“Be proud of who you are and be reassured there are people in UNISON to support you and make it safe to be who you are in your workplace,” says Paul Woodcock, branch lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) officer.
“I’ve only been in this role since November last year, but we were pleased to represent UNISON in the march at Worthing Pride in the summer.
“Research tells me there is a significant proportion of LGBT+ workers who remain uncomfortable about ‘being out’ at work.
“Working life for LGBT+ people has improved immensely in the past 10 years, but there are many who still don’t feel the benefits. Therefore, UNISON has an important support role, to help create an inclusive and safe workplace.
Paul’s day-job is the council’s commissioner for sexual health: experience he is able to draw-on to help in his UNISON officer role.
“Thankfully, I’ve not come across any shocking examples of homophobia at WSCC, but it’s often the incidental, daily drip-feed of discrimination we must challenge: it’s not OK to make jokes or insults about someone’s sexuality, no matter how intentioned the remark may be.
“Sexual orientation does not impact on anyone’s ability to do a job. As Stonewall once famously said: “Some people are gay. Get over it.”
If there is anyone out there needing support on LGBT+ issues, just get in touch with me via the branch office.”