Brian Bates, Morrison Foerster

My Pride Story: I felt the sting of prejudice in many ways

Thirty-six years and counting in Big Law – and so much has changed. When I look back at where we have come from, I do so with a mixture of joy and horror, not to mention a great deal of incredible respect and reverence for those who came before me. I feel joy from the […]

My Pride Story: Reflections on a transgender asylum case

In 2016, I was a mid-level associate at Clifford Chance. I was deep into my life at the firm, working on complex energy and infrastructure transactions predominantly in Latin America. My ability to speak English and Spanish with native fluency was critical to my ability to work in two cultures and draft and negotiate sophisticated […]

My Pride Story: Coming out as gay can be the easiest step

During Pride month, you will often hear a lot of people talking about ‘coming out’ multiple times – to parents, friends, colleagues, and clients. While all of that is true and each can be met with challenges, conversation or celebration, or a combination of the three, coming out as ‘gay’ for the first time to […]

My Pride Story: Helping to bring about a family law revolution

When I made the decision to come out as a lesbian in 1982, I was in the second year of my law degree and the UK was an altogether different country to the one we live in now. In choosing to be open with the world about who you are, you were placing yourself under […]

My Pride Story: My bully was gay and resented me being out

When I was growing up, I didn’t know a single gay person (no-one was out either at school or at college) and the only famous out gay person I can recall from the time was Julian Clary.  He was so different to everything I knew about myself that I couldn’t possibly identify with him.  I […]

My Pride Story: Allyship Opens Doors

A deep breath. My pulse quickens. I still vividly recall coming out to my first supervisor as a trainee at my previous firm. Although I was already out to my intake, somehow having the conversation with a senior felt much more difficult, more risky. It’s a conversation which, of course, many LGBTQ+ individuals find themselves […]

My Pride Story: Out in the office

“Backs against the wall lads”. That was the startling advice given to me on my first work outing as an articled clerk in Liverpool in 1990. The newbies were being taken on a drinking tour of the city, and part of the tour was to a gay bar to – basically – gawp at the […]

My Pride Story: I had to hide that I was a gay mum for many years

Growing up in Ireland in the 80s LGBT+ role models were thin on the ground. I wanted children which felt near impossible with a woman back then. So, I was in denial for years and thanks to my Catholic guilt expected to stay in the closet forever. I wasn’t out at university or professionally until […]

My Pride Story: The biggest obstacle in my career wasn’t being gay

I was in a same-sex relationship before I started my training contract 16 years ago, and I have been completely out for my entire career. On applications, I deliberately included details of my time helping to run the student LGBT society, despite friends’ advice. My thinking was simple: If a firm doesn’t want the real […]

My Pride Story: Tearing up my life plans

I grew up heavily closeted in a small, conservative village, and from a young age I assumed that I would grow up, find a husband, and have children. I still have my 13-year-old diary in which I set out my life plan, which involved being married, qualified, and a parent age 27. Even then I […]