community is so important.
My newly discovered quiz mastery was quickly incorporated into an eagerly-anticipated Big Rainbow Quiz for all colleagues – 10 rounds all about our amazing LGBT+ community. Learning more about our community is so important, and quizzes are actually a fantastic source of information. Plus it’s a great way to meet people. Needless to say, it was a roaring success.
2020 has been challenging, but it has been a privilege to put together a wide-range of virtual activities for our LGBT+ colleagues and allies. It has been an important time to invest our energy into events to help colleagues navigate their thoughts and challenges at this time. If anyone’s feeling lonely or disconnected, there are a whole host of activities to get stuck into.
Although we’re apart, we have found ways for our colleagues to come together, be themselves, and feel a sense of connection, no matter what.