I came out as gay in 2008/09. When I walked into the male changing room, the other staff would go quiet. However three guys in particular would start shouting insults – “here comes the f***** poof”, that kind of thing. This went on for months, until it was reported to a Supervisor how this was affecting me.
One of the guys apologised for what he had done. He didn't realise how this was affecting me. However, I was still being harassed by the others over my sexuality. Things came to a head when I found that a union poster had been defaced. I reported the matter to a Supervisor and both guys immediately blamed each other. By then they had found out about my training with Unite the Union, where I had decided to become an Equalities Rep. I had the tools at my disposal to bring a Grievance against them. The Bullying and Harassment has now stopped. The two guys are in another changing room.
I’m delighted that NHSGGC have started the Take a Stand Campaign so that people can become aware of the homophobia that exists and what they can do to support colleagues.