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14th June 2021 | Company

Celebrating Pride at {my}dentist

My story: Rob Devlin, Head of Resourcing​

June is Pride Month which is dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. At {my}dentist, we want to share the personal stories of some of our senior clinicians and operational team about coming out and the importance of being proud of who they are. The colleagues who share their stories also hope in their confidence to speak out that they will inspire or help others.

Our second story of the month is told by Rob Devlin, Head of Resourcing…

“I grew up in a working-class rugby town and knew from an early age I was different. By the time I was finishing college, I realised that I was attracted to men, but in 1996 there was no internet or resources available to help understand what you could do about it!

LGBTQ+ media representation when I was growing up was largely negative and like most people of my generation it created a sense of dread and shame at the thought of coming out.

​After starting my music degree, I joined an LGBTQ+ university society and remember the absolute terror I had walking to that meeting. Will anyone see me going in and work out I’m gay? What if I don’t relate to any of the people in the group? What if someone in the group tells my friends I’m gay?

I don’t even think at this point I was 100% sure of my own sexuality and didn’t feel I had much in common with the students in the uni society. The meetings weren’t really helping me on my journey.

My music took me into the world of dance music production, which in the late 90s in Manchester was an unbelievable place to be. I remember one recording session where I was working with a producer who asked me if I wanted to go out for a drink after the session and we ended up going to Canal St, which was considered the gay capital of the north. I couldn’t believe that the producer was gay, and I couldn’t believe I’d found myself in a gay club dancing until the early hours surrounded by hundreds of out and proud LGBTQ+ people.

This was the moment I realised I’d found the community I belonged in and made the decision to come out to my parents the next time I went home. I was terrified at the thought of this and fully expected my parents and siblings would disown me, which was quite often the story I heard from gay friends who had done the same. When I did come out, my parents and family could not have been more accepting and I have gone on through my adult life to create an amazing LGBTQ+ family as well as my biological family.

Even though our community has made great strides campaigning for equal opportunity I still feel a lot more is to be done, especially in the workplace. I’ve worked for an LGBTQ+ charity, helping people find work and have seen first-hand how hard this can still be for some people.

I’ve always had anxiety over being taken less seriously because of my sexuality and this anxiety has fuelled my drive to be the best version of myself and always do the utmost in my work. Now I’m in the privileged position of being a leader, I hope my work and story will support {my}dentist in becoming a more inclusive place to work, One where everyone can be their full self and we become an even more diverse and connected community.”

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