February is LGBT+ History Month, an annual celebration that provides an opportunity to reflect and learn about the issues faced by members of the LGBT+ community, and to promote an inclusive modern society.
We’re proud to share this story from Luey (Junior Financial Crime Officer) about coming out and how discovering drag made him feel unstoppable…
“My story is a little bit different to the others you may have read during LGBT+ History Month. I have no experience with Section 28 and by the time it was removed I had just started nursery, so that means I was eating sand and colouring in. I started school life around 2003 and I was fairly happy and fairly ‘normal’ (I have to say ‘fairly’ as I did still eat sand which now seems like the wrong choice). I went through early years education innocently. I had no idea I was gay. There wasn’t any representation or any discussion around anything other than heterosexual relationships. I was to know no different. Nothing pointed towards me being gay until I was around 14. I’m fortunate that I had a wonderful group of friends and I was able to tell them all. Much to my surprise, they already knew. If spoken about loud enough for teachers to hear, we would’ve been told that it was inappropriate and such conversations were not allowed. The biggest moment in my life was telling my parents. Cue lead balloon moment. Dad wanted a plumber, mum wanted a quiet life. They got me, an overweight, over-sassy and over-confident drag queen. Everybody has a confidant, mine happened to be my grandmother. I spoke to her first as I was afraid it would upset her the most. She told me “No matter who I was or how I acted I would always be her little man” I left her house feeling I could take on the world!
Fast forward to being around 18, I was ‘out’, out meaning I had exited the broom cupboard, I had returned from Narnia and I was here and people knew I was gay. Wonderful, freeing moment? No, it was actually quite scary, people knew my secret, they thought I had a weakness and no matter how you look at it, I was different. Slurs, nasty words and hurtful sayings are sometimes unfortunately part and parcel. I was prepared and ready for anything people had to say. I was okay with the fact I was a gay man, other people were not so happy. People I didn’t even know had an opinion on my life. Luckily, I’ve so far pulled through relatively unhurt.
Age 20 I found drag! Drag makes me feel as though I am someone different. When I’m doing it I feel unstoppable and I don’t care what people think about me. I’ve been doing drag roughly two years now, and it’s such a release! I’ve taken part in London pride parade and more local parades. I do a lot of practicing and lockdown has given me the perfect excuse to try and finesse my art. I would advise anyone to give drag a try at least once! It’s so much fun! We're still a long way from equality but we're making massive leaps and bounds as a society and as a nation. I never thought I’d be able to say I’m confident in who I am but now I can. I’m happy and most of all I am proud of who I am. Heroes before me have paved the way to make my life more liveable and I sincerely hope I can make a difference so that people after me have it easier than I did.
At work if any of my colleagues ever need to talk or have a question, they can always drop me an email. If they need tips on wigs or make up advice then I’m the man for that, no subject too crude no question too rude. Stay Safe.