Why can’t you be like everyone else? We’ll never be able to show our faces in the community again. You’ll never make it and, if you do, you’ll never succeed as a lawyer because of who you are. How are you ever going to be able to have a family?

These were not only the questions I faced when ‘coming out’ to family but the same, all-consuming thoughts racing through my head as I embarked on my journey of rediscovery.

Double-Edged Sword

I was born in a suburban area of Birmingham to Bangladeshi parents, who immigrated to the UK in the early 1980s. They embarked on a remarkable journey to start a new life in a country that was, in every sense of the word, very foreign to them.

Growing up with my five siblings, I knew I was ‘different’. My parents strived to give us the best life possible and pushed us all to succeed. As a result, I always did very well at school with nothing less than As across the board – despite going to a comprehensive school where academic achievements and success stories were few and far between!

I knew quite early on that I wanted to be a lawyer. It was a career that seemed so unattainable to someone like me, but that’s what made me want it more. And once I moved to London to study law, the doors I always thought were closed to me felt somewhat ajar.

I wasn’t ‘out’ at all to anyone. For me, it was not only the fear of the unknown and a desperate desire to avoid awkward conversations but also the fear of the affirmation – coming out to myself!

Workplace Inclusivity

Throughout my academic and professional life, I often convinced myself that I didn’t deserve all that I had achieved – that somehow, I had fluked it and my luck would run out soon.

Social interactions in the workplace were awkward. Simple conversations about what I did over the weekend were very well rehearsed and edited when delivered, for fear of inadvertently ‘outing’ myself. Getting my foot in the proverbial door was hard enough and being gay and Asian was only going to make my prospects more difficult, so I thought!

The ‘editing’ only got me so far, and I ‘slipped up’ during a conversation with my supervisor in my first seat rotation. Immediately, I felt the urge to justify myself and proceeded to do so when they stopped me mid-way. “What are doing? You don’t need to justify who you are!” my supervisor said. That moment changed my life forever.

A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. From that moment on, I was overwhelmed by the support shown by my colleagues. It was, dare I say it, ‘normal’. And I soon realised there was a whole community of us – people just like me.

Fast forward a few years, I am now a senior associate in the real estate finance team at BCLP, where I have been for over four years. There are plenty of visible role models within my firm and I also feel confident to be my true, authentic self.

My Surrogacy Journey

Last year, I got married. My husband and I have always wanted a family of our own and together, we’ve embarked on an incredible journey to become parents.

As I write this, we are 20 weeks pregnant, and our son is due in October. We are forever grateful to our friend, who we met through SurrogacyUK, for carrying our son and making our dreams come true.

My firm has shown me great support in my surrogacy journey, from time off to attend fertility appointments and scans to putting in supportive measures for others who may embark on a similar journey in the future. Today, families exist in various forms beyond the traditional nuclear family, and more firms need to acknowledge, respect and support diverse family structures as society progresses and evolves.

Visibility and representation are important but there is still work to be done. However, from when I started to where the profession is now, I am very proud to see the progress that we have made.


Why can’t you just be like everyone else?

Being ‘different’ is what makes me special and that is to be celebrated. What a boring workplace and world it would be if we were all the ‘same’!

We’ll never be able to show our faces in the community again.

Life’s too short and it’s my life so I’m going to live it to the fullest. I used to feel sorry for those with narrow-minded views, but I think there is a lot to be done in educating said communities.

You’ll never make it and if you do, you’ll never succeed as a lawyer because of who you are. How are you ever going to be able to have a family?

Well, my journey speaks for itself!

I am the role model that I would have liked growing up. If my story positively helps at least one person, then I have done my job. Happy Pride!

Jad Hussain is a senior associate at BCLP