FREE TO BE ME in the Workplace

Picture of Free to be Me presenters

FREE TO BE ME in the Workplace

lesbian, gay bisexual & transgender awareness training

Sexual orientation is a spectrum and gender identity is not clear cut. Human beings are amazingly and wonderfully diverse. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a normal part of that wonderful diversity. One size doesn’t fit all. Equality isn’t about treating everyone the same, but about respecting people as individuals and providing services that meet personal needs.

That’s why “personalisation” is such a buzz word at the moment. We get to know the person, establish a relationship of trust and then we can get on with delivering excellent services. It’s a key factor in providing a trustworthy and inclusive service to clients and building a culture of respect and honesty between colleagues in the workplace.

Trust is essential – trust that our sexual orientation will be respected and that sharing an important part our uniqueness will contribute to a healthier culture. If we cannot trust our peers, or the culture of our workplace, it’s understandable when we protect ourselves through secrecy – hiding in the closet. Secrecy is a barrier preventing us from everyday activities, such as talking about our partners, or socialising after work, or making close friends, or inviting people home. “Invisibility can be oppressive in so many ways” said Sue Lister, coordinator of Free to be Me, “that’s why…being authentic – a person of integrity, being out and proud, having your voice heard…is such a positive release.”

Hiding who we really are is a source of continuous stress and is often disguised as privacy. There is a difference between genuine privacy and hiding away through fear of adverse reaction. This training aims to change attitudes, encourage role models to emerge at all levels in every workplace…until everyone, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity, can simply be who they are, freeing up maximum productivity and greatly enhanced job satisfaction.

Here is some feedback from the pilots:

facts & statistics…hearing it from a personal perspective;

a very thoughtful presentation; all played a brilliant part;

just keep the training going, it gives people a great insight;personally I found the awareness raising of transgender issues most helpful;Picture of Free to be Me in the

listening to real stories about LGBT lives!

training to professionals such as the police, fire service and ambulance service would be good;

thank you for being so open and honest!

Free to be Me in the workplace  has had three successful pilots with the York CVS, the North Yorkshire Police and the York Hospital. Now the one hour presentation is available for booking: £80 for the first presentation (£70 for the 2nd for the same workplace) + expenses. Resource packs included.

You can find out more about the work of the York LGBT Forum at

To discuss possibilities, phone Sue Lister on 01904 488870
or email