Embracing Diversity: A Personal Journey Through LGBTQ+ History Month at CLCH

Published: 2nd February 2024

As part of LGBTQ+ History Month we are spotlighting the lives of LGBTQ+ staff and celebrating the diversity of our workforce across CLCH. To kick off the campaign let’s meet Martin Jones, our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

Hello, I am the new Co-Chair of the Rainbow Network, bringing 15 years of experience working at CLCH. I decided to become a Co-Chair to help try and make a difference to people who identify being from the LGBTQ+ community.

Growing up and identifying as gay man in North Wales during the 1980s posed significant challenges. Connecting with fellow LGBTQ+ individuals, especially role models, was daunting and virtually non existent. The icons I saw on TV didn't resonate with me, making it difficult to accept my own identity.

Unlike the TV celebrities who often represented LGBTQ+ figures, I felt a lack of connection. Not being a TV celebrity myself, I struggled to find someone relatable. One exception is Peter Tatchell, the human rights campaigner.

Peter Tatchell image.jpg

Peter's courage in exposing the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community worldwide, transcending boundaries, has left a lasting impression on me. While I faced difficulties in the 1980s, I recognise the major challenges experienced by those in countries where identifying as LGBTQ+ can lead to severe consequences.

It is disheartening to think that people in other parts of the world must conceal their true sexuality, enduring the potential trauma that results. This secrecy impedes individuals from realising their full potential. Having experienced these struggles first hand, I appreciate the importance of advocates like Peter Tatchell, who fearlessly speak out against injustices targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Their bravery is a beacon of hope against the oppressive circumstances faced by individuals world wide.

Martin Jones
Freedom To Speak Up Guardian

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