Agenda for change

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  • Frankly, I'm astonished that your survey shows only 9% of gay male lawyers out of the closet at work! This is either a terrible indictment of my profession's perceived or actual homophobia or a lamentable lack of courage on the part of the gay lawyers themselves. Either way, its not happy reading for me. I came out at work as soon as I qualified (I only waited that long because my training firm was - how shall I say this kindly.... old fashioned). I've never regretted my decision despite the fact that I have experienced direct homophobic insults of one kind or another. Again, your survey shows I am by no means alone in this. However, I believe in the power of pursuasion and most people who are homophobic are just ignorant and require a little education (or, if that fails, a good smack - verbal of course).
    I applaud the Lawyer for bringing this to our attention and I hope that more lawyers come out of the closet and that their colleagues treat them with kindness and respect.

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  • How ironic that the law - supposedly 'blind' - is one of the last bastions of prejudice in this regard.
    That such a highly-educated and influential group of individuals should be so illiberal is shaming for the profession as a whole.
    It is telling that many firms' attempts at diversity are aimed solely at ethnic diversity and gender equality, rather than trying to tackle this rather inconvenient, prickly and delicate subject.
    As your leader so trenchantly points out, the situation is unlikely to improve while people think that their chances of making partner are adversely affected if they choose to be themselves instead of living a lie.

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